Fort Worth

#SomethingGood: Photography Project Follows 13 Women Who Work on Texas Ranches

Local photographer and writer, Alyssa Banta, spent some time with 13 women who work the land and in the Texas Ranch Sisterhood.

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A trip to the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo gives us a glimpse at a way of life that, for some, goes back generations. In Texas, more women are on farms and ranches than in any other state.

Local photographer and writer, Alyssa Banta, spent some time with women who work the land to follow their lives and create a book called "Texas Ranch Sisterhood: Portraits of Women Working the Land."

She created a new book with admiration for the women whose stories she tells. She spent two years and drove more than 13,000 miles from her home in Fort Worth to document the "Texas Ranch Sisterhood." It's the perspective of 13 women who work on ranches in Texas. She says the women show grace and grit.

"It was inspirational to see women just getting out there, doing it," Banta said. "When I first turned up, they were like, you want me to pose? I was like no. You roll and I'll follow. Okay, jump in the truck. Okay. Jump on the horse. Okay. Let's go. Click. Click. Click."

And in between those clicks, Banta captured women taking on tough jobs -- moving cattle, breeding bulls and taming horses. 

There were tender moments, too, like picking the family Christmas tree, a wedding, and a grandmother dying.

"These women remind us to be resilient and hearty, to be independent," Banta said. "It doesn't mean to hate on other people. It just means to have it rough and keep going."

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Much like the peach tree in Banta's favorite picture - taking root and bearing fruit with just a trickle of nourishment.

"[It was about] the capacity to survive, and thrive, despite it all," Banta said. "The insistence to be gracious and beautiful and strong."

The DNA of a Texas woman, especially those who work the land. 

"I love this project. I really did," Banta said.

Banta has taken pictures all over the world and she says this project, back home in Texas, was close to her heart.

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