Tom McNeely (Canadian, B. 1935) "Amber Waves of Grain" Signed lower right. Watercolor.
Provenance: Collection of James A. Helzer (1946-2008), Founder of Unicover Corporation.
This painting originally appeared on the Fleetwood First Day Cover of the 32c Flag Over Porch Self-Adhesive Booklet stamp issued May 21, 1996.
When Katharine Lee Bates gazed from the summit of Pike's Peak across the rolling plains of America spreading out before her, she was inspired to write America the Beautiful, a song celebrating this nation's beauty and majesty. In her second line of verse she remarks on "amber waves of grain," recognizing like so many before her that America is very much a story of the land and those who till it. Thomas Jefferson, an accomplished farmer, wrote of "the immensity of land courting the industry of the husbandman," when discussing the future of American agriculture. However impressed they were, both Bates and Jefferson would still have been amazed at the agricultural powerhouse the United States has become. The American farming community not only provides food for over 250 million citizens in this country, but also supplies the world with one-half of its corn, more than one-tenth of its wheat and one-fifth of its beef, pork, mutton and lamb. The mechanization of cultivation and harvesting, the availability of electricity, the development of new crops and techniques and the use of genetics to improve plants and animals have brought impressive changes to agriculture in the era since the 1920s. As farmers move into the 21st C., their focus is increasingly turning toward wise use of the resources within their care in order to ensure sustainable development of land, water and agricultural life.
Image Size: 28.75 x 21.25 in.
Overall Size: 29.75 x 21.75 in.
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