Farmer’s art helps dig well, boost Militant Fighting Fund

By Joel Britton
May 23, 2022

DINUBA, Calif. — On May 4 Socialist Workers Party members Carole Lesnick and Joel Britton, the party’s candidate for governor, joined Fresno farmer Will Scott for a visit to Sweet Home Ranch, near here, where Paul Buxman raises peaches and other stone fruit. Buxman is also an artist, an impressionist painter. When he learned in 2015 that Scott needed to dig a deeper well or lose his farm, he organized a “Drill for Will” project and sold lithographs of his paintings to raise the necessary money.

Buxman said he stepped forward to help Scott after reading a newspaper article on how the drought was bankrupting Scott and others. “Scott was quoted as saying, ‘We have a lot to lose.’ That pronoun grabbed me,” Buxman said, “He didn’t say, ‘I have a lot to lose.’ Without community we are lost.”

He set up stands “all over this area” with his lithographs and a photo of Scott, president of the African American Farmers of California, asking for “$50 a foot” toward drilling the 300 foot well. So many farmers and others responded that enough was raised and Scott was able to continue farming.

Following a wide-ranging political discussion and a tour of his farm, Buxman showed us a closet where he stores lithographs of his paintings. He pulled several out. Lesnick asked if he would be willing to donate one for a raffle in Oakland to help raise money for the Militant Fighting Fund that sustains the Militant, published in the interests of working people. Buxman said we should take five of them. “That’s what we did the lithographs for. They’ve been used for many good causes.”