The most common occupation in America used to be farming. But farms are so high-tech these days, fewer farmers are needed to work the fields. That ends up having important side effects for farm towns across the Midwest and Great Plains.
Brandon Biesemeier climbs up a small ladder into a John Deere sprayer, takes a seat in the enclosed cab, closes the door, and blocks out most of the machine’s loud engine hum. It’s a familiar perch to the fifth generation farmer on Colorado’s eastern plains.