Greener Pastures

By focusing on "lifestyle" farmers instead of real ones, Tractor Supply Co. found more fertile ground

Every morning at 5, Barb Bakshis chugs some coffee and feeds her animals--including 30 sheep, 14 chickens and a horse--before slipping on heels and heading to the bank she co-owns. After work, she and husband Mike Zang, a 54-year-old boat salesman, stay up late doing chores on their 150-acre farm in Burlington, Wis. "Yes, I do this for enjoyment," says Bakshis, 43, and laughs. Former suburbanites, the couple bought their century-old farm in 1993 and are learning as they go. When they have questions about lamb birthing, they call their neighbors. And when they need fencing materials or a pressure washer...

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