FARMERS: Farmer John and No. 10

The hands of the mantel clock stood at 4 a.m. Outside, in the frozen Iowa dark, a bitter wind whistled through the naked black branches of the elms. Thirty-nine-year-old Iowa Farmer John Van Devender tumbled out of bed, dressed himself, pulled on his five-buckle rubber overshoes, buttoned up his blue denim jacket, put on his corduroy cap and yellow cloth gloves, flicked the switch that turned on the light strung on a pole half way between the house and the barn, stepped out into the cold.

The thermometer outside the back door read 2° above....

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!