The New American Farmer

As a bin-busting harvest rolls in, the rule is: Get big or get out

For tall, burly Pat Benedict, 44, the day begins as early as it did for farmers in Mesopotamia in 8000 B.C. He rises before dawn to pull on boots, blue jeans and work shirt. By 6 a.m. he is breakfasting with some neighbors at the Double D Diner off Interstate 94 outside Sabin, Minn. (pop. 333). For an hour or so, he trades community gossip, argues about politics and drops casual remarks about crops and prices designed to feel out what his fellow farmers are doing without asking them a direct question, which is taboo. Then off to the fields—and into...

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