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All photos courtesy Anne Hamersky.

Annette and Ron Dubas, with their youngest son, Clint, on their Lazy D Ranch outside of Fullerton, Nebraska. Ron's great-grandfather came over from Poland in the late 1800s, and his descendants have lived within six miles of the original homestead ever since. Annette, a "city girl" from Omaha, moved to Fullerton in her teens, where her father ran the tavern and the movie theater. "I thought this was the middle of nowhere," she says. Since then, Ron jokes, the only thing she hasn't gotten used to about farm life is getting up early.

With no hired help, the family grows corn, soybeans, wheat, and alfalfa, and maintains a herd of nearly 200 cows, plus pigs and chickens, on about 2,000 acres of land. Ron raises his animals without using growth stimulants or non-therapeutic antibiotics, but with just him and Clint tending the fields, they need pesticides to keep the crops bug-free. Economic pressures make it now nearly impossible to subsist on a smaller farm that could be tended without sprays.