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Jared Hayes Brings Mechanical Precision to Farming
Photograph by Ron Berg
Photograph by Ron Berg

Product manager, ag management solutions, John Deere
Urbandale, Iowa

Hayes, 27, develops and markets John Deere's GreenStar products, which allow farmers to automate their work.

"I grew up on a farm, and my dad would never let me plant corn because I couldn't drive as straight as he could. Now, with minimal training, any operator can plant perfectly straight corn rows with just a few button pushes. With the AutoTrac system, we're able to steer a 500-horsepower tractor pulling a 120-foot implement within a half-inch of where it needs to be, automatically. As steering and planting become more precise, I think we'll see a lot more mainstream media enter the cab. Just because a farmer is in the middle of a field in North Dakota doesn't mean that he doesn't want access to real-time grain prices and the ability to watch Tosh.0 at the same time."

A version of this article appeared in the September 2010 issue of Fast Company magazine.