A lightening bolt cuts through the steel gray sky behind a grain elevator, a symbol of high plains rural America, that has lost more than 12 million people since 2000. Just 16 percent of the nation’s population lives in rural areas – the lowest in recorded history and down from 72 percent a century ago.
Dodge City, Kansas like all towns on the high plains, have been seriously diminished by the rush to the cities. After the Dust Bowl and the family farm crisis and the domination of BIG AG that requires fewer people to produce more crops, communities face another crisis. With a dwindling supply of water, farmers unable to fill their grain elevators threatens communities further and grain will come in on the rails from other areas. Even with the water they have now, small, dusty towns are getting smaller and dustier.