But Reese didn't envision a life as a poultry hermit. He left Kansas, first for the army and then for nursing school, where he became a registered nurse anesthetist. He settled outside San Antonio, and though he kept his chickens and turkeys going, they were a private pleasure, not a cause. In the late 1980s, his mother asked him to return to Kansas; she wanted him nearby, and the small local hospital needed an anesthetist. Reese loaded a van with his chickens and turkeys and drove 700 miles north to his former, and future, life. Local wisdom said the best site for a turkey farm was on a slope, to let waste drain away, and not too close to water, because predators would come to drink. He found the 160-acre farm that became Good Shepherd near the top of a low hill that slopes two miles down to the Smoky Hill River, between Marquette to the west and the Swedish-settled town of Lindsborg to the east. Not long after, a friend called him. Tommy Reece, no relation, was a small-scale chicken raiser too, in the remote hill country west of San Antonio, and for years his passion had been Indian Game Cornish, a compact, muscular bird with tortoiseshell feathers, related to the birds Vantress used to make his Cornish Cross. Reece was dying. "'He said to me, 'Save my Cornish,' and I promised to try," Reese told me. "He sent me two dozen eggs, and out of the two dozen, three hatched."