“Agriculture gets a bad rap in the media,” he says. “Maybe if we can tell how we’re using technology that the public understands, it could help us educate them about farming.”

He has been interviewed on National Public Radio about the family’s farm, and has publicly defended agriculture to not-so-friendly audiences.

“Zach talks to people who scare me,” says his father.

Zach has an unusual ability to communicate through another talent — he is also an opera singer.

A tenor who has pursued a serious musical career since he was 16, he has appeared in a variety of roles, including Rodolfo in Puccini’s La Boheme, Duke in Rigoletto, Alfredo in La Traviata, Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi, Arturo Buklaw in Lucia di Lammermoor, the Conductor in Pasatieri’s La Divina, Brack Weaver in Down in the Valley, the Witch in Hansel and Gretel, Hermes in Victor Kioulaphides’s The Silver Swan, and Kaspar in Amahl and the Night Visitors. He made his international debut in 2006 in Hanzhou, China, as Don Jose and Remendado in Carmen.

The week after being interviewed for this article, he had a major competition in Los Angeles.

“My music career opens other doors to allow me to tell agriculture’s story. There aren’t too many opera singers who are farmers,” he laughs.

“I enjoy doing both, but I don’t want to give up my spot on the farm. I really enjoy making this computer and technology work for people like my father.”