Part 4: Farms rise again on acres where houses were planned

  • Article by: MIKE HUGHLETT , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 20, 2012 - 8:26 AM

The housing bust and commodity boom have altered land-use patterns at the edge of suburbia.

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munsterlandrJul. 9, 12 8:54 PM

Minnesota Farmers have lived their lives sucking at the teat of the Government and now most are multi-millionaires after government subsidies and protections meant their farm lands went from $1,000 an acre to $7,500 per acre and more.

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chiefwiggumJul. 9, 12 9:51 PM

I wish that the fun little experiment of gobbling up valuable and PRODUCTIVE land to create inefficient automobile dependent UNPRODUCTIVE suburbia was over. Sadly, I feel like we've only hit a bump in the road. We continue, as a nation, on this endless campaign to sustain the unsustainable.

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pompensteinJul. 9, 12 9:52 PM

It should stay farmland. We don't need to fill every square inch with sub-divisions. Quite abandoning our cities and 1st ring suburbs, and maintain and invest in them.

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pwcgoldfishJul. 9, 12 9:54 PM

It's good to see farmers out smarting greedy developers and builders.

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splinedJul. 9, 1210:34 PM

Definitely time to end the hidden back door payments made by congress to insurance companies on behalf of farmers for their investment/profit guarantees. Some of the conmen promoting this scheme have the audacity to say this scheme treats all farmers the same. What these conmen don't tell you is that these payments made annually range from just a few dollars per acre to over $500 per acre. These conmen also do not tell you that these payments per farmer vary from just a few dollars per farmer to way over one million dollars per farmer per year. And these same people would not want you to know that some farmers receive no investment/profit guarantees from the government and many farmers receive annual multimillion dollar investment/profit guarantees that guarantee these farmers millions annually in profits. Its no wonder why bankers love these government programs. If this scheme was on the level and had integrity why is congress hiding from the public the names and the amounts which would demonstrate the discrimination associated with this scam?

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exrepublicanJul. 9, 1210:54 PM

Chief and Pomp: I agree, but I think there is hope. Although a lot of the older Baby boomers contiune to cling to the dream of suburbia, patching up their poorly-built vinyl ranch house with the crumbling driveway, younger folks are returning to the cities throughout the country; even a lot of middle boomers like my wife and me will eventually get out of the 'burbs and return to areas closer to transit lines, entertainment, and a far more interesting environment. And for those so concerned about being around crime, another trend is for the poor, especially poor minorities, to move to the suburbs, so all your ideas of city=poor and dangerous/ suburbs=wealthy and safe just are not true anymore.

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fromupnortJul. 9, 1211:23 PM

ExRep...I agree with you. The tide is turning. People, especially the younger families, are asking why they should live miles from anywhere when they can live close to a ton of amenities, natural and man-made. Those developments out in the rural areas will become less and less attractive to people. Its about living less in the personally owned vehicle and more in their own lives. I don't think the government has to regulate this trend, the market will do it on its own. Baby boomers want the same, but let's face it, the urban areas were dumps a few decades ago but the cities are doing much better today. I smile everytime I drive Hiawatha today as compared to 20 years ago!

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chuckdancerJul. 9, 1211:27 PM

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the rape of the countryside surrounding Mpls/St. Paul will be back stronger than ever at some point. As I drove through southeast Scott County yesterday I was amazed at the number of homes punched into the countryside and the amazing lack of real farmers. That 800 number for farmers in Scott County is as phony as a three dollar bill. Land speculators predominate and each one is going to want the big cashout speculators have had in the recent past. Owning land might get one counteds as a "farmer", but like some of the people in this article they aren't farmers any more than Bill Gates is a farmer. The other thing that will drive more housing in the land around the Twin Cities is demand. People are earning good money at work and many are young with children and they want to be out in the cornfields.

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pompensteinJul. 9, 1211:38 PM

Our family left a rural MN community in Scott County in the 1980s because there were no jobs, and the commute was too long. We were shocked years later when we returned to this area to visit, and thousands of new subdivisions were everywhere. We wondered: "Where did these people work and how could they afford such houses?" Turns out, most of these people commuted 50 miles a day, and in the end couldn't afford their house. The market crashed and gas prices spiked, turning this area into a ghost town of foreclosed homes, and unfinished sub-divisions overnight. It was unsustainable from the start, and the invisible hand of the market corrected this wasteful practice.

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antisuburbsJul. 10, 12 1:54 AM

A much better use for this land, IMO

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