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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

 

Saving traditon... or stuck in the past.

In Wisconsin, in several regions near towns, there are owners of family farms who are "struggling" to maintain their "way of life."

The problem is that they cannot buy or rent new cropland. The cost of land in the area around these farms is prohibitively high.

Using economic reasoning to examine the situation,I would conclude that the reason the cost of land on the outskirts of these towns is sky rocketing is because there is a greater numer of highly valued uses. More and more people are bidding the land up.

If the goods and services offered by these small family farms were highly valued, they would be profitable. If they were profitable, then they ould be able to afford more land for expansion.

In short, these family farms are not valued because there are more efficient ways of producing food. There desire for a preserving of their way of life I equate to a sliderule maker wishing to maintain his way of life. It is the same as the postal sevice wishing the internet and email had not taken a lot of its business.

On the surface it may seem tragic, but it is not. Things come and things go. New, better ways of doing things are devised and champions of the old ways find themselves with skill sets that are now obsolete, in this case running a small farm.

These farmers would probably be best to cash out, sell their valuable for the top dollar for which it would undoubtably sell and retire, living luxuriously.

Sometimescertain ways of life go out of style or a very small sub sect of the economy for the benefit of the whole. Fighting to preseve them is usually not for the economic value, but for the novelty value of preserving these relics. It is an uphill battle. Sorry family farm, it might be time to join your friends in the buggywhip business.

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