Country Goes to Town

I was on the road the other day when an idea came to mind for a post. Seeing as I was not at my computer, I grabbed my camera, pulled over at a rest stop, and put my thoughts on camera. Enjoy!

What are your thoughts on Urban areas encroaching on farm and ranch land?

What reasons do farmers and ranchers sell their land to developers? What can be done to prevent this?

Are organic, natural, or grass-fed options viable choices for these producers?

Do consumers realize the connection to Agriculture the land once had they are now living on?

Have you or someone you known been affected by urban sprawl? Did land competition, encroaching regulations/codes, increasing input costs, or decreasing output return play a factor in the decision to end the business?


  1. Ryan,

    Great question. This is of particular interest to me. I grew up on the Front Range of Colorado. This area has some of the most fertile farm ground in the state, but has fallen victim to massive sub-urban and ex-urban sprawl. This issue is also of a great interest to me as a landscape architect and planner. I can pinpoint one issue that is the most detrimental to outlying farm / ranch ground near my hometown of Loveland, CO. Unfortunately, it is small horse-related properties and acreage areas. These low density developments lure people who want to live the “country” life but have a job in town. Many times these developments eat up a half-section of ground at a time. Once the low density developments occur, then higher density developments follow, and then they need services to support the new upstart community. In my experience near our once “AG Proud” community, these ranchette developments are a big part of the problem. The solution? Urban infill and more density in urban development.

  2. People don’t realize how much ag land has been developed. Even some areas in California I’d talked to people who 30-40 years ago remember orchards where there is only concrete and malls. But it’s not just CA – it’s everywhere.

    Knew a guy in Ohio who with regulation ceased to run cows – people complained about the manure along the road (yes they were pastured, which meant they had to be brought in for milking) and he sold out the cows about 12 years ago. When his dad died a developer (I don’t know the details) got part of the farm and he’d say that was his million $$ he never got – now a subdivision.

    Organic/grass fed – no. I left WA state because there was too high of costs for land to make a go with any kind of stock. Where we are now if complaints come in it will shut much down. But the interest in organic/grass fed and getting land out of town further – most aren’t serious about financing that even at a profit.

  3. The urban sprawl is definitly a huge problem. Many people complain about wild animals being pushed out of their habitat. Well, farmers are being pushed out of theirs also, but many people don’t care or don’t realize it. I really hadn’t thought much about this subject myself, tho i realize it. Isn’t there a way to get this kind of questioning and thinking into the urban areas – newspapers, magazines or radio ? If someone who writes well would write up an article, then everyone pass it on to newspapers, local tv stations etc – would that maybe bring ag problems to light to people that don’t get into any kind of western lifestyle where they may read this type of thing? Just grabbin at straws here —

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