Industry News

Farmers take a stand to preserve land

Part 2: Real estate boom eats up farmland

In this three-part series, Inman News examines America's shrinking farm real estate. Urbanites tired of crammed city living, along with population growth and sprawling development, are a few trends affecting farmland. Some farmers are finding themselves on the edge of developed areas, whereas they used to be located in much more remote regions. See Part 1: Urbanites nab more country real estate and Part 3: Rural land shrinking at rapid rates.) To Dale Lesser, a farmer in Washtenaw County, Mich., there's nothing more rewarding than growing things. "It's wonderful to be able to grow things and live off the land," he said. "I'd call it the oldest profession." But Lesser foresees a changing landscape coming for his region's farmland over the next 10 years. Most of the farms around him belong to people who now are more than 80 years old and he said he's already seeing friends move off to nursing homes. "There are many farmers who are at that age where they are ready to sell," he said....