A Cowboy’s Faith: Rural life becomes appealing

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“There’s nothing like living in the country.”

Many who were raised on farms and ranches feel that way about rural living. Yet others growing up in the country can’t wait to get away and live in the city.

Being raised in town, there was always the urge to live on a ranch to have horses and cows. It would be most difficult to again become an urbanite.

Sometimes farmers and ranchers who’ve lived in the country their whole life move to town upon retirement. Despite certain conveniences, they generally soon dislike city life desiring to return to rural living. Often that’s impossibility after country assets have been dispersed.

Still most farmers and ranchers cringe at even the suggestion of leaving the rural life they’ve forever known and loved.

The recent nation’s health shutdown confining majorities to their city homes has some people thinking country living might be nice.

Real estate brokers say that demand for homes has shifted to rural areas as people react to the coronavirus pandemic. Many want to move out of dense urban areas for freedom to partake and enjoy all that Mother Nature offers.

While the issue makes media headlines today, it’s actually nothing new. Three or four decades ago there was similar “fad” as several office coworkers moved to homes in the country.

Acquiring small tracts typically an acre or two up to maybe a “40,” it was exciting restoring an old farmstead. Others went the extreme, acquiring bare ground, constructing new homes and outbuildings from scratch.

Expenses were higher than speculated with labor considerably more demanding caring for the land compared to a town lot.

Of course, initially every one of those city folks becoming “farmers” acquired chickens, hogs, and maybe other livestock to “pay the bills.” That “romance” quickly faded as feed and facility expenses plus the necessary hard work cost much more than it returned.

“Rural demand is much stronger right now than when everybody wanted to live in the city,” realtors claim. “There is a psychological change as consumers want to buy rural homes.”

It’ll likely strengthen land prices that have sagged some in recent months, but city slickers typically move back to town. Country folks will remain happy exactly where they are.

Reminded of Genesis 30:25: “Send me to my own place in the country.”


030615-franksmug2Frank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, a lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and a radio marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.


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