Bindel Farms

  (Spencer, Ohio)
Life on our farm

My frustration with land prices!

Since I was a young kid, I always wanted to own land.  I even owned geese on a city lot when I was a kid.  As I got older, I grew a passion for farming and raising healthy and better tasting foods without chemical fertilizers, herbicides, hormones and antibiotic which were not available in the grocery store. 

I had a real passion for farming and that drove me to buy a farm!!! 

One thing that frustrates me and others around my age is the price of land! It seams to me that my generation is having a real hard time finding "affordable and reasonably" priced land to buy for farming.  Every piece of property around my area goes for at least $10,000-$20,000 per acre and makes it real hard if not impossible to farm full time without a second off the farm full time job to pay for the farm mortgage.

When I was shopping for a farm back in 2004-2005, I came across a lot of great properties that I would have loved to buy but unfortunately lack of money stood in my way.  It seamed to me that you needed to be a corporate executive  to even have any chance of owning a farm with 35-100 acres. Hence I had to settle for a smaller property which had great land but unfortunately did not have a barn on the property.  The way I looked at it, most people buy starter houses, I bought a starter farm!

My ideal farm would be about 35-50 acres or maybe 100 acres with a house that is in good condition and well taken care of and a large bank barn and other out building to go along with it. But unfortunately in my part of the country where I live, this is a dream! That property is at least $350,000 to $1,000,000 which is completely out of my affordable price range.  To even think of affording something like that would require multiple high paying jobs, a very large down payment, and a willing bank lender to give you a farm mortgage.

Suburban sprawl in my area has a lot to do with the problem of land prices.  Developers come in and offer older, going to be retiring conventional farmers money that they can't refuse since they did not have a retirement fund.  This in turn send the price of land through the roof because it is divided into smaller parcels and sold for housing development and commercial shopping malls which in turn makes land around there more expensive!

I am amazed at the lack of large properties that is available to purchase!

Don't get me wrong, where my farm is located is practically the middle of no where!!  The nearest grocery store and gas station is 10 miles one way!! But unfortunately most farmers in my area keep the land in the family or auction it off into smaller parcels of land.

Most of the properties that I see listed is for only about 5 acres or less!!!

Today even with the housing market crash, I still see the price of land has not come down.  In fact, it has gone up! A lot of this I believe has to do with growing corn for fuel.

Will there be a time in the future when young farmers won't be able to afford to buy land?

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