Rebuild the Economic Stability of Rural Towns

Rebuild the Economic Stability of Rural Towns

Rural towns in Wisconsin struggle when a diverse farm population with many family farms transitions into a low diversity landscape with only a few large operations. There simply aren’t as many people around, so mainstreet businesses and essential services like health clinics vanish. Treating farming like an extractive industry that moves money and products out of rural spaces is pushing us toward irreversible changes in the rural landscape that have already taken place in states like Illinois and Iowa.

Many of the changes above would help slow this change down by giving more farmers the opportunity to live and work on their land, build a business that supplies local retailers, and allows them to resist consolidation pressure. Along with this, the big increase in remote work is facilitating the movement of a non-farming population into rural areas. This could be a good thing…if infrastructure can be built to help two very different populations form a single community.