G(row) R(ural) I(nvestment) & P(rofits)
Our agricultural community still struggles to recover financially after losing revenue from dairy and tobacco enterprises.
Cash grain is currently the only large-scale alternative with a chance to replace the net profit from either tobacco or dairy. Thirty more years of continuous no-till corn and soybeans will leave us with little topsoil plus ensure row-crop chemicals pollute our watersheds. Topsoil loss is permanent and removes the land’s ability to support any agricultural enterprise.
Recent dramatic swings in cattle and feed prices, along with livestock mortality, make operating a profitable grade cow-calf operation a daunting task. Animal waste, unless carefully managed, can infiltrate our groundwater. Livestock on wet sod creates soil erosion.
Declining profits from the land dictate reduced real estate property values. If real estate tax rates are constant, the land will contribute less to local tax districts. Reduced tax revenue will force tax districts to reduce services. Reducing services or ever-increasing tax rates will hurt the entire community’s desirability, resulting in a drop in real estate resale value throughout the county.
Mason County’s future depends on identifying alternative land uses that replace the income that tobacco and dairy use to provide.
While solar is not the only land use that can do this, it is available now.
On March 2, 2022 Mason County PVA Troy Craycraft testified, under oath, that current land taxed as Ag is valued at $300 and that land leased to solar at $650/acre/year would be valued at $9,286. Six thousand acres of solar in Mason County for 30 years will pay this much additional real estate property taxes to local tax districts.
For a bright future, Mason County must Grow Rural Investment & Profits. We must act to change our future. Denial is NOT a strategy