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Old 02-14-2010, 09:11 PM
 
1,662 posts, read 2,740,938 times
Reputation: 510
Quote:
Originally Posted by GraniteStater View Post
Many of my relatives still live in Russell and Osborne counties where they operate the family ranch. I always enjoy visiting that area because it still has that frontier spirit that is non-existant in most areas of the lower 48
I bet your family in Russell knows mine I like visiting that area as well. I couldn't live there anymore though.
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Old 03-11-2010, 10:23 PM
 
Location: Hays, Kansas
113 posts, read 223,905 times
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I used to have family in Rozel but their descendants all moved to Kinsley, Larned, Goodland, Dighton, or Garden City in the end. We actually have a hymnal from a church in Rozel that belonged to some long dead ancestor.
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Old 03-15-2010, 11:35 AM
 
Location: southwest Nebraska and northwest Kansas
2,133 posts, read 2,865,334 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michigan83 View Post
Sorry to bump this old thread but I thought this was a really interesting topic!

I recently visited the Larned/Rozel/Burdett area in KS to visit relatives, and I was amazed at the differences betweed rural Michigan (where I live) and rural KS. Like the other posts mentioned, those smaller towns seem to be turning into ghost towns. Larned seemed to be doing OK, but Rozel and Burdett seemed almost completely devoid of life! Other than the grain elevator and post office, everything was vacant/abandoned. Some of the houses in town were occupied, but I had to wonder how many were empty. I also had a chance to ride around on the dirt roads (my cousin lived 15 miles outside town) and of the very few houses that were spread out amongst the open fields, a lot of them looked empty as well. My cousin mentioned that nearly everyone leaves town after graduating high school and never comes back.

This was all somewhat of a surprise to me, because I grew up in a town of only 350 in an agricultural area of Michigan. Without knowing any better, I thought I would feel right at home in a farming community in Kansas. It was a completely different animal, though. I think the biggest difference is that you could live in my town (or most small towns here) and commute to a larger city for work. I can see now that the ability to commute brings a lot of population and wealth that wouldn't otherwise be anywhere near a small town. In SW Kansas, it was pretty obvious that it was either work in agriculture or leave. And with advances in farming, those ag jobs are probably growing more scarce.

Anyway, just thought I would share my observations. Not trying to knock on those places, either. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in rural Kansas! It would be difficult to live there permanently, though.

Working in agriculture, and living on a ranch outside a small town, I think this is a spot-on assessment.
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Old 03-17-2010, 05:58 PM
 
805 posts, read 1,202,784 times
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But why would living in a rural area be an impediment to starting an internet company that sold products you made or simply resold products you bought? No one has to come to your town to buy anything; all they have to see is your website.

For a Mom & Pop internet operation, I don't think you could find lower overhead.
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Old 03-17-2010, 08:06 PM
 
Location: Madison, WI Metro Area
15,208 posts, read 20,774,739 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cp1969 View Post
But why would living in a rural area be an impediment to starting an internet company that sold products you made or simply resold products you bought? No one has to come to your town to buy anything; all they have to see is your website.

For a Mom & Pop internet operation, I don't think you could find lower overhead.
In theory it is a good idea. However, the vast majority of people living in the US like having the basic amenities nearby or within a relatively short drive. Yes, one can order lots of things on the internet with delivery to the residence. Good medical care is a must. This is of particular concern in the elderly rural areas that have more limited access to good care. Many must move to a regional center like Hays or Great Bend for that reason. Having a social network with other individuals that are in the same age bracket is important as well. Until you see firsthand how a long-term continual consolidation affects a very large geographical area you might not realize the implications that has on everyone. If small towns in Kansas were desirable they would have a slightly gaining or declining population. However, most decline on the order of 10-20% every 10 years. Those who live in eastern Kansas really don't have the knowledge about what is really going on in these frontier counties. I know Russell and Osborne counties like the back of my hand just like my relatives who live there.
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Old 03-20-2010, 09:55 AM
 
Location: southwest Nebraska and northwest Kansas
2,133 posts, read 2,865,334 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cp1969 View Post
But why would living in a rural area be an impediment to starting an internet company that sold products you made or simply resold products you bought? No one has to come to your town to buy anything; all they have to see is your website.

For a Mom & Pop internet operation, I don't think you could find lower overhead.
You're right.
Personally, I run an online quilt shop and have a global market.
(But, that also brings the drawbacks of self-employment number one being NO EMPLOYER-SPONSORED HEALTH INSURANCE)

And, we still need to have basic services.

For example, we're currently homeschooling, but if my kids go back to school next year, they'll be on the bus at 6:30AM and off at 4:30 PM because of the distance from school, and the size of the bus route. That's a 10 hour day for an 8 year old and a 10 year old.

Our nearest hospital (26 beds) is 30 miles away.
Not bad actually as we've been as far as 70 miles from the nearest hospital (which, when I had a lodged kidney stone, might have been 300 for as miserable as that drive was! lol)

Then there's shopping... Our nearest mall, for example, is 150 miles away and it's a pretty small shopping mall.


And so on and so forth.
My husband is a cowboy, consequently, this part of the world is where he finds employment. And for us, the trade-offs are worth it. But for many people, it's not.

~Erin
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Old 01-23-2011, 06:15 PM
 
Location: Connecticut
271 posts, read 234,353 times
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There may be some hope for rural towns on the horizon. As more and more of the baby boomer population reaches retirement they are finding they can't afford living in the city on a pension or SS. I'm retired USAF and I'm one of those who are starting to realize there are some things more important than mega malls and having other people provide me with things to do. As long as I live someplace with enough land for a good size garden and a few small livestock, I'm happy. Most of the places I've been looking at in small towns I could pay cash even if I do have to take a major price cut for my city house.

When I was younger, I loved working with youth services, Red Cross and similar groups. Now when I try to find volunteer work to give me a reason to get out of the house, all the local groups around here want is money. Last month I went to the local school board to offer to start a 4-H program specifically geared to inner city children. They refused because they felt there would be too many liability problems and it wouldn't fit in with their established curriculum. No wonder there is such a high dropout rate in the inner cities. The bureaucrats are sucking the life out of the schools!
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Old 11-03-2011, 10:24 AM
 
65 posts, read 63,910 times
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RickD, frankly, most inner city schools could care less about agriculture- they think a cow comes shrink-wrapped in a Mc'D's wrapper! LOL

What boggles my mind on this site, is that it has been over twenty years or more since I drove through Kansas. Now, the possibility of a job presents itself on the 'fruited plains' ...but what is with every single little burg (let alone the big cities) having HISPANIC presence? I mean, it's not Texas, or New Mexico, and I know that the Obamanation has encouraged 'diversity' (oh, that word!) but Kansas? Munchkins yes. Mexicans? I left Californication for that..... two decades ago....
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Old 11-03-2011, 10:46 AM
 
Location: southwest Nebraska and northwest Kansas
2,133 posts, read 2,865,334 times
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A hundred years ago, the Scandinavians and the Germans were the primary immigrants. Today it's the Mexicans and Somalis (at least out here on the Plains).
We are a nation of immigrants.

People come here for jobs and better opportunities for themselves and their children. Same reasons as ever, I guess.



BTW, we've had an influx of Mexican immigrants in production agriculture (farm labor, feedlots, etc) for a good 15-20 years. It has nothing whatsoever to do with Obama. For that matter, some areas have had "Mexicans" for several generations. Scottsbluff, NE area comes immediately to mind...
If you never noticed them before, it's just because you weren't paying attention.

Last edited by itsMeFred; 11-03-2011 at 10:55 AM..
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Old 11-03-2011, 12:31 PM
 
Location: oklahoma
69 posts, read 75,547 times
Reputation: 74
The feedlots and slaughter houses are one of the main things that bring "Mexicans" to Kansas. No one else will work those jobs either...at least not for very long.
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