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The rapid change in the character of land use in traditional agricultural regions of the Midwest has led to public concern in recent years. As a result, policy makers have attempted to forge novel ways to cope with problems associated with loss of farmland and the encroachment of urban/suburban sprawl. Some of the policies that have been implemented or suggested in a number of jurisdictions include purchase of development right programs, impact fees, agricultural zoning, and preferred tax treatment for agricultural land uses, among others. In this paper, we explore the forces that promote land use change in order to help public officials make informed decisions on policy implementation.


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