Dr. Daryl Jones, of the National Resources Enterprises Program at Mississippi State University, told attendees at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Annual Meeting that by maximizing the recreational value of their land, farmers and ranchers could reap an additional 20-thousand dollars per year without sowing a single seed. His statement is based on a recent study in Mississippi that showed recreational potential increased land value by 654-dollars per acre, or 52 percent. That’s on top of the agricultural and timber value of the land.
Allowing the public onto private land to hunt, fish, bird watch and ride horses can be a boon for the environment too, since farmers and ranchers are providing a home to a thriving wildlife population. Jones also pointed out that the state gets a bump by the landowners’ increased incomes and from all the recreational tourists, including international guests, who are drawn to the region.