Need Wisconsin info : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Considering moving from Montana to Wisconsin. Looking for help to narrow search. Requirements are: Within commuting distance of a city with 4-year University. Affordable small farms available. Spent youth on dairy farm near Richland Center and have relatives in Minocqua, so I'm familiar with these areas. Our family goals are: hobby farming while still working day-job and wife wants to finish education degree. Pretty typical. Thanks in advance for any help.

-- Bob Heiser (, February 03, 2000


stay in montana, there is nothing in wisc but cheese.

-- BROOM MAKER (, February 03, 2000.

Hi Bob ~ Mostly, I can tell you a couple of places NOT to look. I am originally from the Minocqua area, and my family still lives there. As you know, this is the gorgeous northwoods vacation land. But, it is becoming very built up and prices for land are high. Plus there aren't any 4-year Universities nearby! Yet.

I live in Madison, which is a great, beautiful city, as cities go. It has an excellent 4-year University. But, again, land is quite expensive, as it is a very desirable place to live (remember Money magazine named it #1 a few years back?). All the farms are disappearing, as subdivision after subdivision springs up. It's very sad.

One area that comes to mind is Stevens Point. The university there is 4-year, a part of the Univ.of Wisconsin system. I think the land there is more reasonable. It is an agricultural area. One problem might be the water. I have _heard_ that there is a lot of nitrite/nitrate (?) contamination due to runoff of fertilizers. I stayed in a motel in Plover just south of Stevens Point, and they had a sign posted in the room telling the level in the water and indicating that infants and the elderly should not be drinking it! So if you consider that area, you would have to be careful about getting the water tested before purchase.

Here is the URL to view the University of Wisconsin campuses: lege_and_University/Public/University_of_Wisconsin/Campuses/

I don't know if that will make a "clickable" URL or not, never tried that before on here.

Hope this helps you narrow your search a bit.

-- J.E.Froelich (, February 03, 2000.

Hi Bob-Don't have info about WI but a question instead (if you do not mind me asking): Why are you seeking to leave MT?

-- Marci (, February 04, 2000.

We are lifeling Wisconsin residents, and currently live in the western part of the state, an hour and a half east of Minneapolis-St. Paul. I had grandparents living near Minocqua, which is a great vacation area, but land is too expensive for real people to live there, soil not good for farming, and growing season a little short. Richland Center is nice, almost moved there ourselves a while back, but jobs are scarce in that part of the state. Where we are now is probably within commuting distance of 3 state 4 year universities (UW-EauClaire, UW-Stout, and UW-River Falls) as it is less than an hour to them. Myself, I think 15 minutes in a car is too long. We have good soil, nice neighbors, decent growing season, and try to discourage people from moving into the area. Be glad to talk to you off the list, too.

-- Jim (, February 04, 2000.

Every year there is a survey done on land prices and that should be available to you through the extension service. Here is the url for Wisconsin and here is the url for the federal level . Hope this helps. I love Wisconsin too, but the taxes were too high, so we chose Iowa.

-- beckie (, February 04, 2000.

Hi Bob,

I'm an ex prof from UW Madison. We bought our small farm about 30 minutes from Madison - 6 acres barn great view for 120,000 about 4 years ago for 120,000 and sold last year for 155,000. We sold ourselves word of mouth. Places like that are darn hard to find near Madison!!! I personally would look for one of the other schools. Email me privately if you want my opinion of UW Madison!!

We too found taxes to be too high and wanted a different lifestyle. I gave up my career and we bought 25 acres for less than 50,000 in the Ozarks. Not everyone's dream but we are really happy. Good luck with your search. WI has good points and bad points, but then every place does!

Cheers - Kim

-- kim (, February 06, 2000.

The Mrs and I have spent the last 2 years searching for the perfect place within about an hour of Green Bay (UWGB is there) and have just purchased a new place. There are presently a lot of good opportunies in southern Oconto Co just North of Green Bay (1/2 hour or so). Smaller family farms there are having a hard time making a go of things and are selling. For a couple years developers have been pushing hard in that area to try and get in, locals dont want any development and are holding out to sell to someone who wants a small farm and wont develop. Good deals to be had, a number of farmers were very willing to work with me and come down in price if I would buy once they found out that I am a homesteader. I opted for a different area...

Oconto is (a warm) USDA zone 4. North east of Green Bay is (a cool) USDA zone 5.

Go to and take a look at home prices in southern Door and northern Kewaunee County. Take a look at the area (roughly triangular) from Algoma over to Dykesville up to Brussels and back down to Algoma. There are a large number of old farms very cheap. Anywhere in this area puts you 1/2 hour from dowtown Green Bay or less. Farmhouse, barn, silo and multiple outbuildings with 20-40acres runs from $100,000-$150,000 +a little elbow grease. Needless to say, the less grease you have left in your elbows the more it will cost. You wont find many listings for these places online. The local real estate agents dont like to share "their places" with other agents and only the ones in bigger towns have "new fangled" things like email. If you want to know more, let me know...

-- William in WI (, February 06, 2000.

We lived in Bozeman for more than two years and we still think of Montana with yearning. However, our reasons for leaving were: land was too expensive (and this was 14 years ago),quality of land was too poor, there was a terrible fight over hunting rights, and an even worse one over water rights. We just couldn't see paying a high price for so many problems although there is no place more beautiful or exciting to live in my opinion. By the way, we hiked all over in Montana and never saw a bear up close. We had to come home to northern Wisconsin to see them, and they are everywhere.I wish the bear-lovers in the southern cities of our state had to put up with their destruction instead of us. People in northwest Wisconsin are also very guarded about "foreigners", and that means people who weren't born here more than it means people who were born in other countries. But I've traveled some and that seems to be the way of the world. You just have to prove that you won't be a threat to anyone and you're o.k. Land prices here are very reasonable compared to other places but jobs can be scarce. The two seem to go together. Prices have gone up a lot since we moved back , but for the $100,000 that others are talking about you could almost buy a mansion here. I agree with others who tell you to look at the smaller Universities of Wisconsin. I went to River Falls and really liked it. Small, and great profs, but it depends on what you want to study. Land there is quite high too. Hope this helps a little. Good luck. P.S. Pick a place you think you'd really like and subscribe to the local newspaper for awhile. You learn a lot about the area that way.

-- Peg Johnson (, February 08, 2000.

hi- I spent a year in Wisconsin 10 years ago and I liked the La Crosse area. It had a college, shopping, the Mississippi River, a good health food store and was surrounded by pretty farm areas. Real estate prices seemed OK but taxes were high.

-- susan hughey (, April 13, 2000.

Hi! You've probably gotten all the answers you need and want but I thought I'd throw in my 2cents worth anyway!! I've been a Wisconsinite all my life and love it. The places I'd recommend are Eau Claire and Menomonie areas. Both have good colleges and are fairly small cities with smaller towns surrounding them. I live in Elk Mound now which is about 15 minutes from each city. Population here is a little over 700. Schools are excellent if you have a family. Plus land is available, taxes can be high but if you look around you can find something reasonable. Also we are only 1 1/2 hours away from Minneapolis/St. Paul area> Good luck with your search, if you find a place let me know (if you have time!) Barb

-- Barb (WILDETMR@YAHOO.COM), August 03, 2000.

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