City Zip THE.COMMODORE HOTEL On Capitol Hill Owned by Texans. Run by a Texan. 520 N. Capitol St., NW Washington, D.C. 20001 ANDEasoN & COMPANY’ COFFEE TEA SPICES TWO JEFFERSON SQUARE ATJSTIN,TEXAS 78731 512 453 1533 Send me your list. Name Street Bob and Sara Roebuck Land from page 8 the land acquired by these absentee landlords can be expected to decline, both because hired farm managers tend to be less diligent than farmers operating their own enterprises and because the distant investor has less attachment to the soil and less stake in its long-term productive capability. Fourth, foreign-held operations can disrupt the local competitive balance among farmers, since the investors have bookkeeping and tax-law advantages not available to the Stan Swansons, who rely solely on farming for their living and who are not incorporated in the Netherlands Antilles. The Keese proposal Clearly, there is a phenomenon here worthy of scrutiny, and it draws attention to the larger need to know more about the changing patterns of land ownership in Texas. Dr. Ivan Schmedemann of Texas A&M’s department of agricultural economics says that as long as hyperinflation plagues the world economy, the trend toward multimillion-dollar investments in Texas farming operations will continue. Furthermore, Schmedemann predicts that “the greater impact” will come not from foreign BACKPACKING MOUNTAINEERING -RAFTING. Outback Expeditions, P.O. Box WANTED. Addresses of Texas artists and slides of artwork and hand-made , goods. Will sell in exclusive Galveston gallery to be organized. Virginia Lukefahr, 116 Pompano Street, Galveston 77550. SUPPORT CAPITAL EYE. Send donations to 1005 International Life Building, Austin 7870L TEXAS FLEA MARKETS ASSOCIATION DIRECTORY. Exclusive! $2. Box 0, Corsicana 75110. BOOK-HUNTING? No obligation search for rare or out-of-print books. Ruth and John 8, Box 173, Austin 78703 . shores, but from “wealthy investors in this country who want to diversify their portfolios.” It is not the foreign presence that is the threatening aspect of Texas’ newest land rush, but the fact of absentee ownership. Family farmers may soon see a working model of the future some have in mind for Texas agriculture. Western Land and Development Investment Corporation, a Colorado-based firm, is competing with a consortium of Japanese investors to buy a 5,000-acre tract \(nearly If WLDI wins the bidding war, it intends to divide the tract, provide irrigation, sell the developed land to a broker \(reportedly Merrill, Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & domestic and foreign investors, then provide farm management service for the absentee owners. Whether or not it is in the public interest to combat these farmland speculators, at least we ought to know what they are doing and where. Currently, however, no state agency compiles information on land ownership not the Department of Agriculture, the General Land Office, or the Comptroller’s Office. National data are not much better, although the Congress’s General Accounting Office is investigating foreign ownership of farmland in nine CHINA’S CLASSIC NOVEL,Dream of Red Mansions, epic romance tale of Ch’ing Dynasty, written in 18th century. New English translation from China. Elegant volume, richly illustrated with full-color pictures. 600 pages. $12.50. Available from Prairie Fire Bookstore, 3221 Main Street, Houston 77002. Mail orders welcome. TYPING. Can’t do it yourself? Or don’t have the time’? Professional typing at reasonable rates in Austin or by mail around the state. FREEWHEELING BICYCLES. 2404 San Gabriel, Austin. For whatever your bicycle needs. JOIN THE ACLU. Membership $20. Texas Civil Liberties Union, 600 West 7th, Austin 78701. states, including Texas, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture has a “survey of ownership” underway that is supposed to provide the first national statistics on the age, sex, nationality, race and income of landowners. The survey report is due by October of 1979. Of more immediate importanCe to Texans is a proposal by Rep. Bill Keese of Somerville to amend state law governing corporate reports so that they would include information about corporate agricultural landholdings. Keese will introduce a bill in January to require corporations engaged or proposing to engage in farming, as well as corporations owning or leasing Texas farms and ranches, to report annually to the secretary of state the size, value and location of that land. In addition, the bill requires the firms to provide a name-and-address list of their officers, board members, and any shareholder owning 10 percent or more of the total stock. Then, at least, we’d have some idea of the true ownership situation in rural Texas. The truth may not make us free, but it might make us madmaybe mad enough to do something about it. Observer staff assistant Harris Worcester is a doctoral candidate at Princeton University. Anchor National Financial Services 1524 E. Anderson Lane, Austin bonds stocks insurance mutual funds optional retirement program SOLAR AIR CONDITIONING–OFF THE JOIN LULAC. Membership $20. Texas SHELF. Send $2 for illustrated pamphlet. LULAC, P.O. Drawer 5427, Corpus Christi Absolute World Center, Box 666, Centerpoint 78405. 78010. Classified advertising is 300 per word. Dis counts for multiple insertions within a 12 BINGO A FELONY? Send S.A.S.E. Tasar, month period: 25 times, 50 percent; 12 times, Box 50667, Dallas 75250. 25 percent; 6 times, 10 percent.’ 22 AUGUST 25, 1978
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