The article starts by introducing us to a landowner named Dave Butler, as follows:
"Dave Butler doesn’t have a clue how to farm, and he has never lived on a farm. But his parents and grandparents owned a large farm west of Hutchinson, and Butler and his brothers inherited 440 acres after their mother died in 2010. The brothers decided to keep the acreage in the family.
“It’s just a good investment,” said Butler, 62. “They don’t make dirt anymore, you know, and we want to keep it for the family heritage and investment income. I go out there quite a bit and check on it.”
How to make that investment income can be tricky. Butler and his brothers didn’t know what was an appropriate rental rate for the land or how to evaluate whether tenants were taking care of it properly."
According to the story, "Butler’s family is one of about 31,000 land owners renting out cropland in Minnesota to the tune of nearly $2 billion annually, according to federal estimates.