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Judge's 'Buy the Farm' ruling puts utility on hook

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - A small Minnesota organic dairy has prevailed in its legal effort to force a buyout by a utility building high-voltage power lines along the property.

The case involving the Cedar Summit Farm near New Prague was seen as an early test of Minnesota's revised "Buy the Farm'' law. The ruling by Scott County Judge Caroline Lennon applies only to that farm, but other landowners in the route of the CapX2020 line from South Dakota through Minnesota have been watching closely.

David and Florence Minar elected to force a purchase of their legacy farm rather than operate under the new power lines. Lennon ruled they were within their rights to do so and now the utility is on the hook, perhaps for $1.4 million or more. An appeal is possible.

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