An urban dweller who moves to a rural area. Also: rural-politan. [Blend of rural and metropolitan.]
In days of yore, a ruralpolitan might have been called a "gentleman farmer" — think of Eddie Albert's character Oliver Wendell Douglas on the 1960s show Green Acres. But in modern parlance, a ruralpolitan is a professional who has abandoned the urban dwelling for a rural lifestyle and lives on three acres or more, typically within 40 miles of a city.
Be he — or she — a corporate lawyer, hedge-fund honcho, or other well-paid business type, a ruralpolitan might commute to work by rail or car or, if he embraces technology, telecommute from the comforts of a lavishly appointed home office. A ruralpolitan doesn't typically work the land he owns but does profit from it emotionally through the pleasures of gardening, small-scale livestock raising, or just watching his kids gambol through a field of wildflowers.
—Daniel DiClerico, "Buzzword: Ruralpolitan," Consumer Reports, December 13, 2007
But as farmland gave way to home building, a new class of "ruralpolitans" emerged, families that leave the city to settle on large parcels just outside the city.
Sacramento County is a prime example of that changing lifestyle. Between 2002 and 2004, about 5,750 acres were converted from farmland or grazing pasture into home or commercial zones, according to the state Department of Conservation. Much of that land was within a 20-minute drive from Valley Truck's Grant Line Road store in south Elk Grove.
—Jon Ortiz, "Elk Grove John Deere outlet shows its softer side," Sacramento Bee, April 14, 2008
"Hobby farming is an enormous trend,"says Blake Fohl, marketing vice president of Tractor Supply Co., a 25-state retail chain. He figures that 40 percent of the chain's customers are hobbyists, double the percentage of a decade ago. The stores, which carry tools, work clothes, and animal drugs, now offer how-to videotapes.
Purina Mills Inc., which makes animal feed, is test-marketing stores aimed at what it calls the "ruralpolitan" market.
—Scott Kilman, "Chick Chic: 'Hobby Farming' Catches On," The Wall Street Journal, August 22, 1997
Here's an earlier citation for ruralpolitan, although it's not clear that the writer is using the word in the same sense:
Anyone who grew up in the Ruralpolitan Puget Sound area has in their distant memory the adolescent ritual of driving to The Ocean and partying with many cases of Blitz, and regretting same the morning after.
—Dave Breneman, "RAAIINNEEEEEERR!!!," alt.beer, February 18, 1992
I coined the word "Ruralpolitan" during a series of customer visits with Purina Mills executives in 1997. At the time I was National Account Manager for Lester Building Systems then a division of Butler Manufacturing. The customer visits focused on the Purina dealer and how Purina Mills could market a new retail format called Americas Country Store. During a NC trip Mark Chenowith indicated PM needed a sharper description of their new format and business model which used exurban and farmer wannabe in their positioning materials and pro forma. That changed after some probing on my part to better understand the PM's value proposition. Conversation went something like this...So Mark the market you are after isn't really rural nor is it metropolitan". "No" Mark indicated . I then thought of putting the two words together and said "well, how about Ruralpolitan" Mark liked it a lot and asked if he use it. Since the coined term was a collaborative effort my company and I agreed and thus the appearance in the WSJ as cited here. Bob Gerken @comcast.net
Posted by Robert Gerken on October 15, 2012 at 7:53 AM