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Quality of life in rural Maryland: Farmers can dig it

For people who love country life – but not the way, way out variety on the Great PlainsKent County, Md., might be just the ticket. The latest issue of The Progressive Farmer magazine rates the county, which is within driving distance of Washington, Baltimore, and Philadelphia, at the top of its fourth annual "Best Places to Live in Rural America." Besides looking at the quality of schools, access to healthcare, crime rates, and affordability, the magazine staff added some new criteria to the mix this year, among them the commitment to maintaining a rural character. Kent County residents have managed to maintain a goodly number of Civil War-era farmhouses and to keep a lid on urban and suburban sprawl. The top 10 rural counties, as ranked by The Progressive Farmer:

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