Iowa Landowner’s Legal Guide in Practice

My husband Pat and I bought a farm in 2005.  In the first 5 years of owning our farm, we had more questions than we had answers.  I grew up on a farm.  Pat had spent his whole life in and around Des Moines.  Together we had to navigate the challenges and opportunities of developing our farm while leveraging all the resources we could find.

I drew on my childhood experience and called my parents who had farmed for more than three decades.  We reached out to professionals, such as our attorney, our banker, and our ag service providers.  Pat offered important insights because he wasn’t locked into ways of thinking about the farm that might have been part of my family’s traditions but not necessarily limited by Iowa ag law.  We also tapped into my network of fellow food and agriculture professionals.

Not everyone who owns or is planning to own farmland is as fortunate as I have been to work with agriculture lawyers, extension educators, and elected officials.  But, many of the questions we’ve dealt with are answered in the Agricultural Law Center’s new resource The Iowa Landowner’s Legal Guide.

The guide covers many of the issues that challenged us whether we were dealing with fences, working with other farmers to put crops on our farm, or building ponds and waterways.

Owning a farm is an incredibly rewarding experience.  Those rewards can be financial, but they also include the feeling of achievement when you solve a problem creatively and learn first-hand about how we live together with others in our communities.

The Agricultural Law Center is creating this resource to help landowners maximize the rewards of owning farmland and to minimize the challenges, especially as those things relate to Iowa law.  We encourage you to use the book chapters, videos, and accompanying directional documents to help you maximize all of your returns from your piece of Iowa farmland.