Landowner and Farmer Resources

Legal Guides

The Iowa Landowner’s Legal Guide
This guide answers questions related to owning and operating farmland.  Topics include basic matters of fence law and drainage and more fundamental questions about the different ways interests in owning land can be divided, such as tenancy in common land leases. The guide is especially designed for new landowners.

How to Improve Water Quality on Iowa Farms
This guide is designed to help farmers and landowners use public programs to improve water quality and promote soil health on their farmland. It identifies key practices funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS), Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and the Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD).

The Legal Guide for Direct Farm Marketing
The updated the Legal Guide addresses different forms of direct marketing as well as business organization, contracts, labeling, insurance and liability, food safety, licensing, inspections, and more.

The Landowner’s Guide to Sustainable Farm Leasing
This guide introduces landowners to the principle issues regarding the use of a lease agreement to promote a sustainable farm operation.  The guide covers a variety of topics ranging from the importance of a written lease agreement, notice of termination laws, allowances for on-farm marketing, and ecosystem services contracts.

Contracting in Agriculture: Making the Right Decision
This guide is designed to help understand production contracts and to identify the questions to consider as you decide whether contracting is right for you. At the end of the guide, sources of information about contracting, including the USDA, may help you decide whether contracting makes sense for you and your business.

Video Library

Drake Agricultural Law Center on Vimeo 


Watershed Citizenship
Professor Neil D. Hamilton, March 12, 2019

High Hopes Meet Hard Truths: Facing the Reality of Iowa’s Water Quality
Professor Neil D. Hamilton, Sept. 21, 2017


Drake Journal of Agricultural Law

Manure Agreement Decision Making Tool 

Soil and Water Conservation Checklist for Landowners and Farmers

Government Resources Guide for Farmer Veterans

Farm to Food Donation Tax Credit: Information and  Detailed Guide

Annotated Site Map of USDA Resources on Climate Change

External Resources