Agricultural Law for Iowa and Missouri

Iowa

Hunting In IowaFor the second year, a bill was introduced that would add an amendment to the Iowa Constitution declaring that Iowans have a right to hunt, fish, trap, and harvest wildlife.  The amendment’s supporters cite the need for the amendment stemming from efforts of animal rights groups to limit hunting and trapping.  The amendment could also provide protections for hunting rights that may be in competition development and increased use of public land by other recreational groups, such as hikers and off-road vehicle enthusiasts. Critics assert such amendments clutter constitutions and are unnecessary to protect individual rights. Continue reading

The Iowa Agricultural Development Division of Iowa Finance Authority is holding eight workshops around the state to educate beginning farmers and military veterans interested in farming about state and federal programs that can help them start or grow their farm business.

The events are being organized in conjunction with the non-profit, Veterans In Agriculture, and others. VIA assists military veterans to succeed in Iowa agriculture.  You can learn more about this organization at www.VeteransInAgriculture.org.

A flyer with more information on the workshops is available here.

A fence line shows a boundary in Iowa.

Fence lines can establish legal boundaries even when a survey reveals its in the wrong place.

Boundary disputes are not uncommon. They often occur when someone purchases land and then learns that a fence or other boundary marker is not quite where it should be according to the survey. These disputes are often settled through a legal doctrine referred to as boundary by acquiescence. The Iowa Court of Appeals recently addressed this doctrine in Nafziger vs. Pender and Smith.

The Nafzigers purchased land, conducted a survey, and found that the boundary is actually about 30 feet north of where the current fence is that divides their land from that of the Smith’s. The Nafziger’s felt the survey should be followed and the fence removed and relocated north. Continue reading

The Drake University Agricultural Law Center is providing an opportunity for individuals and organizations interested in Iowa’s soil and water conservation policy to take part in a two-day conference to be held in Des Moines on November 19th and 20th.

The Center, with support from the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, will host a state-wide conference on soil and water conservation policy. The conference will facilitate discussion of the role of law and policy in conservation efforts and will involve diverse stakeholders who are all working to protect Iowa’s soil and water resources.

Sustaining Our Iowa Land
The Past, Present and Future of Iowa’s Soil and Water Conservation Policy
Nov. 19-20, 2015
Olmsted Center, Drake University Continue reading

Hay Loft SalleeMore than two years ago Sallee v. Stewart made headlines when the Iowa Supreme Court ruled the state’s “recreational use statute” did not apply to a chaperone who was injured while supervising children playing in a barn. Recreational use statutes provide protection against negligence claims for landowners who open their land to the public. The case received a great deal of attention from farmers, insurance providers, educators, and the Iowa legislature.  Within a few months of the Supreme Court opinion, legislators attempted to broaden Iowa’s recreational use statute and specifically included protection for landowners hosting educational activities. Continue reading

The federal government has in recent years demonstrated an increased propensity for bringing criminal charges against farmers and food producers who violate food safety regulations. Cantelope farmers in Colorado received probation after introducing adulterated fruit and most recently, Quality Egg LLC, the company owner, and a top executive were sentenced in federal court in Sioux City, Iowa. The owner of Quality Egg LLC, Jack DeCoster, and his son, Peter DeCoster of Clarion, Iowa, were each sentenced to serve three months and fined $100,000.  The company was fined $6.79 million and placed on probation for three years. Continue reading

Putting aside the many political controversies surrounding gun rights and the right to carry firearms, there are many practical as well as recreational purposes for having firearms on a farm.

There are, however, a number of ways a person may lose their right to possess firearms, as well as ammunition, regardless of the type of gun or the purpose for which it is used. These reasons may include felony convictions, the placement of a restraining or no contact order, and, in some cases, a history of substance abuse.

Below are steps that may be of assistance in restoring rights to possess firearms. This can be a complicated and long process. The information provided here is for informational purposes only and not a replacement for consultation with a licensed attorney. Continue reading