More 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
Southern Iowa and Northern Missouri contain some of the most prized whitetail deer hunting ground in the country. Whether you’re letting a neighbor, farm tenant, or a non-resident use your land for hunting, a written lease is crucial for protecting your rights on the property, ensuring quality deer management, and protecting yourself from liability and lawsuits.
This article discusses some of the basic provisions of a hunting lease as well as more in-depth issues that should be addressed by a lease with quality deer management as a priority. This article may not cover all of the needs of your particular situation and should not be construed as legal advice. You should speak with an attorney to ensure a hunting lease that addresses your specific priorities and protects you and the land. Continue reading
I recently had the opportunity to give a presentation on the legal issues involved in mentoring new farmers or using “internships” on your farm. Such arrangements have become particularly prevalent for small retail farms – those selling vegetables, meat, or value added goods directly to consumers through farmers markets, food coops, or community supported agriculture (CSA).
The below powerpoint was developed for the Women, Food & Agriculture Network’s “Harvesting Our Potential” mentor training. Continue reading
Landowner liability for on-farm visitors and Iowa’s recreational use statute received a great deal of attention in 2013. In the Sallee v. Stewart opinion the Iowa Supreme Court addressed several distinct issues in Iowa’s recreational use statute, which limited the reach of the protections offered by the statute. This raised significant concerns from landowners, insurers, and others. The Iowa Legislature quickly reformed the statute, attempting to expand protection and clarify what activities are included as “recreational.” (Iowa Code Section 461C (2014)).
The discussion below is intended to provide some guidance on the current state of Iowa’s Recreational Use Statute – discussing issues that have been clarified by the recent ruling and corresponding legislation as well as raising issues that remain ambiguous. Continue reading