Neil Hamilton, director of Drake University’s Agricultural Law Center, and Ed Cox, a fellow at center, recently received a grant from the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Iowa State University. The grant — totaling more than $41,000 — will go toward their project, Sustainable Agricultural Land Tenure (SALT) Initiative II. The project builds on the initial SALT Initiative led by Hamilton and Cox from 2009-2011.
The original study analyzed legal questions relating to Iowa farmland ownership and the transfer of land to a new generation of owners, many of whom will rent or lease farmland to others. The SALT project involved researching farm lease agreements and compiling resources for landowners about how farm leases can be used to encourage soil conservation, which is promoted by Iowa law and court rulings.
SALT II will focus efforts on critical land tenure policy issues revealed through initial SALT research and discussions. The objectives are intended to address the following challenges and opportunities:
- To tailor outreach efforts to landowners with the highest potential impact on sustainability and resilience
- To enable landowners to be confident in the lease negotiation process and to be able to monitor compliance with sustainable lease provisions
- To understand how public conversation agencies understand and utilize land tenure trends and documents in pursuing and monitoring conservation programs
For more information about the initiative and resources for landowners, visit www.sustainablefarmlease.org.