This site is intended to assist landowners and farmers develop farm lease arrangements that are profitable and sustainable for the landowner, the farmer, the community, and the land.

Sustaining Our Iowa Land (SOIL) Conference Follow-up: Event program, documents and evaluation available.

The Landowner’s Toolbox

There are four primary tools available on this site.  A description of each tool and access to the tools can be found in the Landowner’s Toolbox.

Recent Projects
Rights and Duties of Entity Ownership of Iowa Farm Land
This project addressed two critical issues: the challenges and opportunities presented by increased entity ownership of Iowa farmland and the increasing off-farm landowner knowledge and appreciation of the land and resilient farm practices. See full results of the Leopold Center supported research.
Climate Extremes and Farm Leases
Landowners and farmers can address climate extremes through provisions that provide transparency in farm management decision making and off-set factors that may encourage risk-taking in relation to climate extremes. See full results of the Leopold Center supported research.

Video Library

The Video Library covers topics including land tenure and stewardship policy in Iowa, leasing to new farmers, conservation easements, woodlot management, and more. The video above provides an introduction to the tools available on this website.

The Landowner’s Guide

Landowner's Guide

The Landowner's Guide to Sustainable Farm Leasing

This guide is meant to introduce 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 and notice of termination laws to allowances for on-farm marketing and ecosystem services contracts.

Determining Priorities

Determining Priorities and Exploring Possibilities

There is no single method or form lease that can be used to promote conservation while meeting the priorities of the landowner and tenant.  It is one of the goals of this project to promote creative lease contracts that take landowner and tenant needs into consideration while enabling tenant’s to conserve farm resources.  This tool is designed with the purpose of giving landowners and others quick access to information that relates to their personal needs and concerns.

Quick Reference

The Quick Reference Guide

A short introduction on how to enable sustainable practices on your leased farmland.  The guide contains examples of lease provisions to help illustrate the notions discussed.  Links to additional resources that contain more in-depth information are also included throughout the guide.



The information in this site is intended for use as educational material to assist landowners, farmers, and their advisors in understanding various laws, regulations, and lease provisions. These resources are not intended, and should not be used, as a substitute or replacement for individual legal advice. Landowners and farm operators should consult a lawyer and other relevant professionals prior to entering a lease agreement. Reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained herein; however, the content and interpretation of laws and regulations are subject to change. The effect of future legislative, administrative, and judicial developments cannot be predicted. For these reasons, the utilization of these materials by any person represents an agreement to hold harmless the author, the Agricultural Law Center, Drake University and the Law School, the Leopold Center, and Iowa State University for any liability, claims, damages, or expenses that may be incurred by any person as a result of reference to or reliance on the information contained in this site.