Sustainable Agricultural Land Tenure Initiative Updated:02/2015

The Sustainable Agricultural Land Tenure Initiative is a joint project conducted by Drake University’s Agricultural Law Center and the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University. The work of the Initiative includes analysis of existing data and information on land ownership patterns, farm lease agreements, and local and state policies that impact agricultural sustainability and stewardship in order to provide learning opportunities for farmers, landowners, attorneys, educators, and public officials. This site is designed to promote access to the information collected and produced by the Initiative.

The work of the initiative and, therefore, the information included in this site focuses primarily on the relationship between sustainable agriculture and land tenure in the United States, with a focus on the tenancy landscape and correlating laws, publications, and organizations in the State of Iowa. Much of the information is relevant to other states and select laws and information relating to other states are also examined.

While this initiative focuses on sustainable agricultural land tenure in the U.S., it should be recognized the issue of land tenure and sustainability is of international concern. Resources relating to the regional and international aspects of land tenure and sustainability can be found at the Nelson Institute’s Land Tenure Center.

Project Support

    • The Center is internationally recognized for providing opportunities to study how the legal system shapes our food system and influences the ability of the agricultural sector to produce, market and utilize agricultural products.
    • Part of Iowa State University, the Center explores and cultivates alternatives that secure healthier people and landscapes in Iowa and the nation.

Center Staff

  • Neil Hamilton, Director of the Drake Agricultural Law Center, Dwight D. Opperman Chair of Law and Professor of Law
  • Matt Russell, State Food Policy Project Coordinator, Drake Agricultural Law Center
  • Ed Cox, Drake Agricultural Law Center Fellow

Contact Sustainable Agricultural Land Tenure Initiative


Contact Sustainable Agricultural Land Tenure Initiative

Neil Hamilton
Professor of Law/Dwight D. Opperman Chair of Law/Director of Ag Law Center
Cartwright Hall
2621 Carpenter Avenue
Des Moines, IA  50311
Phone: 515-271-2205

Service Area

National service provider