Iowa Public Television


Corporate Farm Ban in Nebraska Dies in Court

posted on April 6, 2007

After 25 years in effect, Nebraska's ban on corporate farming has been dealt a fatal blow. The U.S. Supreme Court refused to review a lower court's 2006 decision that ruled the ban violated the U.S. Constitution's commerce clause. The clause prevents states from enacting laws that disrupt interstate commerce.

Voters in Nebraska passed the ban in 1982. The ban prohibited corporations and certain other business entities from owning farmland or engaging in agricultural activity in the state.

Opponents argued the ban, in some cases, prevented in-state farmers, such as young people trying enter farming, from partnering with non-family members to establish agricultural operations.

Supporters of the ban, including the state's Farmers Union President, said there would be a push for the new federal farm bill to include policies that help reform agriculture affected by too much corporate concentration.

A corporate farming ban in South Dakota was also shot down. In 2004, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of a decision striking down South Dakota's ban on corporate farming.

Tags: agriculture courts Nebraska news