Iowa Public Television


Nebraska Unable to Enforce Corporate Farm Ban

posted on January 26, 2007

A U.S. district court judge said Nebraska cannot enforce its ban on corporate farming while the U.S. Supreme Court determines the constitutionality of the state's ban.

In December, an 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the nearly 25-year-old ban, known as Initiative 300. The appeals court said the ban violates the federal commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution and unfairly burdens out-of-state economic interests.

The case stems from a lawsuit filed by ranchers who argued the ban prevented them from setting up corporations to keep their operations within their families. They also argued it keeps them from combining resources with neighbors to control costs.

The Initiative was passed by voters in 1982 and generally prohibits corporations and certain other business entities from owning farmland or engaging in agricultural activity.

Tags: agriculture courts Nebraska news