Iowa Public Television


Court Strikes Down Nebraska's Ban On Corporate Farms

posted on December 16, 2005

A federal judge this week rejected Nebraska's ban on corporate farming as unconstitutional.

The ban, widely known as Initiative 300, was added to the state constitution through a petition drive spearheaded by the National Farmers Union in1982. Generally, I-300 prohibits corporations and certain other business entities from owning farmland or engaging in agricultural activity, although there were numerous exceptions.

U.S. District Judge Laurie Smith-Camp said the ban violated the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution and the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning said his office plans to appeal the ruling.

The lawsuit was filed by several ranchers, who claimed the ban hindered landowners in trying to form family corporations to preserve their operations or to combine with neighbors.

Tags: agriculture courts farms Nebraska news