Agriculture Law

Services Provided

Business Succession Planning

The hardest decision in any farm or small business is often how to balance the needs of the business with the interest in being fair to all of the owners' children and family members. We strive to blend technical expertise with common sense, real world experience in helping families. Our goal is that the farm continues to succeed for future generations and that issues of inheritance enrich family relationships rather than cause divisions and hard feelings. 

Estate Tax Planning and Revocable Trusts

We work with farmers and business owners in the agriculture industry to minimize estate taxation and to maximize the value passing to family members and other beneficiaries. Many special tools exist for farm families, including special use valuation under 2032A, valuation discounts for farming entities such as LLCs,  Corporations and installment payment of estate taxes under Section 6166. We understand these sections and can help you build plans to minimize taxes upon death. Consideration is also given to minimizing probate costs, maximizing privacy, shielding assets from creditors and predators and ensuring farm and business assets stay in the family.

Real Estate Transactions, Farm Leases and
Tax-Free Exchanges

We regularly assist farmers and land owners with acquisitions, sales, tax-free exchanges and other transactions involving real estate. We also assist farmers and land owners with farm leases, including modified crop share leases. Rather than a straight cash rent lease, it is sometimes optimal to include a base cash rent with bonus payments keyed to yield and price metrics. We can assist with such provisions along with others aimed at ensuring good land stewardship practices and sharing of data with landlords.

Partnering with Other Law Firms

Our attorneys work closely with smaller law firms and county seat attorneys and accountants around the state by collaborating as co or special counsel as they seek to provide their farm and agriculture clients with the best possible legal services. As a firm, we work to protect and enhance the local attorneys’ and accountants’ relationship with these clients by providing a broad range of expertise.

Serving the Agriculture Industry

Along with understanding the business needs of our agriculture clients, we have served as attorney and counselor on a variety of other matters they have encountered, including:

  • Manure rights
  • Wind farm leases
  • Income tax and depreciation
  • USDA programs
  • Labor and employment, workers' compensation and immigration issues
  • Nuisance laws
  • Real estate income tax
  • Government programs and conservation easements
  • Ownership and management dispute resolution
  • Agriculture construction representation and business counseling
  • Trade and FDA regulations
  • Copyright and trademark issues
  • Choice of entity (corporations, LLCs, partnerships, coops)
  • Ag liens, UCC filings, Bankruptcy and creditors' rights
  • Agricultural related contracts
  • Commercial litigation
  • Family and divorce law and premarital agreements

The agriculture attorneys at Simmons Perrine Moyer Bergman PLC combine personal service with broad specialization in the various areas of legal expertise that our farm and agriculture clients need.  We collaborate with other practice areas to be sure our clients unique needs are taken care of.

Other areas of practice include:

If you have questions regarding our agriculture law practice, please email or call us in Cedar Rapids at (319) 366-7641 or in Coralville at (319) 354-1019.