The Importance of Agricultural Law to the Land Grant Mission

Roger A. McEowen, Associate Professor of Agricultural Law, Agricultural Education and Studies       


Agricultural Law Extension Programming


Illustrate the key role that agricultural law plays in Extension


Farm Tax Schools; Practitioner seminars; Service to the Bar; Drafting Federal and State legislation; providing testimony on pending legislation for legislative bodies; lay-level seminars for farmers and agribusinesses


The Farm Income Tax Schools annually reach over 1,400 practitioners in the state of Iowa and the vast majority of farm tax returns are prepared by attendees of the schools. The schools have a profound impact on the proper preparation of tax returns and the interaction of tax practitioners in Iowa with the Iowa Department of Revenue and the Internal Revenue Service. Indeed, it is not uncommon for Internal Revenue Agents to request assistance in handling a return under audit along with the practitioner representing the client whose return is being audited. The Tax Schools are the largest extension program on campus with the biggest impact on the agricultural sector. It is not possible to adequately convey the importance of the program to attendees.

The agricultural law program also works closely with the State Bar Association and the American Bar Association, as well as numerous law schools, in providing professional continuing education seminars to lawyers throughout the state and country. Other professional seminars are conducted coast-to-coast in any given year. The total attendance at all seminars (including tax schools) in any given year varies from about 5,000-7,500. It would not be possible to attract those kinds of numbers unless the seminars were viewed as valuable.

Frequent requests are made by state and federal elected officials for commentary on existing and proposed legislation impacting agriculture, further illustrating the importance of the position and subject matter to the public.

Frequent radio interviews (approximately 80-100 annually) and print media interviews (approximately 50 annually) illustrate the relevance of the subject matter addressed by agricultural law. That commentary is widely distributed to the lay public nationwide.

We have entered the era of agricultural law. The importance of agricultural law to the land grant mission is unmistakably obvious.



Page last updated: July 8, 2006
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