Agriculture Committee – Week 6, 2021


SF 356 – Iowa Agricultural Tourism Promotion Act

SF 356 creates a new code chapter, “Iowa Agricultural Tourism Promotion Act.” The bill severely limits the civil liability of a farmer/land owner/farm employee involved in agricultural tourism on a farm. The proposal makes significant changes to Iowa’s current “comparative fault” statue; requires notice to be posted; and has visitors/paying customers sign a waiver.
[2/11: 8-3, party line (Excused: Mathis, Ragan)]

SF 360 – Iowa’s Beginning Farmer Tax Credit

SF 360 expands the Beginning Farmer Tax Credit, effective January 1, 2022, by:

  • Updating definitions; removing a requirement for a non-building land lease to received tax credit.
  • Increasing from 10 to 15 years the amount of time a landowner/taxpayer can participate.
  • Striking the 10-year participation cap and tax credit certificate cap; replacing it to allow landowner/taxpayer to enter into agreements with multiple beginning farmers during any tax year.
  • Increasing tax credit cap to $50,000 per agreement.
  • Changing the period of participation to allow involvement from tax year 2019 and continuing for 15 years.
    [2/11: short form (Excused: Mathis, Ragan)]

SF 359 – IDALS department bill

SF 359 makes various changes to the operations of the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS). Many of these issues were introduced and debated last session:

  • Department organization: Updates the Code to reflect the elimination of the Marketing News Services bureau as part of a reorganization. The department will still collect and disseminate the information as it is provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
  • Identity theft:IDALS has been moving to an electronic licensing system. Thus, IDALS does not want any social security numbers online or on licenses for safety.
  • Farm to School Program and Fund: IDALS will reimburse schools for expenses for purchase of fresh farm produce if the school registers for the program. The food source must be located in within 30 miles of the school district. This bill contains no funding. For every $3 spent by schools, the fund reimburses $1. The program can be used to provide food commodities along with fresh produce. Food commodities would include eggs, dairy, processed nuts, honey and syrup, as well as meat and fish.
  • Code clean up relating to: 
    • Fertilizers and soil conditioners
    • Weights and measures
    • Fee reduction from $9 to $4.50
    • Deleting oath of weighmaster
    • Eliminating mandatory servicers licenses (test is not administered anymore)
      [2/11: short form (Excused: Mathis, Ragan)]