Corporate owned farms tend to be large-scale operations that produce food for consumers who are widely dispersed geographically. They are also operations whose profits are more likely to end up in corporate headquarters than back in the local economy. And when corporate farming expands, those who farm the land become tenants rather than independent producers.
To counter corporate ownership, nine states have placed some sort of restrictions on corporate-owned farms. Only two, however–Nebraska and South Dakota–have anti-corporate farming restrictions written into their constitutions. The other seven–Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Oklahoma, North Dakota and Wisconsin–have statutes restricting corporate involvement in agriculture, though most include loopholes that dilute the impact of the ban. Kansas, however, does allow counties to vote on whether to oppose corporate farming, and over 20 have done so. The following section lists these laws that ban or limit corporate ownership of agricultural production.
- Anti-Corporate Farming Laws in the Heartland – the Law, History, and Facts on the Anti-Corporate Farming Laws in Oklahoma, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Minnesota Kansas, Missouri, and Iowa, by Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, 1997
- Corporate Agribusiness Research Project
- Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund
- Western Organization of Resource Councils (WORC)