Beginning farmers have the opportunity to manage DNR land through the DNR’s Agriculture Lease Program in 2020, in part to legislation passed in 2013.
The list of 2020 leases can be found here: https://www.iowadnr.gov/
To participate in the Beginning Farmer program, the producer must be a permanent resident of Iowa, have appropriate skills and have a net worth of less than $680,590. The participant must also be certified as a beginning farmer by the Iowa Finance Authority. Applications are available at http://www.
Beginning farmers are encouraged to examine the lease details carefully as most DNR leases also include requirements such as planting food plots or restricting forage cutting dates that are not typical of standard agricultural lease agreements. All DNR leased land is managed for wildlife habitat. Land quality varies from moderate to good, but most have some farming challenges, such as limited access, the potential to flood or small fields.