Iowa is facing the greatest transfer of land and wealth in its history in the next 20 years, when SILT Board of Directors SILT Advisers *SILT Founders who attended founding retreat in Perry IA, December 2014.
nearly 60 percent of Iowa farmland, worth an estimated $150 billion, will change ownership.
Meanwhile, Iowa imports 90 percent of its food, while paving
over 25 acres of the best soil in the world per day for
development. The local food economy has increased
exponentially with young people and women
disproportionately represented among the farmers in that
At the same time, real estate moguls, Wall Street investors
and multinational corporations stand at the ready while
Iowa farmers and landowners in the 60s and 70s face
decisions that will determine the future of the state,
currently considered the home of industrial corn, soybean,
hogs and chickens. Will it belong to out-of-state investor
funds, corporate interests and disinterested landowners
waiting for the inevitable rise in land value? Or will it be
used to secure a local food system, rebuild rural economies,
improve public health and the environment and draw muchneeded
young people back to Iowa?
The Sustainable Iowa Land Trust (SILT) launched in early
2015 to help answer these questions. Its mission is to
permanently protect land to grow healthy food. It will take
land speculation out of the equation for future healthy food
farmers through sole ownership of farmland and the stringent enforcement of sustainable ag
conservation easements. It is also seeking partnerships among investors, developers and real estate
companies to build neighborhoods that will incorporate SILT-owned nature-friendly farms into
them, providing a win-win for all involved and permanently protecting more land more quickly
during this massive land transfer. It is the only land trust in the Midwest dedicated to such an
ambitious and vital mission.
Iowa is facing the greatest transfer of land and wealth in its history in the next 20 years, when
SILT Board of Directors
*SILT Founders who attended founding retreat in Perry IA, December 2014.