Robert Hadley Jun. 9, 2016, 9:09pm


BISMARCK, N.D. (Legal Newsline) – Three farms and a nonprofit claim the state’s bans on corporate-owned farms that date back nearly a century harm businesses, rather than offering protection.

North Dakota Farm Bureau Inc., Galegher Farms Inc., Brian Gerrits and Breeze Dairy Group LLC filed a lawsuit June 2 in U.S. District Court for the Southwestern Division of the District of North Dakota against State Attorney General Wayne Stenhjem challenging the North Dakota Anti-Corporate Farming Act.

According to the complaint, the act limits the ability of North Dakota farmers to attract investors while hampering interstate commerce by prohibiting out-of-state ownership of farms. The suit also argues that the regulations make it difficult for family members to inherit farms through the exchange of shares of stock in a family-owned farms. Although the law has been amended several times since its 1932 inception, the plaintiffs claim it places an undue burden on multi-generational family farms.

The plaintiffs seek a declaration that the law is unconstitutional and an injunction banning its enforcement. They are represented by attorneys Sarah Andrews Herman and Claire Smith of Dorsey & Whitney LLP in Fargo.

U.S. District Court for the Southwestern Division of the District of North Dakota Case number 1:16-cv-00137

Organizations in this Story

North Dakota Farm Bureau
1101 1st Ave. N.
Fargo, ND 58102

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