When the Iowa Legislature reconvenes in January the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation plans to press for a law that would require real estate agents to inform anyone buying land in rural areas about "normal on-going agricultural activities."

The resolution passed is all about fostering good neighbor relations from the start, explains Aaron Putze, IFBF's public relations director. The idea grew from one western Iowa county where local realtors approached area producers and asked if they could provide information to use in educating urban people planning to buy land in rural areas about modern production agriculture.

Information such as the hum of grain fans running at night, large machinery on roads, and occasional dust and odors are just a few of the realities that realtors now point out to perspective buyers. So far about 20 counties have active programs where local farmers have provided related information and local realtors share it with potential buyers.  

That idea spread to the state level when Dave Rosenthal of Cerro Gordo County, Iowa, introduced the resolution at IFBF delegates at the annual meeting, and it passed.

Many people are removed from agriculture and don't understand how modern production works. Farmers want to make sure that people are informed about agricultural life and the work that farmers do, says Putze. The best way to eliminate surprises and facilitate good neighbor relations is to share information up front.

Some realtors, however, don't like the idea of having to make another disclosure to a land buyer.