As part of the Iowa Farmland Ownership and Tenure Survey, the project will allow the researchers to develop sections of the survey to understand operating and non-operating landowners' current land ownership structure, tenant selection, leasing relationships and more. The information collected will be used to provide used baseline and needed resources to help entering and exiting farmers make informed decisions bout farmland ownership and control. The reports could also help shape ag policy discussions for beginning farmers and ranchers, farmland succession, and conservation.
Wendong Zhang is assistant professor and Extension economist in the Department of Economics at ISU. His area of specialization is land use, land management, land values and land ownership in the agro-ecosystem, as well as the interplay between agriculture and the environment. He is also affiliated with Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD), the leading researcher of the Iowa Land Value Survey, the Iowa Farmland Ownership and Tenure Survey, as well as the ISU Soil Management and Land Valuation Conference. He also led the development of the new, interactive Iowa Land Value Portal, which provided visualization tools on Iowa’s farmland market. Zhang also worked as a summer intern at USDA Economic Research Service with Cynthia Nickerson as the supervisor, and has established good working relationships with land economists at USDA ERS.