A new livestock leasing publication, “Beef Cow Rental Arrangements for Your Farm,” has been added to the AgLease101.org website by the North Central Farm Management Extension Committee. A sample lease form is included in the publication. An accompanying spreadsheet to evaluate livestock share leasing arrangements is posted with the publication (also on AgManager.info and beefextension.com). While livestock share leases are less common than crop share leases, they may become more common in the future. Whether parties want to share risk or simply work together while taking advantage of complementary resources (cows and land) or management skills (forage and beef production), a well-designed lease agreement contributes to clear communication.
Through share lease arrangements, the livestock owner typically shares the production risks, expenses, and returns with an operator. The terms of the agreement depend on the contributions of the owner and operator as well as the motivation for the lease. It is recommended that a beef cow lease only involve the beef cows and bulls. Leasing pasture, hay land, and machinery in a separate agreement provides better flexibility to deal with changing conditions over time. The time and effort spent developing a simple, straight forward, and equitable arrangement in the beginning will be rewarded with better relations between owner and operator and a more efficient beef-cow enterprise.