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Jennifer Carrico
By  Jennifer Carrico , Senior Livestock Editor
Recent work by the Iowa Cattlemen's Association and Iowa Farm Bureau will help save producers tax money. (DTN/Progressive Farmer photo by Jennifer Carrico)

REDFIELD, Iowa (DTN) -- I've always believed in being part of the organizations who help out livestock producers such as myself. This probably started at a young age when I was involved in Iowa Junior Angus activities. Today, I have membership in a handful of different associations, but have always felt there is a need for some support back to members from the organization. That might be providing help with genetic challenges within your herd, grazing relief when there's a drought, or support tax relief to keep funds where they belong.

Just last week, the Iowa Cattlemen's Association (ICA) and its lobbyist, as well as Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, worked hard to get policy moving forward at the state level on livestock capital gains deduction for breeding livestock. Other livestock organizations were also in support of this legislation. This deduction was in place for more than two decades, according to Cora Fox, director of government relations for ICA. "Tax changes implemented in 2018 led to its elimination in tax year 2023. Without the deduction, producers would have been subject to a new tax on the sale of certain breeding livestock. At an income tax rate of 5.7%, the new tax would have been $57 for every $1,000," she told DTN. Fox said it's unclear why it was eliminated, other than it was part of a tax overhaul package passed in 2018.


Jeff Landrum, ICA membership chair and cattle producer from Leon, Iowa, is proud of the work done by Fox and the contract lobbyist, Jake Swanson. This legislation had already passed in the Iowa House in March and was sent on to the Senate. Once it passed through committee on April 18, it went to the entire Iowa Senate for approval where the legislation passed unanimously. It has been sent to Gov. Kim Reynolds for her signature, as of April 25. This happened during the last hours before the legislature adjourned at 4:30 a.m. last Saturday morning.

"We set policy which comes from the grassroots part of our producer network, and they take that policy to the State House and get those things done for us to benefit all the producers in the state of Iowa," Landrum told DTN.

The bill covers all livestock and horses and had originally been sent through the House with hopes of getting it in place before the tax deadline. Delays in the Senate didn't get that accomplished; however, once signed, it would be effective July 1, 2024 and the applicability date would be retroactive to Jan. 1, 2023.

To further explain why this was important for livestock producers, look at it in this example from Fox. Bred cows recently sold for an average of $2,525 at a livestock market. If raised on the farm, used for breeding, and sold without the deduction, the new tax would have been nearly $144. It would not be uncommon for a producer to sell 10 head at a time, which would make the tax on capital gain nearly $1,440.

"The reinstatement of the livestock capital gains deduction for breeding livestock keeps hard-earned dollars in the pockets of producers, which will ultimately be reinvested in our communities. The Iowa Cattlemen's Association appreciates the initiative of the Iowa Legislature to support producer profitability," she added.

While you may not agree with everything an organization always does, how can you argue about keeping profits in the producer's pockets?

Jennifer Carrico can be reached at

Follow her on social platform X @JennCattleGal


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