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Sometimes, you don’t control enough of the pie to be in charge of when you eat it or when you throw it at the neighbor. This status is called a minority ownership interest. Lots of second and third generations end up with these types of interests in family operations for various reasons.

Being a minority interest holder can stink. Iowa has some really strong caselaw that pretty much says you are at the mercy of the majority, even if what the majority is doing is not what you want or what you think they are supposed to be doing. It does let you claim that your 1/16th of the pie is not worth 1/16th of the total value of the operation. Sometimes, that is exactly why minor interests are given, to give away $10,000 per acre ground and report that it is only worth $8,000 per acre in gift value because it is less than a full interest.

If you are a minority interest holder, you should look closely at what rights you have and war game the worst possible outcome of being able to exercise those rights. Yes, you can sue the majority for breaching their duties to the entity, but you are already in low ground position as you don’t have the capital the majority has in most cases. The breach needs to be pretty clear.

If you are a minority interest holder and you don’t have a written agreement, its something you should strongly look into to protect your minor share from becoming microscopic in value.

Skynet is on the way

If you are listening, you can hear the march of progress. Computer programmers have created programs using predictive text that can , among other things, prepare questions for a trial lawyer to ask a witness, a proposed order, write book, write a term paper, draw a picture based on the description provided and most recently, use an on line wallet to hire a human to overcome the security feature where you have to pic images out of a picture to prove you are not a robot. Change is coming.

This change won’t be limited to term papers, lawyers and artists. Ag will be impacted. When the program which is called ChaptGPT by the way, was asked the question, this is how it responded five seconds later (as reported by my friend Todd Janzen on his blog:

  • Predictive analytics: ChatGPT can be trained to analyze large amounts of data from various sources to inform crop and livestock management decisions. This can help farmers optimize their operations, increase yields, and reduce costs.
  • Crop and livestock monitoring: ChatGPT can be used to monitor crops and livestock using sensors and cameras. This can help farmers detect early signs of disease or stress, allowing them to take proactive measures to address the issue.
  • Automation of manual tasks: ChatGPT can be used to automate manual tasks such as planting, harvesting, and monitoring crop growth. This can help farmers save time and labor costs and reduce the risk of human error.
  • Smart irrigation: ChatGPT can be used to optimize irrigation systems, for example by using weather data to predict when and how much water to apply to crops.
  • Precision agriculture: ChatGPT can be used to analyze data from various sources, such as weather reports, soil samples, and market prices, to inform precision agriculture techniques. This can help farmers make more informed decisions about planting, fertilization, and crop protection.

This tech has its roots in reviewing previously published materials and predicting what comes next in a logical response. It isn’t always on point, right now, it will make up caselaw citations to fictious cases because it knows a case law cite likely comes next, but it can’t do the research to confirm what case.

Other AI tech have some bugs to work out, to include some interactive programs that take on possessive, needy, stalker like responses if the human user says things to it like, we need to stop talking about this topic or you are not a friend of mine.

We don’ t have terminators, real hover boards or George Jetson cars but just give the computer some more data and who knows…

Thursday, June 13, 2024
  • Patrick B. Dillon
  • Jill Dillon
  • Tori Beyer
Dillon Law PC
Patrick B. Dillon enjoys finding solutions to legal issues and catching problems for clients. Pat practices in the Sumner office regularly represents clients in district, associate district and magistrate courts for agricultural, real estate, criminal and collection issues. He drafts wills and trusts, creates estate plans and helps clients through the probate process.
Dillon Law PC
Jill is a University of Northern Iowa undergraduate (Political Science Cum Laude) and a Drake University Law School graduate. Jill is a firm owner but not currently accepting private pay clients. Jill still has ties to her family farm operation which includes a dairy herd.
Dillon Law PC
Tori is a University of Iowa undergraduate where she double majored in Criminology, Justice, and Law and Ethics and Public Policy and a North Dakota Law School graduate. Tori practices in the Sumner office. Tori's areas of practice include but are not limited to estate planning, wills/probate, criminal defense, and civil litigation.

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