Iowa State University Emeritus Professor Honored by Estate Planners’ Professional Organization

AMES, Iowa — Neil Harl, retired Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor in Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State University, has been honored by a national organization of estate planners.

Harl was elected to the National Association of Estate Planners and Councils Estate Planning (NAEPC) Hall of Fame® and recognized as a Distinguished Accredited Estate Planner®. The award is given in recognition of distinguished service to the field of estate planning and was presented Nov. 7 at a ceremony during the organization’s annual NAEPC Advanced Estate Planning Strategies Conference.

He is the author of 29 books related to agricultural law, and is known for writing Farm Estate and Business Planning, which was originally published in 1982 and is in its 20th edition. He has presented more than 3,400 seminars in 43 states and 17 foreign countries.

“In my 40-plus years as a faculty member, I enjoyed lecturing around the world and on campus, but my most significant contributions were in helping the countries freed from the Soviet Union’s control to master their new approach to operating farms and other businesses,” Harl said.

He was part of a seven-member group selected in 1990 to determine what the United States should be doing to help the countries of Eastern Europe transition to Western-style economic policies. He headed the resulting group, the Center for International Agricultural Finance at Iowa State, until his retirement in 2004.

The emeritus professor of economics joined the university in 1964, and earned bachelor’s and doctorate degrees in economics at Iowa State in 1955 and 1965. Harl also earned a law degree from the University of Iowa in 1961.

The National Association of Estate Planners and Councils ( was formed in 1962 to promote excellence in estate planning.