Zinpro® Corporation Joins with Southern University Law Center in Support of Heirs’ Property Initiative

Initiative helps preserve heirs’ property through legal services and support for underserved agricultural landowners. 

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. – July 27, 2022 – Zinpro Corporation, the world’s leading innovator and manufacturer of high-performance organic trace minerals and animal nutrition solutions, announced its support of the Southern University Law Center (SULC) Heirs’ Property Initiative. 

Owning agricultural land is an important economic driver in many communities and is a key issue for Black and other minority farmers and producers. According to USDA, Black agricultural land ownership has declined from 16 million acres to 4.7 million acres over the past century, with much of this loss attributed to legal issues caused by heirs’ property rights.  

What is heirs’ property? 

Heirs’ property is property legally passed to family members by inheritance, usually when someone dies without a will or estate planning. If the property remains in the original owner’s name, it creates complex legal issues for heirs. Heirs’ property is most predominant among African American landholders, according to USDA, and can be mitigated with legal support.  

“At Zinpro, we believe in racial equity and want to help preserve disadvantaged farmers’ land ownership as it’s transferred from generation to generation,” said Zinpro President and CEO Rob Sheffer, noting that clear land ownership allows farmers access to loans and capital needed to continue producing food for a growing global population. “We are proud to support the Southern University Law Center’s Heirs’ Property Initiative in countering this wealth gap by providing legal assistance to underserved farmers.” 

According to Marla Dickerson, SULC Heirs’ Property Initiative supervising attorney and associate vice chancellor of the Office of Innovation and Strategic Partnerships and Initiatives, wealth disparities often exist due to the lack of land and homeownership. The wealth gap is greater when death occurs and the proper legal tools cannot be leveraged to clear deeds or titles to land and other property.  

“Through the Heirs’ Property Initiative, the Law Center will work to assist the community in alleviating the cost barriers associated with the legal transmission of property,” said Dickerson. “We are extremely grateful for Zinpro Corporation’s support of this initiative and look forward to working together to ensure that the legal transfer of property is achieved.” 

According to SULC, the Heirs’ Property Initiative will feature monthly educational seminars and intake sessions regarding wills and preliminary succession information. It will also provide legal services and funding to aid in the completion of successions to ensure property is transferred properly. The initiative will utilize three in-house attorneys and nine student strategic fellows at SULC to conduct research and preparation of pleadings.  

Read more about the Southern University Law Center Heirs’ Property Initiative: Southern University Law Center Heirs’ Property Initiative