Agricultural Economics Department


Date of this Version



Cornhusker Economics (April 2012)


Published by University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension, Institute of Agriculture & Natural Resources, Department of Agricultural Economics. Copyright © [2012] Board of Regents, University of Nebraska.


Nebraska farmers and ranchers are used to doing business on a handshake. The culture is that if you ask someone to put the contract in writing, you are implying that you don’t trust them to keep their word. Doing business on a handshake is fine so long as no one breaks their promise, or if everyone’s recollection of what the deal is, is the same. But if one person wants out of the handshake deal the other person can be left holding the bag, even if they didn’t do anything wrong.