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The Control of the Missouri: Ideker and the Fight for the Floodplain

Presentation by Robert Langellier, freelance journalist

Robert Langellier will share his research into the science, policy and facts behind the Ideker Lawsuit. In this 2014 lawsuit, a federal judge ruled that some recent flooding along the Missouri River is due to U.S. Corps of Engineers management and the Corps can be held liable for some damages.

Flood of 2019

The flood of 2019 continues to cause problems for farmers along the Missouri River, especially in the three state region near the borders of IA, NE and MO.

Time and Place

Tuesday, June 11, 2019
7:00 pm

Les Bourgeois Vineyards Bistro
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Presentation by Robert Langellier, freelance journalist

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

The Bistro Restaurant is now closed on Tuesday, but the bar will be open. You ARE welcome to come early, bring some food and gather with friends before the presentation. Speaker Series attendees are welcome after 5:30 p.m. 

Hosted by Missouri River Relief

The ongoing flooding on the Missouri River is particularly impacting farmers and agricultural communities. This pain is increasing calls from politicians and constituents to do more to stop flooding. There is a belief amongst some people that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has changed river management to benefit fish and wildlife, and that this has caused increased flooding. One piece of evidence that is often cited to support this idea is the Ideker lawsuit.

In 2014, 372 Missouri River valley farmers filed a class-action suit, Ideker Farms v. United States of America, claiming that the US Army Corps of Engineers has taken farmers’ property through flooding caused by habitat restoration programs undertaken since 2004. In 2018, the judge in the case ruled partly in favor of the farmers, but the science underlying their ongoing case is controversial.

We’ll be joined by freelance journalist Robert Langellier, who has been traveling the lower Missouri River valley this spring interviewing many parties involved in the lawsuit, scientists studying the river’s hydrology, the Corps officials charged with managing water flow, floodplain farmers and conservationists. Robert said, “We’ll try to understand that complex science (I once thought hydrology was as simple as ‘water flows down’!). We’ll also discuss the case’s implications for Missouri River management through the perspectives of farmers, Army Corps engineers, environmentalists and barge shippers.”

Robert Langellier is a freelance writer who is currently writing a piece on the Ideker lawsuit for The New Territory magazine. He has published pieces in Esquire (about long haul trucking and python hunters, The Nation, The AwlKansas City Star and others.


  • 14020 W. Hwy BB, Rocheport, MO
  • Take I-70 to the Rocheport, MO, exit (Exit #115). It’s the first exit east of the Missouri River.
  • Head north toward Rocheport.
  • After about a mile, turn left at the sign for Les Bourgeois Bistro. Follow the signs to the Bistro. You will probably need to park in the lot above the Bistro and walk the trail down.
  • The presentations are held in upstairs in the restaurant. The restaurant is no longer open on Tuesdays but the bar is! You are welcome to bring your own food or snacks.

Resources & Links

Dig Deeper for more info on this topic.

The Big Muddy Speaker Series in Rocheport

is hosted by these wonderful partners.

Click here for a list of upcoming presentations»

Special thanks to Les Bourgeois Vineyards for giving us the opportunity to use their beautiful space overlooking the Missouri River. All speakers are presenting for free! Thank you all for sharing your knowledge with us!

And a special tip of the hat to volunteer David Owens who has been doing the sound for the Speaker Series for several years.

Our thanks to Dave and the good people of MoRivCC who are video recording these presentations when possible.

The Big Muddy Speaker Series also takes place monthly in Kansas City and St. Charles.

The views and opinions expressed by our presenters do not necessarily reflect the view or policies of Missouri River Relief, the Big Muddy Speaker Series or any of the partners that support this public forum. The Big Muddy Speaker Series believes that hearing diverse perspectives is a crucial building block for an informed public.