New Roots Farm Receives Legal Assistance to Form Cooperative

Background: Several refugee Somali Bantu farmers, who currently farm individually, are working to form an agricultural cooperative. The purpose of the cooperative is to allow them to leverage their resources by working together rather than separately. They hope to gain better access to farmland and to share that land, equipment, and marketing.  Each farmer currently grows diversified produce and has an interest in livestock production. Several area organizations have been helping these new American farmers begin to thrive in their new country.

Legal Need: Forming a cooperative takes a lot of time and effort. The challenge is even greater for a community of new American farmers who are not yet fluent in English. Through their own determination and key help from others, they drafted bylaws and articles of incorporation.  But they needed an attorney to review all these documents.

The Relationship:  Through their cooperative mentor, the farmers came to the Legal Food Hub to ensure that the documents they had worked together to draft for their new venture were all in order. The Legal Food Hub matched New Roots Cooperative Farm with a skilled attorney at Pierce Atwood, who was more than happy to help this remarkable group of new Americans get their cooperative off the ground.

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