Negotiating A Farmland Lease

While many farm leases are done with a handshake, this practice is not a good idea because there is no written agreement in the event of a disagreement between the parties. A well-written lease agreement will make the lease terms clear and leave less opportunity for misunderstanding and reduces the likelihood of a potential conflict between a landowner and a farmer.

Alternative Ways to Buy The Farm

This Guide explores the following alternative ways to purchase farmland:

  • Seller-financed land acquisition
  • Purchase by installments
  • Lease with an option to purchase.

Farm Succession Advising: An Attorney Training Guide

Among beginning (and other) farmers’ biggest challenges is accessing land, including land and farms in the hands of older farmers. Therefore, how those farmers transition their farms to the next generation (family or unrelated) is of utmost importance. Land For Good’s Training Guide provides attorneys with solid legal background material and technical tools to use in assisting farmer clients to develop their farm succession plans.

Your Legal Toolkit for Starting a Farm

When you’re starting a farm business, there are lots of important legal issues to consider, from what type of business entity you’ll form to how to protect yourself from liability and plan for the future. This comprehensive webinar will equip farmers with the legal know-how to tackle these key decisions and start off on a strong legal footing.

Elements of a Farmland Lease

When a farmer works with a landowner to put together a farmland lease, there are many important considerations. This webinar will inform farmers and nonprofit farm organizations about the key elements that should be in a farmland lease.

Presenter: Jeff Polubinski, Gravel & Shea.

Labeling Your Food Product

Small food businesses and farms with value-added processing often sell their products locally, but understanding the Food and Drug Administration’s rules for labeling those products can be challenging. This webinar will prepare you to feel confident creating a food label and selling your product.

Presenters: Rachel Gartner & Zac Maciejewski, Faegre, Drinker Biddle and Reath.

Starting your Farm or Food Business: Succession Planning

When you’re forming your LLC or other business entity, it is important to plan for the future. This webinar will prepare you with key questions to consider about succession planning when forming your business.

Presenter: Kim Memmesheimer, Hoefle, Phoenix, Gormley & Roberts, PLLC.

A Working Guide to Current Use Taxation for Agricultural Lands

Developed by Vermont Law School’s Center for Agriculture and Food Systems, “A Working Guide to Current Use Taxation for Agricultural Lands” provides an overview of current use policies across the U.S. 

Current use programs—which generally allow farmers to pay taxes on their land at current (agricultural) value rather than its assessed value for another non-farming use—are an important tool in the farmland preservation toolbox. 

Written by Vermont Law School adjunct professor Jess Phelps, this guide explains the concept of current use and examines current use policies and programs. Identifying common challenges and opportunities, it aims to help policymakers adapt current use programs to modern farmland preservation needs. It also dives into a case study of current use in Vermont to explore how a program functions at the farm level, and includes a handy reference guide to state current use statutes across the country.

This guide was funded by the National Agricultural Library, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture.

A Guide to Protecting Your Recipes

When it comes to food businesses, preventing others from using your recipes and processes is an important aspect to ensuring a competitive edge. A concept in the law called a trade secret may offer protection for recipes and food production processes. Many companies have trade secrets that are essential to their operation and success. This is a guide that will introduce you to what a trade secret is, what must be done to establish it, and how it is protected.

Reorganizing a Farm Business with Chapter 12 of the Bankruptcy Code: A Brief Guide

Farm reorganization through chapter 12 is a powerful tool for farmers seeking to restructure burdensome debt, change production models, or even transition a farm to the next generation. It can help farming and fishing operations avoid financial distress and allow them to transform their operation or transfer it to the next generation—without requiring liquidation or financial insolvency. This guide covers who is involved, who is eligible, the benefits, and how it works. 

Intro to Co-Op Formation

 A cooperative (“co-op”) is a type of for-profit business that is communally owned and democratically managed by its members. This legal guide covers common types of co-ops, tax benefits of co-ops, benefits and risks, as well as how to form a co-op.

¿Qué es la mediación?

La mediación es un proceso voluntario en el que un tercero neutral (el mediador) ayuda a las partes a resolver su disputa o conflicto facilitando su negociación. La mediación se puede utilizar como alternativa a una demanda. Esta guía explicará los entresijos de la mediación, así como sus ventajas como herramienta para la resolución de conflictos.

Comprar la granja – parte 2

Una vez que se ha negociado un trato, un agricultor trabaja con el propietario de la tierra para comprar tierras agrícolas por el precio de compra acordado. La Parte II de esta Guía se centra en

(i) los elementos de un Acuerdo de compraventa,

ii) el proceso de investigación de “debida diligencia” que todo agricultor debe realizar,

(iii) la escritura y otros documentos de cierre de la adquisición, y

(iv) el cierre.

Comprar la granja – parte 1

Los agricultores pueden obtener derechos sobre las tierras agrícolas de diversas formas, por ejemplo, mediante un contrato de arrendamiento con el propietario de las tierras agrícolas, compartiendo la propiedad de la tierra con otros o adquiriendo la propiedad total (título de “tarifa simple”) de las tierras agrícolas. La Parte I de esta Guía se centra en:

(i) los diferentes tipos de propiedad de la tierra,

ii) las ventajas y desventajas de comprar la tierra de cultivo directamente a través de la propiedad simple de pago, y

(iii) consideraciones a la hora de localizar la tierra de cultivo adecuada para comprar.

Operación de una propiedad unipersonal

Como propietario de una granja o empresa alimentaria, usted elige cómo desea operar. Elegir la estructura empresarial adecuada es importante porque afecta a muchos aspectos de su empresa. Por ejemplo, puede influir en el tratamiento fiscal, la exposición al riesgo y la responsabilidad y el control personal sobre el negocio. Los nuevos agricultores o empresarios alimentarios a menudo operan como propietarios únicos. Esta guía legal analiza las características y obligaciones de operar su negocio como propietario único.

Introducción a las marcas comerciales

Su negocio ofrece productos frescos y de alta calidad y alimentos de valor agregado y se ha ganado una buena reputación en la comunidad. Pero, ¿puede proteger su “marca”, la buena voluntad y la confianza que ha desarrollado para su negocio? ¿Puede evitar que los competidores se monten en los faldones de su buena reputación? Aprenda a utilizar las marcas comerciales sólidas de manera eficaz. Esta Guía Lightning establece cómo obtener y proteger su marca comercial y cómo identificar la infracción de marca registrada.

Conceptos básicos de la ley de derechos de autor

La ley de derechos de autor puede parecer complicada. Pero es simplemente una ley que dice que si creas algo, entonces eres el propietario. Para las empresas, los derechos de autor pueden aplicarse a las cosas que usa todos los días, como los gráficos utilizados en sitios web y en publicidad o contenido de blogs. Aprenda a crear y proteger sus derechos de autor. Esta guía examina cómo proteger sus propios materiales con derechos de autor y evitar el uso indebido de los derechos de autor que pertenecen a otros.

Guía paso a paso para formar una compañía de responsabilidad limitada

Esta guía legal analiza las características y obligaciones de operar su negocio como una sociedad de responsabilidad limitada (“LLC”) y proporciona instrucciones paso a paso para formar una LLC, que incluyen:

  • Cómo registrar una SRL ( LLC)
  • Qué incluir en un acuerdo operativo
  • Presentaciones adicionales a tener en cuenta

Options for Forming a Social Enterprise

As a farmer or food entrepreneur, you may want to create a successful business while also working for social good. In a social enterprise, these goals go hand-in-hand. In this webinar, we’ll discuss the details of a social enterprise. And, we will talk about the advantages and disadvantages of common business structures that can be the foundation for your social enterprise (sole proprietorships, partnerships, LLCs, corporations, co-ops, and non-profits).

Presenters: Colin Antaya, Esq. and Kohei Ishihara Founder of Movement Ground Farm

Opening Your Farm to Visitors and Controlling for Liability

From farm dinners to CSA pick-ups, and from Airbnb to educational programs, you might open your farm to friends, neighbors, and even tourists. As you welcome visitors to your farm, you need to be ready to handle the myriad of risks that they bring with them. Join us to receive practical advice from an agritourism expert, an insurance agent, and an attorney. Each will provide you with tools to prepare for the worst and enjoy the best.

Presenters: Attorney Mary Rose Scozzafava; Stuart Farnham, AFIS Vice President of Frazer Insurance Agency, Inc.; Lisa Chase, University of Vermont Agritourism Expert

Hiring Your First Farm Employees

Congratulations! Your farm business has grown, and you are in dire need of hiring some help. Enter employment law – specifically, agricultural employment law. Join our one-hour webinar to learn the general laws that you are required to follow as an agricultural employer. We will cover important pay considerations, how to get employees properly set up, and best practices to avoid discrimination lawsuits. After this session, you will feel confident to make your first hires.

Presenter: Attorney John S. Gannon, Skoler-Abbott LLC.

Resolving Challenging Issues through Agricultural Mediation

Sometimes, as a farmer, you find yourself stuck or facing a conflict. Whether your business has been threatened, a creditor is hounding you, or a neighbor is making complaints about your farm, you are not alone. The USDA’s certified Agricultural Mediation programs can help you through these situations.

The mediation program is a free service that gives all voices an opportunity to be heard and work together toward a solution that works for everyone. In this webinar, you will have a chance to meet Agricultural mediators in New England. They will give you an overview of the program and share some stories that illustrate the effectiveness of their work.

Presenter: Matt Strassberg, Director of the Environmental Mediation Center

Understanding Purchase and Sale Agreements

A purchase and sale agreement is the document that establishes the steps of the transaction, as well as the responsibilities of the Seller and the Buyer. Purchasing real estate can seem like a complicated process but we will walk you through it.

During this webinar, Massachusetts attorney Richard Cavanaugh of Common Grow, LLC will discuss typical provisions in a purchase and sale agreement. He will also cover some other issues – like zoning and wetland restrictions – that you should consider when deciding whether or not to buy a property.

Presenter: Attorney Rich Kavanaugh, Common Grow LLC.

What is Mediation?

Mediation is a voluntary process in which a neutral third party (the mediator) assists the parties in resolving their dispute or conflict by facilitating their negotiation. Mediation can be used as an alternative to a lawsuit. This guide will go through the ins and outs of mediation as well as the advantages of it as a tool for conflict resolution.