Legal Advice

Farm Aid – Legal Resources
Farm Aid, based out of Cambridge, was started by musicians John Mellencamp, Neil Young, and Willie Nelson in 1985. The group started the organization to raise funds for family farms to stay alive – through an annual concert, which still occurs today. The organization has since grown to provide other resources as well. Their Disaster Relief Fund can help your farm get back on track after a big storm or any other weather related disaster. Contact the Hotline for more information, or for other questions (relating to legal issues, funding opportunities, financial counseling, etc.).

Land for Good
This organization provides support and guidance for those who are seeking farmland throughout the complex process of land access, tenure, and transfer. Their customized approach helps to recognize family, farm, and community goals. Land for Good offers workshops and trainings about farmland tenure, access, affordability, lease/purchase and other related topics.

Legal Services Food Hub, CLF
The Legal Services Food Hub is a project of The Conservation Law Foundation. CLF recruits attorneys to provide free assistance for farmers who need legal help with topics such as land acquisition/transfer, estate issues, taxes, contracts, and corporate formation. To see if you qualify for their services, click here.

Farm Commons
Farm Commons provides resources to help farmers identify and address legal issues. The website features frequent webinars covering topics from food safety and risk management, to employment law and land leasing. Their resource page provides guidelines,checklists, and condensed legal information for farmers.  They also offer a podcast series on legal issues for farmers, hosted by attorney and Farm Commons founder Rachel Armstrong.

The Farm Commons has also released a series of Farm law Guides designed to guide farmers and farm workers through some of the legal issues surrounding farming and farm work.

Enhanced Federal Tax Deduction for Food Donation
This fact sheet by the Natural Resources Defense Council gives an overview of legislation that now allows farms to take advantage of an enhanced federal tax deduction for donating food to a charitable organization.

Leftovers for Livestock: A Legal Guide to Using Food Scraps as Animal Feed
The Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic and the University of Arkansas School of Law have released a new guide to federal and state laws around using all sorts of food waste to feed livestock.

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