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Agriculture and Farm Law

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Varnum’s attorneys have practical experience serving the needs of agricultural producers, food processors and suppliers. Our service team approach provides knowledge in each legal area, ensuring that clients have access to the full resources of the firm.

We provide a broad range of services related to legal issues facing agricultural businesses and have developed advanced knowledge in the following agricultural-related areas:

  • Corporate: business acquisitions and financing, entity formation and organization, contract matters
  • Real Estate: facility siting, construction and expansion; zoning, land use and real estate
  • Labor: immigration/work authorization issues, labor housing issues, migrant labor issues, OSHA, unfair labor practice issues
  • Environmental: wetlands regulation, water runoff/CAFO NPDES permits, Right to Farm Act, GAAMPs, odor emissions
  • Litigation: personal injury defense, contract disputes
  • Tax: federal and state tax planning, appeals
  • Estate Planning: succession planning
  • Agri-Finance: origination, documentation, UCC, workout, litigation, receivership, bankruptcy

Agricultural Employment Compliance Guide

Varnum has partnered with Michigan Farm Bureau’s Great Lakes Ag Labor Services division to provide an easy-to-use guide to farm employers trying to keep up with sometimes overwhelmingly-complex federal and state employment laws.

The employment guide provides practical information focusing on common employment law issues, such as the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, child labor, and work authorization matters, as well as summarizing the primary federal and state employment laws applicable to agricultural employers. The guide also includes frequently asked questions and links to valuable additional resources for further clarification. Click here for more information.

Representative Agricultural Matters

The list below illustrates the types of clients and legal services we have provided to the agricultural industry.

  • International fertilizer/chemical suppliers: litigation
  • Agricultural equipment manufacturers: litigation, corporate
  • Apple cooperative: corporate governance and financing
  • 9,000 head dairy farm: sale, financing
  • Large beef producer: customer litigation
  • Agricultural cooperative: litigation
  • Hog farm: financing, bankruptcy, manure runoff issues
  • Sugar producer: labor, litigation
  • Elevator construction: labor, collections
  • Cheesemaker: labor
  • Commercial dried fruit producer: private financing placement
  • Elevator/Farm chemical: investment/hedging legal counsel
  • Poultry farm: general counsel
  • Commercial tree farm: litigation, corporate
  • Large cattle grower: environmental, estate planning
  • Fruit canning operation: environmental, business divestment
  • Agricultural trade association: lobbying
  • Grand Haven nursery: general counsel, labor, corporate, real estate and litigation
  • West Michigan blueberry farms: litigation, corporate, labor
  • Fruit and vegetable producers: labor and litigation
  • Agri-Finance institutions: loan transactions, documentation, workout, litigation, receivership, bankruptcy
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