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Food and Agriculture

Food and agriculture is hyper-local, international and personal at Varnum

Guidance and proactive counsel for legal matters in the food and agriculture industry.

Varnum takes an integrated approach to food and agriculture. Our attorneys are positioned to advise on legal matters from farm to retail to table. We are dedicated partners offering a full range of legal services – from large matters to serving as local counsel – tailored to the needs of farms, producers, packagers and other entities within the industry.

Clients are set up for success in everyday farming operations, from ongoing legal needs for migrant visa and seasonal workers to long-term tax and succession planning. We help farmers stay compliant with environmental regulations, conservation practices and even water usage. We protect and counsel agriculture brands and farm owners by securing their visions for the future.

Beyond the farm, Varnum attorneys evaluate labeling, advertising claims and food facility registrations for processors. We provide guidance on recalls and how to move forward after damages in lost products, as well as how best to adhere to ever-changing regulations. Varnum offers our food and agriculture clients the highest quality of service at a better rate.

Agricultural Employment Compliance Guide

Michigan Farm Bureau and Great Lakes Ag Labor Services, LLC, have partnered with Varnum to create an easy-to-use guide for farm employers trying to keep up with sometimes overwhelmingly complex federal and state employment laws.

“Varnum is our legal firm for all needs. Labor law, contract law and immigration law have been the main focus in the past year. They are quick to respond and have experts to advise in all areas.”

Client, US News – Best Lawyers® Best Law Firms

Varnum attorneys are proactive partners for your farm, food products and more

Many of Varnum’s agriculture attorneys were raised on family farms and have a truly unique perspective that only comes from this lived experience. Similarly, attorneys focused on food law come to Varnum for the opportunity to be with the only firm in Michigan working at the highest level of food law.

Our experience includes working with emerging markets and categories, such as organic, allergen-free, cannabis-infused food items and the safety guidance that comes with each. We help our clients know and understand FDA and USDA regulations and work to ensure their ongoing compliance. From patenting and labeling to sales and distribution, Varnum clients are protected throughout the lifecycle of their product.

Ensuring quality food in the marketplace means Varnum attorneys work with family farms and multi-state, multi-crop and specialty crop farms locally and around the world. We help develop and protect agriculture brands through trademarks, corporate contracts, negotiations and more. From municipal zoning and the Right to Farm Act to dealings with the Department of Labor and the Farm Bureau, Varnum is a strong advocate within the agriculture industry.

Meet the Team

Our attorneys are routinely recognized for their excellence and ability to litigate, negotiate and advise clients by Top Lawyers, Best Lawyers, Chambers USA and more.

Legal Practices Related to Food and Agriculture

Business and Corporate

Managing the intricacies of business and corporate matters within the food and agriculture industry is a personal and professional matter for many Varnum attorneys. Whether navigating corporate structures for farms who know they need assistance in their growth, trying to understand the need for tax help or insurance for recalls and food safety, Varnum is focused on getting the best for our clients.

Learn more about Varnum's Business and Corporate Practice

Environmental and Natural Resources

The modernization of environmental law requires constant innovation by the agriculture industry. Varnum attorneys are strong in issues dealing with water conservation, environmental planning, production and processing that is required of growers at all levels.

Learn more about Varnum's Environmental and Natural Resources Practice

Estate Planning

Farming is, traditionally, a family practice and many farmers struggle with the adjustments necessary to make secure generational changes. Varnum attorneys take the long view guiding owners through tax, real estate and succession planning.

Learn more about Varnum's Estate Planning Practice


Varnum attorneys work directly with farms and other agricultural businesses to navigate visa programs for immigration, migrant and seasonal specialty workers and the strategies that help ensure each party is protected under immigration laws.

Learn more about Varnum's Immigration Practice

Labor and Employment

Varnum is the always-available, hands-on representation needed by food and agriculture leaders to provide guidance on local and national labor and employment issues. Whether working side-by-side with our immigration practice or dealing directly with the Department of Labor, our clients turn to Varnum for counsel and direction.

Learn more about Varnum's Labor and Employment Practice

Litigation and ADR

Varnum has a full team approach to litigation and trial in the food and agriculture industry. Our attorneys protect our clients in matters concerning food regulations, compliance, safety in voluntary and involuntary recalls and in cases with large elevators and others.

Learn more about Varnum's Litigation and ADR Practice

Tax Planning, Compliance and Litigation

Varnum’s tax team unites the tax compliance, planning and litigation skills of one of Michigan’s oldest law firms with one of the Midwest’s premier tax boutique practices.

We are respected throughout the region for our ability to assist clients in all matters relating to federal and state tax audits, litigation and planning.

Learn more about Varnum's Tax Planning, Compliance and Litigation Practice

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Please be aware that contacting us via e-mail does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and the firm. Do not send confidential information to the firm until you have spoken with one of our attorneys and receive authorization to send such materials.