Free Webinar Next Week: An Introduction to Worker Cooperatives for Farmers and Start-Ups

Please join the National Young Farmers Coalition and the Democracy at Work Institute for a webinar on how cooperative businesses are helping to build local food economies and support young farmers in creating new markets, reaching new customers and building sustainable, rewarding farm-based enterprises. Read More  Read More

LLCs and Operating Agreements: Should a farmer go to the trouble?

LLCs are easy to form and very flexible. Because of this, writing an operating agreement can help a farmer think through all the details of how to address investments, profits, and losses. Good bookkeeping is also important to optimize a farm’s tax situation. What’s the situation? Farmer Espen formed his business as an LLC so he can protect his personal assets from liability. The filing process was pretty easy, and Espen is headed into the farming... Read More

MOSES’ focus on Young Organic Stewards

The recent Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) conference featured a host of workshops, including some specifically intended for young farmers.  The Young Organic Stewards program, for example, included presentations on topics ranging from marketing and business to the use of social media to promote a business.  Those addressing the financial side of farming were particularly useful; I’ve summarized some of the highlights... Read More

LL-See how easy it is?

Farmers have the option to form their business as a limited liability company, an entity that offers liability protection to the farmer’s personal assets. Filing is fairly easy after you learn a few key words in the Articles of Organization. What’s the situation? We have a friend named Espen. Espen has years of intern experience on all the local farms, plus enough savings to make it through the first season, so he’s starting his own farm.... Read More

The legal line between farm business and farmer

Farming is a business and a way of life. But, if a farmer is expecting liability protection for her personal assets, she might want to keep the distinction between personal and business matters clear, at least when it comes to accounting. What’s the situation? After pondering how risky a farming career can be, and the debt she’ll take on to get it started, Farmer Jamie decides she wants to protect her personal stuff–like her car and her... Read More

A Partnership: Farmers might not choose one, but they could have one anyways.

Farmers who want to work together to make a profit might risk their personal assets if they form a general partnership. General partners are jointly and severally liable for the business debt. The problem is that a group of farmers can form a partnership without ever realizing they’ve just taken on that liability. What’s the situation? Farmer Chad is starting up a little vegetable operation this spring. Since he’s not yet confident in his growing... Read More

Organic farming profits improve in Minnesota in 2010

The profitability of organic farms in Minnesota improved in 2010 after a tough year in 2009, according to a new report by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA).  The median organic farmer received an income of $62,463 in 2010, which was more than six times the median income in 2009 and consistent with those in 2007 and 2008. Likewise, in 2010 the debt repayment capacity of organic farmers bounced back.  In 2009 Minnesota organic farms only... Read More