Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Farm Commons Webinars (Legal Topics)

Farm Commons is a non-profit organization based in Wisconsin that provides farmers with the legal services they need to become the stable, resilient foundation of a community based food system. We accomplish this mission in three ways.
  1. Working one-on-one with farmer clients to produce sales agreements, contracts, leases, employee documents, and many other transactional legal matters.
  2. Developing legal education resources such as workshops, articles, and guides that help farmers understand how the law affects their business.
  3. Networking rural and agricultural attorneys to our resources and to each other to improve attorney-farmer relationships.
To register for each FREE webinar go to
Webinars are offered through a platform that does not require any additional software or downloads. They will be simple to access. Those without an internet connection will be able to listen to the presentation over the phone.

Overview of Farm Legal Issues
December 2, 2013, 6pm
Learn about the most pressing legal issues encountered by direct-to-consumer and organic farm operations. Beginning farmers will learn how to set up a strong farm business and established farmers will learn ways to make their business more resilient. Attendees will be able to spot legal issues and understand the initial steps to resolve them.

Community Supported Agriculture Legal Issues
December 17, 2013, 6pm
CSA farms are developing a truly innovative business model that promises to change the way consumers think about food. But, this innovation comes with some interesting legal issues. We will discuss the complex employment law, insurance, zoning, and volunteer worker legal issues encountered through CSA. Farmers will learn how to move forward in addressing these concerns.

Hosting On-farm Events
January 13, 2014, 6pm
On-farm events are a great way to build support in the community. And, they're a lot of fun! But as the saying goes, it's always fun until someone loses an eye. Make sure your farm isn't left with the short end of the stick after a good-intentioned event goes bad. From zoning compliance to guest injuries and serving prepared food, we'll work through a checklist of things a farm should address before hosting an event.

Workers and Employees
January 28, 2014, 6pm
Farming is a lot of work, and help is often needed. Should a farm work with volunteers, trade labor for food, or hire employees? This webinar will explore the options and guide farmers through the legal considerations. Checklists, flowcharts, and model documents will help attendees move forward after they've decided on the best approach for their farm.

Selling Products to Larger Buyers
February 10, 2014, 6pm
Now that hospitals, food service operations, and grocery stores have caught on to the merits of local food, farmers are learning how to work with these operations. A good relationship between buyer and seller is key to making these sales worthwhile. Learn how the right sales agreement can help keep everyone happy. Also, learn how to protect the farm business if the relationship goes south.

Starting a Farm
February 25, 2014, 6pm
A beginning farmer has to find financing, lease or buy land, coordinate equipment, establish a website, and so much more, all while growing crops or raising livestock. The legal issues abound, but this webinar will help beginning farmers understand the fundamental issues that should demand attention while the farm gets started.

Adding Value to Farm Products
March 10, 2014, 6pm
Although starting a processing operation, improving packaging, and developing new products are great ways to make the farm more profitable, these activities have a huge legal impact. Employment laws, liability potential, state/federal regulations, and tax factors all change when a farm begins to process product. Farms relying on cottage food laws should make sure to attend- we'll talk about what these laws do not do to protect farms.

Food Safety Liability and Regulations
March 25, 6pm
We’ve been hearing all about the upcoming regulations under the Food Safety Modernization Act. But, as important as it is, farm liability for food safety goes beyond this new law. Learn all the latest on how farms can comply with the FSMA as it goes into effect and how they can protect their operations from liability in general.

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