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House Passes Farm Workforce Bill

Posted on December 12, 2019 by

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives passed the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, easing immigration for agricultural workers. The bill would give “blue cards” to agricultural workers who have worked at least 180 days on farms over the past two years. They would become eligible for five-year renewable visas that would require working at least 100 […]

Estate Planning for Family Farms: What to do with the Land

Posted on November 11, 2019 by

While most businesses use real estate, unique planning issues arise for family-farm owners because of the importance of real estate to the farm and family. There are several reasons for that. Family farms are not as mobile as other businesses. Family-farm owners usually have strong emotional attachments to the land. They treat the land they […]

How Much Water Can the Federal Government Regulate?

Posted on October 4, 2019 by

A controversial federal environmental regulation has been repealed, according to an announcement Sept. 12 by the administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the assistant secretary of the Army who oversees the Army Corps of Engineers. That means the definition of “Waters of the United States” will return to its pre-2015 definition. That’s important […]

Don’t Miss the Ag Land Values and Lease Seminar

Posted on October 3, 2019 by

Gone are the days when handshake deals suffice as a contract for a land purchase.  I’ll be presenting on Ag Lease Agreements as part of the Agricultural Land Values and Lease Seminar on October 9 at the Rib River Ballroom.  I plan to walk attendees through an overview of what leases are (and are not), […]

Announcement re DMC Deadline Extension

Posted on September 23, 2019 by

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) extended the deadline from September 20 to September 27 for dairy farmers to enroll in the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program for 2019. Enacted in the 2018 Farm Bill, this safety-net program offers risk-protection to dairy producers when the difference between the all-milk price and the average feed cost […]

Farm Family Probate

Posted on August 9, 2019 by

The family farm has always been unique from an estate-planning perspective. Unlike many traditional businesses, a farm business typically holds a disproportionate amount of illiquid assets such as real estate, equipment, crops and livestock. It often has few liquid assets. Important planning needs to take place to deal with the incapacity or death of family-farm […]

Recreational Use Immunity: Protecting Landowners From Risks In Public Recreational Activities

Posted on June 26, 2019 by

It seems sometimes that no good deed goes unpunished. Landowners who permit access to their property for outdoor enthusiasts to engage in their favorite recreational activities – such as camping, hiking and hunting – could risk liability for doing so. But a Wisconsin law called the Recreational Use Immunity statute provides private landowners a layer […]

Carefully Consider Fiduciary Obligations

Posted on May 23, 2019 by

The sponsorship of a qualified retirement plan can be rewarding but frustrating – there are so many rules. Unfortunately agricultural employers are not given a break when it comes to sponsoring such retirement plans. Examples of qualified retirement plans are 401(k) plans, profit-sharing plans and money-purchase plans. Leaving the tax rules for another day — […]

Dairy Breakfasts, Farm Tours and Other Events–How to Limit Your Liability When Hosting an Event on the Farm

Posted on April 22, 2019 by

Hosting an event is a great way to build community morale, gain exposure for the host and possibly even make a little money. Farms can make excellent venues for hosting all types of events. The farmer hosting an event should make it his or her goal that each event-goer is having too good of a […]

Insurance Claims: When in Doubt, Report

Posted on April 10, 2019 by

Any prudent business obtains some level of insurance. Those periodic payments buy the peace of mind that insurance will step in when needed. In the event of certain unforeseen property damage, injuries or other losses, insurance provides the funds and legal support necessary for a business to avoid catastrophe. At least that’s how it should […]