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The Power of Quitting

By Jason Detzel Farming is family.  Rarely have I encountered a group of people who are more motivated, dedicated, innovative and tenacious as farmers.   Whether you are tending apples in Orange County or herding sheep in Oregon, we as farmers hold these truths to be self-evident that all farmers will work hard, be good … Read More

Learning from the Best

By Kat McCarthy What do Wegmans, a regional grocery store chain, and Salesforce, a software company, have in common? These two organizations both have held places on the FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For® list, and have stories to share that can help you on your farm. Does your farm resemble either of these enterprises? Perhaps you are already focused on learning from others who excel at what they … Read More

The Basics of Impact Investors: What a Farmer Needs to Know

A primer for working with an impact investor focused on farmland access. by Kevin Egolf Small farmers and small farm advocates have probably heard statistics about average farmer age (nearly 60 years according to the USDA) and young farmer land access issues (68% of farmers cite land access as the biggest obstacle for young and … Read More

Securing a Labor Force at Sweetland Farm

A vegetable farm raised wages to $15 an hour and lived to tell the tale! by Elizabeth Henderson Early in 2016, Evangeline Sarat at Sweetland Farm, in Trumansburg, NY, announced that she would paying wages to her employees at the Tompkins County living wage level.  Evangeline explained, “For me, it is very pin pointed: if my … Read More

Small Farm Product Liability

Small Farm Product Liability: Coverage for Your Farm Products by Reuben Dourte If farming was to be broken down to its most simple definition, one could describe it as the supply side of a complex ‘manufacturing’ assembly line.  Agricultural products raised or produced by farmers find their way into an expansive array of goods.  As with any … Read More

Business Obstacles Successful Farmers Overcome

By John Lavelle In my prior three articles, we discussed estate tax implications of large land ownership, business succession issues in farming operations, and the tax benefits of conservation easements.  Now let’s discuss something completely different: the day-to-day issues all business owners must cope with, but that are particularly challenging for farmers. One of the fastest … Read More

Should You Let Your Neighbor Borrow That?

by Reuben Dourte In the farming community, machinery and implements are regularly borrowed or rented. For the most part, farmers are a close-knit community who look to help each other out when possible. Sometimes situations arise where a tractor may be broken down, and to continue time-sensitive harvest of planting operations, the neighbor’s tractor is … Read More

Conservation Easements: The Top Tax Tool in the Farmer’s Estate Planning Toolbox

by John H. Lavelle Most farmers have a substantial real estate portfolio.  Depending on the geographic region, this can be extraordinarily valuable, but in every case, land is always a critical asset for the succession of the farm business to future generations.  In many cases, the value of the land is also a planned retirement … Read More

Comparing Farm Personal Property and Business Personal Property

by Reuben Dourte If you have found yourself in the situation of expanding your farming operations to business activities that fall outside of the scope of normal or traditional farming ventures, you probably need to take time to reevaluate your insurance coverages. Often, farming policies will exclude coverage for what the insurance company considers as … Read More

Successful Farm Succession

Recent estate tax trends can help northeast farmers with succession planning. by John H. Lavelle, CPA, LL.M., Attorney at Law Congress and some state governments in the Northeast have been handing family farmers a series of presents in the last few years.  Specifically, estate and death taxes, one of the major obstacles in transitioning family ownership … Read More

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