Since Farm Aid’s inception in 1985, we’ve made farmers understanding their legal rights and access to legal services a priority. The resources below provide both services and information for a wide variety of agricultural legal issues.
Updated Spring 2016.
FARMERS’ LEGAL ACTION GROUP
In the summer of 1985, Jim Massey received a phone call from Willie Nelson inviting him to attend the first Farm Aid concert. By the next spring, the first funding check from Farm Aid arrived in Jim’s office, signed by Willie Nelson himself, to start a nonprofit law firm with a single mission: Help family farmers stay on their land. It was an investment that helped create Farmers’ Legal Action Group, Inc.—FLAG.
FLAG offers comprehensive and practical resources for farmers on the following topics:
Advocacy | Alternative Energy | Appeals | Biotechnology/GMOs | Civil Rights | Conservation |Contracts | Credit | Disaster/Risk Management | Estate Planning | Farm Bill | Farmland Preservation | Food Safety | Labor and Employment | Marketing | Organic/Sustainable Farming |Tax
To speak with a lawyer, call the FLAG office at 651-223-5400. Let them know you heard about them from Farm Aid.
FARM-TO-CONSUMER LEGAL DEFENSE FUND
The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund protects family farmers through legal counseling, lobbying and litigation.
FARM AND FOOD LEGAL RESOURCES
Farm and Food Legal Resources is a collection of online, existing legal resources compiled and organized by the Center for Agriculture & Food Systems at Vermont Law School. Resources are available for Farmers and Ranchers, Food Entrepreneurs, Attorneys and Advocates, Health Professionals, and Consumers.
DRAKE UNIVERSITY AGRICULTURAL LAW CENTER
The Drake University Agricultural Law Center publishes the only legal journal in the country that only focuses on agriculture. The Ag Law Center archives articles from this journal on its website. The site also contains an educational tool dedicated to manure agreement decision-making.
Farm Commons provides business legal services to farmers, creates useful legal education resources, and educates attorneys on issues relating to community-based farmers around the country. Through the Resources link, Farm Commons provides educational information focusing on different issues:
AGRICULTURAL MEDIATION SERVICES
Mediation acts as a free or low-cost alternative to pursuing legal action, particularly in cases against the USDA and its associated agencies. Most states have Agriculture Mediation Programs in place for farmers. To find out more about mediation and to find out if a program is available in your state, visit this Resource Spotlight blog post for an in-depth look at mediation services.
THE PUBLIC JUSTICE FOOD PROJECT
The Public Justice Food Project is the only legal project in the country that is focused solely on dismantling the structures that enable the consolidation of corporate power and extractive practices in our food system and supporting a vision of animal agriculture that is regenerative, humane, and owned by independent farmers.
Not finding what you need? Request one-on-one assistance from our Farmer Services team, by filling out our Online Request for Assistance form or by calling 1-800-FARM-AID (1-800-327-6243). Farm Aid staff are happy to listen and help you however we can.