My name is Michelle Namer, and I founded The Law Farm to create a comprehensive legal support system for local farming and food system entrepreneurs. Any strong movement or enterprise relies on legal experts to navigate laws and regulations, as well as assist when trouble brews, and local food is no exception. This blog is … Continue reading Welcome to The Law Farm!
It is key for farmers and producers to know what zoning laws allow, and what can be done to get the most value from a piece of property. Zoning codes are the local government solution to keeping the peace when there are so many land use possibilities and opinions on them all. Many zoning laws prohibit … Continue reading What’s SLUP, folks?
One of my favorite parts of farm and food law is getting to know the awesome, hard-working folks making our food systems more vibrant. I recently had the chance to spend a morning touring Polyface farms with Joel Salatin. It was inspiring to see his farm in action, hear his perspective on growing grass, and … Continue reading Farm Law Resources to Keep and Eye on: The Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund
At Slow Food Nations this year, a lot of conversation surrounded thoughtful, high quality meat options. Of major concern amongst regenerative meat farmers was the rampant labeling of grass-fed meat as a “product of the USA” when it is, in fact, not raised and slaughtered in the United States. While the labeling is technically in compliance … Continue reading Grass-fed beef labeling: make your voice heard!
When someone takes advantage of a business, lawsuits are the end of the story, not the beginning. Before filing a suit, a letter sent from an attorney on official letterhead can go a long way in righting wrongs. An example of when a letter is a good starting point for business interactions is in the … Continue reading What does a law firm have to do with my farm? Letters
There are a number of reasons raw milk might be on the radar: Raw milk is preferable for making cheese, some say it tastes better than pasteurized milk, and to an extent, its just hard to swallow being told not to buy a seemingly wholesome farm product. Some argue that even though pasteurization kills harmful … Continue reading The Low-Down on Raw Milk Laws
In 2016, a new law was put into affect requiring a label on certain foods containing Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). The law authorizes federal agencies to establish regulations to support the law’s efforts to provide more transparency to consumers. These United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulations are still open for public comment and can … Continue reading GMO Labeling: US mandatory label law
In the current start-up climate, entrepreneurs can have their business cake, and feed it to their neighbors too. Far too often, there is a dichotomy in the realm of building an empire. One part of the whole contains the moneymaking businesses, and the other part of the whole contains the social ventures. Nonetheless, Non-profits can make … Continue reading Social Enterprise: An LLC, a Non-Profit, and B-Corp walk into a bar…
Outside of the Patent and Trademark Office, and inside the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), lies the Plant Variety Protection Office. The Office provides intellectual property protections to the breeders of new varieties of sexually reproducing or tuber-propagated plants that are unique. This is distinguishable from plant and utility patents, which are generally granted … Continue reading Plant Variety Protection: Intellectual Property tool for plant breeders
The Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act of 1972 authorizes the Farm Service Agency (FSA) to distribute loans to farmers, and federal regulations provide guidance for loan distribution. Downpayment loans and Microloans (for up to $50,000) both require an applicant to have experience in business operations of a farm for at least three of the … Continue reading Current opportunity for veterans: Farm Service Agency teams up with Texas A&M’s “Battleground to Breaking Ground” program to support veteran farmers.