The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic presents logistical challenges that may require some additional advance planning to keep members safe and engaged.
Agribusiness & Cooperatives
Our primary objective is to help clients meet their business objectives, whether operating as a cooperative or other agribusiness entity. We fuel our client’s success by staying ahead of a fast-changing legal environment.
“Agricultural Distress and Possible Solutions – How North Dakota’s Farmers Can Sow Seeds for a Financial Turnaround,” by Samuel Andre, Michael Raum and David Tibbals
What We Do
Our attorneys serve not just as legal counsel, but as business advisors with unique insight on the cooperative and agribusiness world. Our experience with national and regional cooperatives means clients receive expertise specific to the challenging needs of the cooperative and agribusiness industry.
Members of our team have held or currently hold advisory roles in cooperative industry organizations and regularly give presentations on issues affecting key industry market segments.
Our team helps clients navigate legal, organizational, and business matters. In highly complex cases, we are able to draw on the firm’s broader resources to handle virtually any issue facing today’s cooperatives and agribusiness organizations.
Administrative Law: Advice pertaining to licenses, permits, certificates, or rule-making.
Employment & Labor: We assist clients with hiring and termination procedures, compliance with state and federal laws, negotiation of employment and labor contracts, grievances and arbitrations, and analysis and/or drafting of employee handbooks.
Employee Benefits: We assist in the design of employee benefits plans and monitor compliance with employee benefits laws.
Immigration: We have extensive experience representing agribusinesses in obtaining work visas, such as H2A agricultural visas, H2B nonagricultural visas, and TNs for Canadians and Mexicans, to meet their labor needs. In addition, we work with agribusinesses on immigration compliance programs such as I-9 compliance and E-Verify.
Intellectual Property: We work with clients to file, prosecute, and litigate patents related to agricultural processes and technologies.
Litigation: We have extensive experience in representing cooperative clients in a variety of litigation issues that agribusiness typically generates, including litigation relating to the termination of joint ventures and supply agreements.
Real Estate: Within the housing area, we represent both lenders and for-profit and non-profit cooperative associations in the financing of student and senior cooperative housing. We assist clients with securing and closing financing, including the use of 501(c)(3) tax-exempt bonds for student cooperative housing.
Regulatory Compliance: We work with clients in connection with state and federal regulatory compliance. We also work with the respective states’ federal agencies.
Antitrust: Counseling cooperative clients on antitrust issues, including Capper-Volstead requirements.
Corporate Governance: Providing practical advice to management and boards that helps them fulfill their duties to members and deal with business emergencies. Provide routine advice to cooperatives on governance practices intended to improve the performance of the board and bring value to the cooperative’s members.
Financing & Alternative Capital Formation: We combine our knowledge of securities laws and financing to advise cooperatives on raising additional capital through exempt equity offerings, registered stock offerings, and municipal bonds.
Formation, Structuring, & Restructuring: We help clients form “new venture” cooperatives and hybrid/LLC cooperatives, as well as the evolution and design of entity restructuring, which may include joint ventures, mergers, and acquisitions.
General Counsel Services: We advise cooperatives and agribusinesses by coordinating all aspects of the enterprises’ legal needs. In addition, we serve as “general counsel” for several cooperatives and other entities.
Tax: Our attorneys advise agribusinesses and cooperatives on tax issues unique to cooperatives and agribusiness, including Subchapter T and Subchapter K of the IRC. We often provide guidance and representation (when necessary) to address any IRS challenges affecting cooperatives or their members.
News & Articles
September 3, 2020
While many would define the “crop year” to be the time between harvests, that definition can cause confusion in long-term agricultural leases, especially where the tenant-farmer intends to raise different crops during the lease term.
September 1, 2020
On August 26, 2020, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz signed Emergency Executive Order 20-86, providing relief to Minnesota cooperatives.