Ag Expo Offers Sessions On Legal Issues For Farmers

Farm Bill, Estate Planning and a host of other issues on the agenda.

Published on: Jul 10, 2013

Michigan Ag Expo's roots run deep in education. From equipment companies detailing new tractor features and seed companies explaining the complexity of a new hybrid to MSU staff members discussing the benefits of innovative management practices, Ag Expo offers a learning opportunity for nearly every interest.

As in years past, sessions this year feature several legal issues that farmers deal with regularly.

Resolving agricultural issues on agreeable terms
On occasion, producers and USDA agencies may disagree over farm-related matters such as loans or credit, wetlands, pesticides or crop insurance. Fortunately, producers and the agencies have a way to talk about solutions before they get to a stressful and expensive point — mediation. In mediation, a producer and the appropriate agency representative sit down with a trained, neutral facilitator to generate options that work for all concerned within the law. The mediator aids in communication — the participants make all the decisions. This presentation will explain how mediation works, why you should consider it and how to access services through the Michigan Agricultural Mediation Program.

Ag Expo Offers Sessions On Legal Issues For Farmers
Ag Expo Offers Sessions On Legal Issues For Farmers

The presentation, by David Gruber from the Agricultural Mediation Program, begins at 11 a.m. July 16, 17 and 18 in the CANR Tent.

Farming for the generations: Maximize the impact of your estate, succession and tax planning strategies
Learn about the use of buy-sell agreements and transfers with retained interests as part of the estate and succession planning process, as well as the use of defined-benefit plans as an estate planning tool for those considering retirement. This presentation will also examine choice of business entity and its impact on the estate and tax planning process, new rules affecting C corporations and S corporations, use of an LLC to reduce self-employment tax, and discounts for LLP and LLC interests in the estate planning process.

Information is being presented by Mike Fraleigh from Fraleigh Law Firm, PLLC, at 1:30 p.m. July 16, 17 and 18 in the CANR Tent.

Overview and current status of the Farm Bill
Join Rhoades McKee, PC, for an overview and update on the status of the proposed Farm Bill. Learn how the bill affects agriculture-related issues in Michigan such as pricing, federal research, conservation programs, and food stamp and subsidy programs, and how you can prepare your farm or agribusiness organization for the changes ahead due to the legislation.

This one-time presentation by Rhoades McKee attorneys and counselors begins at 10:30 a.m. July 16 in the CANR Tent.

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Affordable Care Act:  A road map for identifying risks and avoiding employer penalties
Attorneys from Rhoades McKee, PC, will present an overview of the individual and employer mandates. Your organization's requirements under the Affordable Care Act are determined by the number of your employees. Understand and identify how seasonal and part-time employees factor into your employee count, and learn how to craft the best measurement period for your workforce. Presenters will provide an overview of the penalties for non-compliance and the taxes and fees associated with the law, and discuss what you need to do today to prepare for 2014.

This one-time presentation begins at 10:30 a.m. July 18 in the CANR Tent.

How to start a successful cottage food business in Michigan
This workshop will focus on the Cottage Food Law guidelines, including foods permitted to sell, food safety procedures for a safe product, production, labeling, packaging, storing and transporting your products.

Learn more about starting a cottage food business during the workshop presented by MSU Extension educator Rita Klavinski. The session takes place at 12:30 p.m. July 16, 17 and 18 in the CANR Tent.

Check the Ag Expo website for additional presentations about legal issues in agriculture: www.agexpo.msu.edu.

Ag Expo runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 16 and 17, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 18. Admission to the grounds and parking at Farm Lane and Mt. Hope Road are free.

For more information about Ag Expo, call 800-366-7055.