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Plan to Attend the Business & Legal Considerations for Your Farm Workshop on March 23rd

Updated: Nov 5, 2020

By Nicole Cook

The image is a flyer advertising the workshop.

This article is not a substitute for legal advice. See here for the site’s reposting policy.

A workshop for farmers with business and/or legal concerns is scheduled for Saturday, March 23rd, at 5301 Marlboro Race Track Road in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, from 8 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. The primary goal of the event is to equip farmers with the understanding of business and legal principles associated with managing a farm operation. Farm lending, labor and business risk management are the focus of the workshop, along with information from Future Harvest about its Nutrient Management Program. Registration is $15 per person and includes all educational materials and lunch. Click here to register, or go to For more information about the program, keep reading.

The workshop is a one-stop-shop opportunity for farmers to get a lot of information in a short amount of time from a variety of experts who will cover the general business and legal concerns many farmers encounter, and what they need to be aware of in operating a farm business. Plus you get lunch!

The morning will kick off with information from Agriculture Law Education Initiative (ALEI) Legal Specialist, Nicole Cook, about the protections that different business entity structures (e.g., LLC, a partnership, etc.) can provide farming businesses, the general liability risks that accompany farming, and strategies for managing those risks.

Then, a panel of lenders will provide in-depth information about farm financing, including information about the following:

  1. Whether and how does choice of business entity structure impact loan options?

  2. What should be in a farm’s business plan?

  3. What type of support can the Small Business Development Center provide to farmers, particularly with business planning and helping to prepare farmers to be in the best position possible to be approved for a loan?

  4. What are the different types of loan products available to farmers?

  5. How does credit impact the lending options available to farmers and how can farmers improve their credit to put them in the best position possible to be approved for a loan?

  6. How can lenders assist farmers who may not have great credit?

  7. How do lenders work with farmers who have no credit history or who may have bad credit histories?

  8. What documents will farmers need to provide lenders when they’re seeking a loan to start a farming business or to expand their farming operation?

  9. Whether and how lenders can customize loan products for borrowers?

  10. What are a borrower’s obligations under a loan agreement?

  11. What happens if the borrower fails to meet his or her loan obligations?

  12. What should a farmer do if they see that they might not be able to make a loan payment?

  13. How can lenders work with borrowers who start to struggle to make their payments and why is it better for borrowers to contact their lender ASAP rather than wait to see what happens?

ALEI Legal Specialist, Sarah Everhart, will complete the morning sessions by doing a deep dive into employment and labor laws that impact farms in Maryland.

Presenters will be available for questions throughout the workshop including lunch. And, after lunch, Future Harvest will present information about its Nutrient Management Program.

The Business and Legal Considerations for Your Farm workshop is sponsored by the IFARMS Project and ALEI.

For more information call Mandela Jones at 410-651-6070/6693 or email him at


IFARMS is a grant funded initiative implemented by the University of Maryland Eastern Shore Small Farm Program. Its overall goal is to provide access to resources and management solutions that will increase a farmer’s ability to start and maintain successful agricultural businesses. Program deliverables include educational workshops, field demonstrations, and mini bus tours. For more information, visit, call 410-651-6070/6693 or email Program Coordinator Berran Rogers at

About ALEI:

The Agriculture Law Education Initiative (ALEI) is a collaboration of the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB); the College of Agriculture & Natural Resources at the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP); and the School of Agricultural and Natural Sciences at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. ALEI is an initiative of the University of Maryland: MPowering the State, a strategic alliance between UMB and UMCP created in 2012 to significantly expand research, business development, and student opportunities at both universities. For more information, visit

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