Dear Reader, 

Congratulations—you’ve started down the path of greater stability and resiliency through smart farm business structures! The process of choosing and maintaining a farm business structure can be a long journey as the farm grows, shifts and perhaps transfers to other operators. These resources are here to support farmers on their journey. We hope to put farmers in the driver’s seat, as they set the best possible course for their future.

The length of this book might make readers worried about the complexity of this subject. Don’t worry—finding the right farm business structure is a very approachable issue. The choice of an entity is usually a straightforward decision for most farmers. The complexity tends to emerge when farmers draft organizing documents to support their choice of entity. Fortunately, creating these organizing documents is one of the strongest risk management steps farmers can take. Our sample operating agreements, bylaws and other documents are meant to help farmers articulate their needs and wants for the farm operation. When we know where we are going, we can create legal resources to support our journey.

Any successful journey, farming or otherwise, depends on a solid team. By working with an attorney, accountant and tax preparer, farmers will take best advantage of the resources offered here. Clear communication with partners, heirs and peers will also ensure a smooth ride.

Let us know how your journey progresses. We love to hear your questions, thoughts and ideas. In fact, it’s essential to Farm Commons! Your knowledge is the most powerful resource we have. Thank you for joining our community of farmers building and creating sustainable farm law together.

-Rachel Armstrong

Executive Director and Founder

Farm Commons