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Business Structure Basics | Legal Training for Illinois Small Farms

farmer with ipad doing business in the field
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Addressing legal farm risks can keep your farm in business.

Legal risks can be fatal to a farm business. Understanding legal issues can dispel anxiety and help farmers realize their power to control their circumstances. University of Illinois Extension partners with Farm Commons for a 4-part series on legal issues for farms. Every farm or ranch no matter its size, location, or longevity is in a great position to build resilience. Farm Commons is a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering farmers to solve their own business law challenges in a community of support. Farm Commons Executive Director Rachel Armstrong will provide these interactive workshops, including time for questions from participants.

Business Structure Basics | Legal Training for Illinois Small Farms

October 24 | 7 PM
Choosing the right business structure for a farm or ranch business shouldn’t be hard. In this webinar, producers will learn how to apply straightforward decision-making factors to your situation. We’ll walk through the tax advantages and business practices that make the most of your choice. A focus on preventing problems with good governance means whether you are just starting out or you’ve been on the land for a few decades, this webinar will help you chart next steps.

Register online at If you will need an accommodation in order to participate, please email Kathryn Pereira at Early requests are strongly encouraged to allow sufficient time to meet your access needs

Each session begins at 7 p.m. and lasts for one hour.


Additional workshops in the series

5 Steps to Protect Your Farm, Legally Speaking | Legal Training for Illinois Small Farms

April 25 | 7 PM
Are there a few, key steps that provide a big impact when it comes to the farm or ranch’s protection from legal risks? We’re so glad you asked! Yes, there are and every farm or ranch no matter its size, location, or longevity is in a great position to build resilience. Join Farm Commons for a webinar that will build knowledge and confidence around essential farm law issues.

Land Leasing Basics | Legal Training for Illinois Small Farms

July 25 | 7 PM
Leasing farmland is so commonplace that landowners, farmers, and ranchers may not think twice about the lease itself until things go wrong. Prevent problems with a strong lease while building a path to a resilient future. This online workshop will help you understand what a lease should include and how to put it in writing. Get started with the tools, knowledge, and skills you need to create a strong document that works for your needs, whether you are a landowner, rancher, or farmer.

Farm Liability and Insurance Basics | Legal Training for Illinois Small Farms

January 23, 2023  | 7 PM
If there’s one legal subject that tends to keep farmers and ranchers up at night, it’s liability and insurance issues. Get answers to these important questions in this webinar. We’ll discuss the essential points of liability and property insurance that every producer needs. Learn how to get the information you need to sleep well at night.


About the presenter: As the founder and executive director of Farm Commons, Rachel Armstrong leads workshops for farmers nationwide and created the organization’s innovative approach to farm law risk reduction. Her vision for changing the way consumers experience business law has been awarded two fellowships: a 2012 Echoing Green Global Fellowship and a 2018 Ashoka Fellowship. As a leading authority on direct to consumer farm law, she has authored publications on farm law matters for farmers, alongside several academic and trade publications for attorneys. Armstrong instructs continuing legal education classes for the American Bar Association, teaches farm law for the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and is a coauthor of Farmers' Guide to Business Structures, published by Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education.

About Farm Commons: Farm Commons is a national nonprofit organization specializing in legal education for farmers. Our mission is to empower farmers to resolve their own business law issues within an ecosystem of support. Through education, leadership development and community-based problem solving around business law, agricultural communities become stronger and more resilient. The result is a legacy of sustainable farms and a community-based food system for everyone. At Farm Commons, paperwork is powerful.