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Exploring the H-2A Visa Program

Legal Training for Illinois Small Farms
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Legal risks can be fatal to a farm business and addressing them proactively can keep farms in business. Just as important, understanding legal issues can dispel anxiety and help farmers realize their power to control their circumstances. 
This is the first in a quarterly webinar series for all Illinois small farmers brought to you by University of Illinois Extension's Local Food Systems and Small Farms team and presented by Farm Commons. There is no cost to register for the series. Each session begins at 7 p.m. and lasts for one hour. Individuals who have farmed for years can learn tips to strengthen their legal confidence in running their farming operation.

Exploring the H-2A Visa Program 

The H-2A visa program helps farmers to bring in citizens of other countries for seasonal and temporary agricultural work in the United States. With a tight labor market, the visa program is experiencing growth. The program will assist farmers in assessing whether H-2A might address their operation’s labor shortage issues. Explore extensive regulatory obligations that come with application and participation in this program. Finally, the session will address critical ways producers can guard against worker vulnerability to ensure respect, responsibility, and safety for all.

Presenter: Chloe Forkner Johnson, Staff Attorney, Farm Commons 

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.

Additional workshops in the series

September 18: 5 Steps to Protect Your Farm, Legally Speaking
Are there a few key steps that provide significant impact when it comes to the farm or ranch’s protection from legal risks? Yes, there are. Every farm or ranch, no matter its size, location, or longevity, is in a great position to build resilience. The session will help build knowledge and confidence around essential farm law issues. Register at

December 18: Land Leasing Basics
Leasing farmland is so commonplace that landowners, farmers, and ranchers may not think twice about the lease itself until things go wrong. Prevent problems by using a strongly worded lease while building a path to a resilient future. Coverage of leasing basics will help attendees to understand what a lease should include and how to put it in writing. Get started with the tools, knowledge, and skills needed to create a carefully crafted document that works for individual needs, whether you are a landowner, rancher, or farmer. Register at

March 18, 2024: Forming an LLC
Producers are often curious about the details of an LLC, and most farmers choose the LLC as their preferred business structure. The good news is that forming one is quite simple. At the same time, farmers and ranchers need to know a few key details to ensure they get the benefits they expect from this entity. Join this session for a quick recap of why an LLC is a good risk management tool, learn best practices for implementation, and understand the regular obligations needed to keep the LLC in top legal shape. Farmers who have had an LLC for years can learn a few things about preserving their
resilience. Register at

If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate, please contact