About

Cultivating Community is at the Heart of Farm Commons

  • Community:

    We are all stronger when we work together. When farmers and attorneys share knowledge, the entire local food system moves forward. Farm Commons fosters the discussions and connections that build a strong legal backbone for our community.

  • Resources:

    Farmers should be empowered to take action on the legal situations that affect their operations. Our educational resources help farmers identify issues, break them down into manageable steps, and give farmers the confidence to move forward

  • Services:

    Ultimately, farmers need access to affordable, specialized attorneys. Farm Commons leads the edge of sustainable farm law through client representation (currently in Wisconsin), and develops the capacity of attorneys around the country to do the same. 

The Law in Action: Introduction02:17

Meet Farm Commons and the farmers that are part of our “The Law in Action” video series.

  • The Law in Action: Introduction

    02:17
  • The Importance of Written Leases

    02:22
  • Opportunities with Land Trusts

    02:20
  • Insurance, Liability, and Risk Management

    02:04
  • Creating Stable Business Partnerships

    02:26
  • Contracts for Strong Sales Relationships

    02:36
  • Successful Succession

    02:40

Rachel Armstrong

Founder and Executive Director

"The vision of a strong, cohesive community with sustainable farmers at its core is what motivates me every day."

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Read Bio

My passion for farming goes way back to the days when I proudly proclaimed that I wanted to be a farmer when I grew up. I’ve lived out that dream in many ways, from working on farms to managing a community garden, starting a catering company that featured local foods and running a nonprofit local foods consulting program. Although I never thought I’d become an attorney, when I realized how keenly we needed quality legal information, I felt compelled. Now, I love resolving the business legal issues that hinder farmers from achieving their goals.

I care deeply about farms, their profitability, and their role in our community. Running a strong farm business is easier with the help of a knowledgeable attorney who truly understands the farm business and can help farmers meet their financial and social goals. With strong farms, we can have a strong local food system and strong communities. The vision of a strong, cohesive community with sustainable farmers at its core is what motivates me every day.

I lead Farm Commons together with my board of directors, which includes Edward Cox, a Drake Agricultural Law Center Fellow; Allison Condra, a Fellow at Harvard’s Food Law and Policy Clinic; Tabitha Czeck, an avid local farm supporter and experienced nonprofit director; and Chad Chriestenson, a farmer with experience in a variety of production and marketing systems.

Our Partners

  • Echoing Green

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