Is membership just for farmers and ranchers?
We welcome everyone in the agricultural community to join us! We serve farmers, ranchers, agricultural service professionals, Extension educators, attorneys, and organizations around the nation. We strive to be as inclusive as possible. There is a seat at our table for everyone interested in farm law and legal resilience.
How do I know which membership category is right for me?
We encourage you to explore all the benefits of membership at our Become a Member page. It lays out the basic guidelines:
- Farmers and ranchers should join as Producer Members.
- Extension educators, nonprofit staff, business consultants and other agriculture support professionals should join as Institutional Members.
- Attorneys, paralegals, and law school graduates should join as Legal Professionals.
We understand that many of us in the agricultural community serve many roles. Which category is right for your needs?
The primary distinction between membership categories is the grant of a license to distribute our resources. Only Institutional and Legal Professional Members are granted a license to distribute our materials in the course of their work. If a farmer or rancher wishes to distribute our material in an educational workshop or instructional setting, the farmer or rancher should join as an Institutional Member in order to receive a license to do so. To put it another way, the appropriate membership category should be determined by whether the member intends to use the material in the course of conducting educational programming. Individuals that do should join as an Institutional Member.
Legal Professional members are those who use our resources to further their ability to effectively serve clients. Where an individual is a part of Farm Commons in order to better understand client needs, educate themselves on farm law issues, and otherwise improve their service to paying clients, a Legal Professional Membership is the best choice. This includes law school staff and instructors who use our resources to better serve their students.
We understand that many law school graduates and attorneys who do not actively serve clients may also wish to use our resources. For those not developing or serving a paying client base or student body, the Institutional Membership may be the appropriate choice. Law school students are included in this category.
I was previously a Farm Commons member. Can I access my old account and saved materials?
Accounts from our previous website were not migrated to this new website. Individuals will need to create an account again. Apologies for the inconvenience.
Q: What is Farm Commons' entity and tax status, and where does your revenue come from?
Farm Commons’ mission is to empower agricultural communities to resolve their own legal vulnerabilities, within an ecosystem of support. We have 501(c)(3) tax status and are a publicly supported charitable organization that is registered as a Wisconsin nonstock corporation.
A significant portion of Farm Commons’ funding is from competitive grants. We also receive money from foundations and other nonprofits in support of our charitable mission. We earn revenue by developing custom curricula and educational materials for other nonprofits and entities. We also earn revenue through our membership fees.
Although our staff attorneys are licensed to practice law, we do not provide legal services to individuals or organizations except in very occasional circumstances. Our educational programs are not influenced by the pressure to earn legal services clients, as we do not take on legal services clients.
We do not currently have a corporate giving program. If and when we launch a corporate giving program, we will follow conflict of interest procedures that ensure our educational materials remain free from any influence to recommend specific products or services to our membership.
Does Farm Commons do advocacy on specific legislation?
Farm Commons believes in a democracy where each individual has the means to influence the laws and regulations of the United States by way of their elected representatives. Farm Commons sees its role in this process as described here. Farm Commons exists to help people understand what the law is. Only when each of us understand what the law is, can we be informed advocates for what it should become. We believe that robust discussion and conversations about the mechanics and outcomes of our laws and regulations is essential to the process of each individual deciding what the law should be for themselves. We take an active role in facilitating and supporting that conversation by providing timely, accurate access to through information on the law as it stands and by supporting conversation through our Commons Community and our workshops, as well as other programming. As such, we do not conduct advocacy via the traditional means of urging individuals to call their elected representatives in support of specific legislation.
Do you provide legal services? Can you support me with a legal matter?
We empower farmers and ranchers to leverage their creative power and build legal resilience for their farm and ranch business through an ecosystem of support. We specialize in legal education, and we do not provide legal counsel or advice. If you have an urgent legal matter, please contact an attorney licensed to practice in your state.
Do you offer one-on-one or drop in sessions where farmers can talk with an attorney?
No. Although our organization includes staff members that are attorneys, our organization does not offer legal counsel or advice. If you have an urgent legal matter, please contact an attorney licensed to practice in your state.
I am looking for resources about farm employment law, business structures, or insurance and liability, how do I find what I need?
The Collection & Question Pathways are headers for the general topics we address at farm commons–workers and employment, business structures, insurance and liability, to name a few. In each collection you’ll find question pathways and resources. The Resource Library offers in-depth resources based on the Question Pathways.
If you would like to explore our Question Pathways, go here to select the Collection you are interested in and then select the question most similar to your own to learn more. Just click on a question that resembles your own question, and you’ll be taken to a short explanation on our most relevant resources. If you are looking for a specific resource, you can search our Resource page here.
Producer Membership Questions
How does the 14-day free Producer trial work?
You can start a free trial one time. If you have previously signed up for a free trial or a membership through this site you cannot participate in another free trial. Trial members can access everything a full member can access, including registering for courses, viewing and saving farm law resources and more!
If you sign up for a multi-week workshop during your free trial, you will need to become a paid member in order to continue in the workshop class for the full session. If you do not continue your free trial, you will be automatically removed from the workshop.
I registered for the 14-day free Producer trial but forgot to cancel my account. How do I get a refund?
Thank you for joining our community! We are sad to see you go, but certainly understand how hard it is to remember to cancel before the end of a free trial. Need a refund? Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a refund no later than fourteen days after your free trial has expired.