Agricultural Law

Our team has been assisting agricultural businesses for years.

Agricultural Law in Michigan

Agriculture today, in Michigan and elsewhere, is a multifaceted undertaking. Because so many areas of law come into play, the farmer must increasingly be cognizant of the legal ramifications of farm activity. Similarly, the attorneys representing families, farm suppliers, and others in the industry must be knowledgeable in many areas of state law, not least of which being the growing body of governmental regulation concerning food production and distribution. Agricultural practitioners need legal advice above all in real estate matters and estate planning, but this is only one of the manifold challenges associated with operating a successful agribusiness.

Our Team Approach for Agricultural Law

Here in Holland, Michigan, we have developed a broad knowledge of agricultural law along with a team approach. We’ve found that having overlapping expertise in relevant areas provides our clients with outcomes that have far surpassed their expectations.

Voted Best Law Firm in Holland, Michigan

Attorney Articles

Protecting Your Agricultural Interests!

KNOW Your Options. our agricultural attorneys have years of experience across michigan. 

Agricultural Law Services

Agricultural Entity Formation & Planning

Our attorneys assist farmers and ag-related businesses with formation & tax planning strategies.


Agricultural Construction Law & Land Use

Agricultural law is becoming more complex for land use and zoning restrictions in many areas. Our agricultural attorneys work alongside our real estate & environmental law practice to give you complete representation.

Zoning & Land Use

Environmental Regulations

Ag-related businesses are having to adopt new policies to comply with regulations for manure management, wetland regulations,  water runoff, and more.  Cunningham Dalman has a diverse team of attorneys who specialize in multiple areas of law being affected by environmental concerns. 


Estate Planning, Taxes, & Succession Plans

Family farms and ag-related businesses should all invest in "Agricultural Estate Planning".  Planning today is more important than ever to ensure multi-generational farms & ranches are protected. 

Tax Planning

Contracts, Disputes, & Insurance

Our team assists on agricultural contracts for buy/sell agreements, land leases, equipment, livestock, and other arrangements. We also provide counsel on common disputes related to water drainage, public nuisance claims, and environmental issues with government agencies.

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Agricultural Employment Laws

Farmers and Ag-related businesses have a wide variety of issues & concerns to address in terms of employment laws. Our employment law practice helps assist in these areas.

Employment Law

Working for You in Multiple Areas of Agricultural Law

keeping up with new agribusiness concerns. Let our agricultural attorneys keep you advised on changes. 

assisting with agricultural business planning

Agricultural Entity Formation & Planning

Our Agricultural practice assists farmers and ag-related businesses in choosing the best structure possible for tax & legal ramifications. Our attorneys take a long-range approach to understanding today’s operations, plans for the future, and succession planning for the next generation. We will assist you in determining the best structure to limit your tax and liability exposure. There are several issues regarding taxes which should be address on a case-by-case basis. 

Cunningham Dalman also has a dedicated practice for “Business & Corporate” law which provides expertise in business entity formation and important tax planning decisions.

Five Basic Business Structures:
state & local zoning requirements

Agricultural Construction Law & Land Use

Agricultural land use, regulations, and local, state, & federal laws for agribusinesses are ever changing & becoming more complex each year. In 2000, the Michigan Right to Farm Act (“RTFA”) (Public Act 93 of 1981), was amended in an attempt to keep townships & local municipalities from enforcing their zoning laws on farming and other agricultural businesses. Site selection for new livestock operations or expansions must accommodate for water quality, odor control, future land use & development patterns, and more.

Cunningham Dalman has decades of experience in construction law, zoning permits, and representing agricultural clients across the state of Michigan. 

Areas Where We Can Assist:
managing environmental concerns for agricultural

Environmental Regulations for Agricultural Businesses

Farmers and other ag-related business owners are having to comply with stricter regulations related to the hydrologic cycle and their operations. Agricultural law now involves issues of land use, urban & agricultural water demands, water runoff, drainage, irrigation, wildlife habitats, invasive species, soil erosion & conservation, effects of pesticides, effects on watersheds, field fertilizing techniques, and more. 

In addition, the trend of larger farms is bringing new challenges in terms of environmental protection, animal well-being, and community relations.

Areas Where We Can Assist:
assisting you with long-term planning

Estate Planning, Taxes, & Succession Planning

If you own a farm, ranch, or anything ag-related today, your land is likely the most valuable asset you have and the tax authorities understand this as well. Unfortunately, it’s estimated by NASS (U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service) that only 30% of farms will survive into the 2nd generation. The reasoning is quite simple: most don’t do any type of financial, estate, or tax planning to ensure the family business survives.

 Cunningham Dalman provides extensive financial, tax, and estate planning for our agricultural clients to ensure your enterprise can stay in the family for years to come.

Areas Where We Can Assist:
understanding local, state, & federal laws

Agricultural Contracts & Disputes

Many agricultural business enterprises are expanding and dealing with larger partners or entering into production agreements. Contracts are becoming more popular and negotiating terms that protect your business is more important than ever. 

In addition, common contracts are required for purchasing & selling land, land leases, equipment loans & leases, and mortgages. As agricultural law becomes more complex in the area of environmental regulation, it’s important to have representation which is knowledgeable on multiple fronts and understands Michigan law.

Areas Where We Can Assist:

Agricultural Law FAQ

Most frequent questions and answers

Michigan Farm Bureau estimates there are more than 51,000 farms and close to 10 million acres.

Michigan Farm Bureau estimates 22% of the state’s workforce is employed in agriculture, food processing, and related businesses.

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