Farm and Ranch
Legal Aid of Nebraska works in collaboration with the Interchurch Ministries of Nebraska (IMN), the Nebraska Department of Agriculture’s Farm Mediation Service and Beginning Farmer Program (NDA), and other partners to offer a variety of services to Nebraska farm and ranch families with the goal of increasing the number of beginning farmers through education about legal and financial topics. We also provide education to farmers and ranchers who are considering succession to the next generation.
How we help:
Some of our services include workshops, clinics, one-on-one assistance, and written materials. Workshops are presented to group of participants to discuss issues pertinent to beginning farmers and ranchers. Clinics are one hour sessions at locations throughout the State of Nebraska once a month, with each appointment lasting approximately one hour. One-on-one assistance with legal counsel is provided by appointment at a location convenient for you. Written materials include articles, factsheets, model leases, and the like.
In addition, Legal Aid of Nebraska staffs the Interchurch Ministries of Nebraska’s Rural Response Hotline (1-800-464-0258) which, through full-time staff and on-call legal and financial consultants, offers rural Nebraskans a ready source of practical advice, as well as a clearinghouse of information on a wide range of available services.
Legal Aid and IMN have also collaborated to establish a counseling program for rural Nebraskans, the Nebraska Counseling, Outreach, and Mental Health Therapy program, or COMHT, under which farm and ranch families and individuals of limited means may obtain no-cost vouchers to use in paying for confidential mental health counseling from participating licensed counselors. Through the Ag mentor Program, Legal Aid offers on-farm consultations with financial and legal counselors.
Through this array of services, Legal Aid assists and advises farm and ranch families in the following substantive areas:
Estate and transition planning, including
o Understanding and choosing estate and transition planning tools
o Estate, gift and inheritance taxation
o Beginning farmer and rancher programs and resources
o Medicaid and long-term care
o Use of entities (LLC, S Corporation, limited partnership) in transition plans
Financial distress transactions, including
o Preparation for mediation
o Cash flow analysis
o debt restructure
o debt refinance
o asset liquidation or sell down, tax consequences
o reorganization, Chapter 12
Family farm and ranch business planning, including
o cash flow and balance sheet analysis and preparation
o federal farm loan programs
o control and management issues
o family communication skills
o use of entities
o enterprise analysis
Rights and remedies, including
o Real estate issues, leases, deeds of trust, adverse possession, easements, eminent domain, school land, tax sale certificates
o ground and surface water regulation and rights, water transfers, drainage ways, flooding and accretion
o Contracts, farm and pasture leases, custom cattle care arrangements, grain contracts
o Agricultural security interests
o Fence and livestock laws
Unlike most of our other programming and services, our farm and ranch program has no income requirements or cutoffs.