Agribusiness and Cooperatives

Our cooperative and agribusiness attorneys serve a wide variety of cooperatives and agribusiness clients. Although a substantial amount of our cooperative practice is with agricultural cooperatives, we also represent and advise other types of cooperatives, such as purchasing, health care, credit union, utilities/telecommunications, food, service, housing (condominium) and employee/worker cooperatives.

Our agribusiness practice has been defined by the unique requirements of the clients we serve, whether they are investor-controlled entities such as proprietorships and corporations, or member-controlled entities such as cooperatives and limited liability companies.

Because of the special legal service requirements of cooperative and agribusiness clients, we have extensive experience in the following matters as they are applied in agribusiness and cooperatives:

  • Agribusiness and cooperative mergers, acquisitions and asset dispositions;
  • Agribusiness financing and capitalization;
  • Cooperative governance and the member, patronage and equity ownership issues unique to cooperatives;
  • Cooperative taxation, and state and local taxation of agribusiness;
  • Formation of agribusiness companies and agribusiness joint enterprises, including application of the cooperative and limited liability company business models to agribusiness enterprise;
  • Marketing Agreements;
  • Employment, compensation, occupational safety, environmental, and other regulatory issues of agribusiness;
  • Commodities marketing, including cash and futures contracting, warehousing and transport of commodities;
  • Credit and secured transactions in agribusiness.

We provide counsel regarding the tax, antitrust, and securities regulation issues that are unique to cooperatives, and representation in administrative or litigation proceedings involving these issues.

We have advised cooperatives and agribusiness clients in some of the most specialized and widely disputed issues of the last few years, such as hybrid or hedge-to-arrive grain contracting, cooperative antitrust exemptions, and concentrated livestock production.

We have provided counsel in the drafting and revision of cooperative corporate statutes in several states and are a primary contributor to the current Ohio Cooperative Law.

We believe that our ability to understand and empathize with cooperative and agribusiness clients helps us quickly and efficiently adapt our skills and experience to the particular needs of most cooperatives and agribusinesses. This ability makes our legal services more effective, efficient, and valuable to the client.