Agri-Business & Forest Products
Safety concerns along the food supply chain and tension over water supplies and usage have created a high-pressure environment for farmers and agri-businesses. The desire to expand operations from farming through distribution has also created opportunities and pitfalls for both farmers and operators. Forest landowners face similar risks and have comparable opportunities.
Best Best & Krieger LLP’s (BBK) Agri-Business & Forest Products attorneys are leaders in representing these businesses, helping them optimize operations and overcome the challenges they face. Combining deep industry knowledge with broad legal experience, we meet our clients’ farm-to-table or woods-to-market business and legal needs. With real-life farm, cattle ranching and timber industry experience, we have dealt first-hand with many of the issues our clients must address.
We represent a broad range of agri-business clients and forest landowners. This includes farmers and producers, packers and processors in the rice, citrus, grape and other fruit and vegetable sectors, as well as vineyards, forest products businesses and equine and livestock ranch operations. We offer pragmatic business and legal guidance to clients regarding:
- Entity formation, structuring and corporate governance
- Agri-business mergers, acquisitions and asset purchases and sales
- Real estate acquisitions, development, construction and insurance
- Zoning, land use, easements and permits
- Business operations, contracts and litigation
- Natural resources and sustainable operations
- Water rights, supply and quality
- Conservation easements, endangered species mitigation banks
- Regulatory compliance, intellectual property and trade regulation
- Labor and employment, including immigration law and wage and hour compliance
- Pesticide registration compliance and performance disputes
- Government affairs
Additionally, we represent agri-business and water district interests in state and federal courts and before California governmental agencies, including state and regional water boards, the Agricultural Labor Relations Board, and the departments of Food and Agriculture and Fish and Wildlife.
Leading the Way
BBK attorneys are active in trade organizations and industry coalitions, leading the way toward collaboration, solutions and industry progress as increased regulation and legal challenges force agricultural operations to become more sophisticated.
- Represented an international agricultural products processing company in $50 million new credit facility (equipment, accounts receivable, real estate and line of credit).
- Represented a multistate cattle rancher in acquisition of multiple properties totaling more than 14,600 acres, including conservation easements, grazing leases, personal property and leaseback arrangements.
- Assisted a landowner in drafting easement agreements, licenses, leases and acquisition/disposition agreements, hunting/rice/row crop/hay leases.
- Advise and assist clients in connection with developing regulations, administrative determinations and enforcement actions.
- Represented several large cattle operations relative to setting up conservation easements.
- Represented a cattle ranch owner in negotiating a Safe Harbor Agreement with federal and state agencies for threatened fish species.
- Represent forest landowners in a broad array of matters, including ownership, management, purchase and sale transactions, finance, conservation transactions, carbon credit offset projects, water rights, real estate development, land use, environmental regulation and litigation.
- Represent California landowners and land operators in interstate litigation involving environmental challenges to existing water adjudications, water rights, disputes threatening water delivery, grazing rights, endangered species and tribal rights.
- Represent a California-grown commodity on possible federal trade action against imported product from Europe.
- Represent related landowners on dividing various properties for purposes of selling some and transferring some of the other remaining properties.
- Represent a consortium of water agencies in the State Water Board and in court regarding challenges from environmental entities.
- Represent high-tech firm on new electronic high-speed method to selectively target only undesirable vegetation and apply only a “spit” of herbicide.