Agricultural Services Practice Group
Scolaro Fetter Grizanti & McGough, P.C. has established itself as a leading provider of legal services to the agriculture community throughout New York, Pennsylvania and other states. The firm represents farms, farm families and agriculture-related businesses such as equipment dealers, equipment & product manufacturers, consultants and other service organizations. The firm has participated in numerous successful farm, estate, business and succession plans over the past thirty years, each case presenting unique facts and circumstances that must be addressed.
When representing agriculture-based businesses, it is important to not only understand the general principles of business, estate and tax planning, but it is equally important to clearly understanding the specific needs of the farm and its owners. Many farms and farm-related businesses remain within the same family for many generations. In many cases, there are both farm and non-farm heirs within the family and care must be taken to properly provide for everyone while protecting the primary asset of the family – the family farm.
Today’s farm economy presents many challenges to the farm business and to its advisors. It is important that the farm advisors work together as a team to address these challenges and to best serve the farm client.
Attorneys of the firm have presented seminars and programs to agricultural clients and their advisors in many parts of the country.
- Business and Tax Planning
- Entity Formation
- Estate and Trust Planning and Administration
- Land Acquisition and Leasing
- Liquor Licensing, Farm Market Licensing, and USDA Compliance
- Regulatory and Compliance Issues
- Succession Planning
- Business Entity Selection, Organization and Representation
- Business Sales, Acquisitions, Mergers, Reorganizations and Development of Strategic Alliances and Partnerships among Farm Businesses
- Empire Zone Benefits Application and Negotiation
- Employment and Labor Matters
- Estate and Trust Planning and Estate Administration
- Establishment of Retirement Plans for Owners and Employees
- Farm Succession and Transition Planning
- Governmental Support Program Applications and Disputes
- Long Term Care Planning
- Personal Injury Matters for both Plaintiffs and Defendants
- Purchase of Development Rights
- Real Property Purchases, Leases, Sales, Section 1031 Exchanges, Subdividing and Dispute Resolution between Adjoining Landowners
- Representation of Farms in Stray Voltage Matters
- Strategic Partnering between Agriculture Entities
- Tax and Finance Planning for Farms, Agriculture-Related Businesses and their OwnersContract Negotiation, Dispute Resolution and Litigation
- Jeffrey M. Fetter, Chair | [email protected] | Biography
- Jerry Cosgrove | [email protected]| Biography
- Daniel J. Fetter | [email protected] | Biography
- Chaim J. Jaffe | [email protected] | Biography
- Shane M. McCrohan | [email protected] | Biography
- R. Michael Shafer | [email protected] | Biography
Choice of Entity – Utilization of Trusts in Estate and Business Succession Planning, by: Jeffrey M. Fetter
Farm Buy-Sell Agreements, by: Jeffrey M. Fetter
2016 New York Farm Succession Planning, by: Jeffrey M. Fetter
Reward and Retain – Keeping Key Employees on the Farm, by Sara Schafer, Top Producer Magazine, December 2015
The Role of the Banker and the Advisory Team in a Difficult Economy, written by Jeffrey M. Fetter, published by BankNews Magazine, March 2016
US Farmers Face Difficult Challenge: Finding A New Generation To Take Over Their Land, by: Amy Nordrum, International Business Times
Cornell University Cooperative Extension – They bring local experience and research based solutions together, helping New York State families and communities thrive in our rapidly changing world.
Programs: Cornell Cooperative Extension extends Cornell University’s land-grant programs to citizens all across New York State. An integrated network of professionals including campus-based faculty and staff, regionally deployed specialists and county-based educators and professional employees provide programs in five areas:
- Agriculture & Food Systems – Cornell Cooperative Extension links the research and extension efforts at Cornell University, Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station, and the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva.
- Community and Economic Vitality – CCE engages New Yorkers in land-use training, inter-municipal collaboration on shared municipal services, leadership training, workforce development, and community decision-making on complex issues.
- Environment and Natural Resources – CCE educates on a broad range of concerns: water resources, agricultural waste and land-use management, forestry, wildlife habitat, lawns and turf, invasive species, energy conservation and development of renewable energy sources.
- Nutrition and Healthy Families – CCE programs aim to reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity and chronic disease through improved nutrition and health practices, to improve child and eldercare, to reduce environmental hazards, and to increase financial and health care literacy.
- Youth Development – CCE’s 4-H Youth Development Programs reach urban, suburban and rural youth in three broad areas: Science, Technology and Engineering, Citizenship, and Healthy Lifestyles.
New York Farm Bureau – Farm Bureau is a non-governmental, volunteer organization financed and controlled by member families for the purpose of solving economic and public policy issues challenging the agricultural industry. It’s mission is “to serve and strengthen agriculture.”
New York FarmLink – A sister program of New York FarmNet, New York FarmLink helps individual producers achieve personal, managerial, and financial success through assistance with farm succession and business partnership planning issues.
New York FarmNet – The mission of the organization is to provide New York farm families with free, confidential consulting services to assist in developing skills for anticipating and addressing financial, family, and production efficiency challenges and transitions through referrals, personalized education, and business and personal planning.
New York State Agricultural Experiment Station – The following partners and programs support the mission of the station:
- Cornell Lake Erie Research and Extension Laboratory (CLEREL) – The Lake Erie Regional Grape Program consists of extension educators and research faculty/staff from Cornell University and Penn State University devoted to projects that impact yields, product quality, diversity and improvement of cultivars, efficiency of production, profitability and adoption of environmentally sound cultural and pest management strategies in the Lake Erie region of New York and Pennsylvania.
- Fruit and Vegetable Processing Pilot Plant – A 10,000 square foot facility on the Geneva, New York, campus devoted to the preservation and processing of fruits and vegetables. This includes an extensive equipment inventory and full utilities.
- Hudson Valley Research Laboratory – Located in the heart of the Hudson Valley growing region, the Hudson Valley Research Laboratory in Highland, New York, is a critical resource for this major production area for pome fruits and vegetables in Ulster County.
- Northeast Center for Food Entrepreneurship (NECFE) – The Northeast Center for Food Entrepreneurship’s purpose is to provide comprehensive assistance to beginning and established food entrepreneurs, thus promoting sustainable economic development of rural communities.
- New York State Wine Analytical Laboratory -The New York State Wine Analytical Laboratory offers over 25 different chemical, microbiological, and sensory analyses at their facility in the Department of Food Science at Cornell’s New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, New York, for quality assurance, trouble shooting and federal regulatory compliance.
- New York State Integrated Pest Management Program – The New York State Integrated Pest Management Program develops sustainable ways to manage pests and helps growers and homeowners use methods that minimize environmental, health, and economic risks.
- New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets – This New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets’ website is designed to foster a competitive food and agriculture industry that benefits producers and consumers alike.
New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA): Selected Resources – NYSERDA offers the following business and residential programs and resources:
SOUTHERN TIER ON-FARM ENHANCEMENT GRANT PROGRAM
The Southern Tier Agricultural Industry Enhancement Program offers “On-Farm Enhancement Grant Program”. Click here to read more [Southern Tier Agricultural Industry Enhancement Program].
GOVERNOR ANDREW M. CUOMO MODIFIED NEW YORK’S ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE CONTROL LAW (“ABC Law”).
On August 14, 2015 legislation was signed to modify three components of the ABC Law:
- Bill No. S.4800/A.7001 permits Farm Distillery operators to sell gifts, food items, craft products, and souvenirs from the farm’s tax-paid areas.
- Bill No. S.533-A/A.8043 permits alcoholic beverage tastings at retail stores without the presence of a manufacturer.
- Bill No. S.4282/A.7016 permits an exemption from certain tax filing requirements for micro-breweries.
For more information on how these modifications may affect your establishment, please contact either Jeffrey M. Fetter at 315-477-6256 or [email protected]
NEW YORK STATE TO CONTRIBUTE MORE THAN $16 MILLION TO GROW NEW YORK’S CRAFT BEVERAGE INDUSTRY.
On October 7, 2015, as he hosted the third Wine, Beer, Spirits, and Cider Summit, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that the State will contribute more than $16 million in investments and initiatives to support the industry’s continued growth. According to Cuomo, “our investments in the farm-based beverage industry have created a synergy of economic momentum for wineries, cideries, breweries and distilleries…..fueling opportunity for small businesses across the state.”
To learn more about the investment and to read the full article from the Governor’s office, click here.