CP2 understands that agriculture is important to Colorado’s economy and the landscape of the state. At CP2, we are committed to ensuring the success of farming, ranching and rural lifestyles as well as Colorado agribusiness. Our attorneys provide legal services in the areas of agricultural law as well as farm and ranch law throughout Colorado and western Nebraska.
Agriculture relies heavily on leases. Whether you are an absentee landlord or a tenant leasing acreage for your operations, take the steps to define your respective obligations by entering into a lease. We can assist on cash leases, crop-share leases or hybrid arrangements.
As a way to diversify and increase profits, farm and ranch owners increasingly are combining agriculture and tourism in the form of agritourism. However, the addition of agritourism to a farm, ranch or other ag- operations brings new and increased risks for operators. Before you venture into the arena of agritourism, be sure you are protected under Colorado’s Agricultural Recreational Act (CRS 13-21-121). We work with our agricultural clients to assure they understand the Act and its impact on their proposed agritourism venture.
Our team understands that various business structures may be involved in agricultural operations. From the simplest sole proprietorship to the most complex of corporations, CP2 has you covered. The range of business structures offers the flexibility required to fit the different needs of both business in general and businesses in agriculture specifically. We are available to assist you in navigating the multitude of options available after consideration of tax issues, estate planning or business succession considerations and general overall management objectives.
Whether purely for charitable purposes to protect land from development or to take advantage of certain federal and state tax incentives, the attorneys at CP2 are well equipped to assist with conservation easements. We are experienced in navigating the state of Colorado tax credit program as well as questions that you may have regarding federal law. Additionally, we are experienced in drafting comprehensive conservation easements to ensure the protections you desire for your property.
The United States Department of Agriculture, through the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Farm Service Agency (FSA), currently administers approximately two dozen federal conservation programs. If you have questions regarding those programs including enforcement actions, eligibility, or how to integrate such programs into your estate planning, contact CP2 for assistance navigating the complex issues that arise from conservation programs.
The most recent census of agriculture reported the average age of farm and ranch operators continues to rise, having risen to 58.3 years, but at the same time, the numbers of new farmers and younger farmers identified as principal operators has continued to decrease (2012 Census of Agriculture). Therefore, the need for estate planning for farmers and ranchers is steadily increasing. Farm and ranch estate planning is not a simple “split the pie” issue if you want to ensure the viability of your operation to the next generation. Our attorneys are experienced in the legal, economic and social considerations needed not only for the transfer of the farm and ranch, but also the succession of that farm and ranch. Planning may include insurance, buy-sell arrangements, organization of entities, providing income for retiring generations, segregation of daily, financial, marketing and production decision-making as well as goal setting.
In rural Colorado, issues with fence lines routinely arise. If you are facing a claim related to the location of a fence, or have encountered issues with your neighbor, the attorneys at CP2 can assist you.
Grazing permits are critical to many ranching operations. If you are faced with loss of your permit or have questions regarding your grazing permit, contact us for assistance.
Agriculture and farm and ranch operations face increased liability in today’s market. If you’re considering selling or have sold beef, pork, raw milk or other products directly to consumers, then be sure you have taken the steps to protect the rest of your farm and ranch operations.
The development of large-scale wind projects is changing the landscape of rural Colorado. If you are approached with a wind lease or are faced with wind development around your property, then contact an attorney at CP2 before you sign to assist in your negotiations or asserting your rights under existing agreements. Wind lease agreements frequently exceed fifty (50) years and have lasting impacts on farm and ranch operations. Additionally, offers as originally presented may not provide any guarantee or likelihood of payment. Our attorneys can help you whether your priority is to maximize the financial gain or to protect your farm and ranch operations.
With oil and gas development active and expanding in Colorado, many farmers and ranchers continue to receive documents such as lease offers for oil and gas development, notifications of planned drilling operations, or proposed surface use agreements to enter onto the property for oil and gas development. If you receive an oil and gas lease offer and you are concerned about its impact on your property or you need to maximize your returns to finance farm and ranch operations, then contact our attorneys to assist. If you don’t own the minerals under your lands, and are presented with a surface use agreement or Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission Rule 305 surface owner notification, then our attorneys can assist in advising of your rights under Colorado’s reasonable accommodation doctrine. Are there existing agreements with a producer on your land that aren’t being followed? Our attorneys can assist you with working out long-term solutions that allow you and the producer to coexist on the property.
Water is integral to many farm and ranch operations. If you rely on irrigation water for your farm and ranch operations but need assistance in protesting a pending water application, filing, updating or changing water rights for your owner operations to the Colorado Water Courts, or have questions regarding water well permits, then the attorneys at CP2 can assist you.