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Agricultural Law News

September 28, 2020

In this issue:



   Be Prepared - Business Succession   

Don’t Wait to Begin Business Succession Planning

Joel C. Farrar and Mindi M. Johnson

This article is also featured in the September 14, 2020 issue of MiBiz

A common and costly mistake when it comes to business succession planning is not starting the process early enough. By waiting too long, an owner runs the risk of not having the right people in place to run the business, as well as having much of the business’ value consumed by estate taxes. Either misstep can and sadly often does cause a business to fail when it passes from one generation to the next...

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I've Been Served with a Summons and Complaint—Now What?

Ray H. Littleton and Sydney Steele

While no one wants to be a defendant in a civil lawsuit, it is important to know exactly what to do when served with a Summons and Complaint.

  • First, remain calm and take a breath. Review the documents closely in order to verify that you are the intended recipient of the Summons and Complaint.
  • If the Summons and Complaint are intended for you or a business entity that you own or represent, take immediate action. The clock is ticking. Check the front page of the document to determine the time you have to file a Response to the Complaint. Contact an attorney as soon as possible so that they can assist you in getting a Response drafted prior to the Answer deadline...

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   Debt Collection   

A Systematic Plan for Debt Collection by Agribusinesses

Patricia J. Scott and Scott A. Chernich

While this article is meant to serve as a general guide, the landscape of debt collection has been completely transformed due to the difficulties caused by the current pandemic and has become more about 'progress' rather than 'payment'. If you would like to learn more about collections during COVID, we highly suggest also reading this recent article and/or watching this video on'Creative Collections'.

There is nothing quite like a big sale to a new customer - the prospect of recurring revenue from a new source, the validation of business strategy, or the culmination of a successful negotiation...

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Recent Questions Regarding PPP Forgiveness Applications

As PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) Loan Applicants await for banks to open their portals and begin accepting forgiveness applications, Foster Swift Business & Tax attorneys Taylor Gast and Mike Zahrt discuss recent updates regarding applications along with answers to common questions to consider regarding the next steps in the loan process.

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GAAMPS Deadline Approaching

Comments on the proposed 2021 GAAMP drafts (Generally Accepted Agricultural and Management Practices) are currently being accepted by MDARD (Michigan Department of Agricultural & Rural Development). GAAMPs are guidelines for farm management that help promote a positive image of Michigan agriculture.

The current deadline to provide comments is Wednesday, October 7, 2020. 

Visit for more information on reviewing current proposals and instructions on submitting comments.

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Judge Upholds MDHHS Order Requiring COVID-19 Testing of Migrant Workers

Caroline N. Renner

In Castillo v. Whitmer, True Blue Berry Management, LLC, Smeltzer Orchards Co., LLC, and a group of farm workers claimed that the state’s emergency order requiring testing for COVID-19 when more than twenty employees are on site at a time targeted the Latino community. The emergency order for testing was issued by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (“MDHHS”) on August 3, 2020.

The emergency order applied to employers of migrant or seasonal workers, and required a one-time testing on all workers, including testing new workers prior to any in-person work...

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Genovich to Speak on Chapter 5 & 12 Farm Bankruptcy

October 22, 2020

Bankruptcy and Municipal Law attorney, Laura J. Genovich, will be speaking in a breakout session on 'Chapter 5 & 12 Farm Bankruptcy Reorganization Statutes' at the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants' (MICPA) CPE Mega Conference on Thursday, October 22. Her session will run from 11:30 am-12:20 pm.

This year's conference is completely virtual. More information and registration can be found below.

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With Election Day Coming, Visit our Blog

With Election Day fast approaching on November 3, be sure to visit Foster Swift's Election Law Blog at This new blog page is meant to address election and campaign finance law topics, questions, and concerns.

Many of the laws in this area are very nuanced and simple mistakes like linking to the wrong website or incorrectly using the ‘magic words’ can result in a fine or punishment. The blog seeks to expand readers’ understanding of campaign and election laws, which in turn will help them better navigate and participate in the democratic process – whether as a candidate, committee, municipality or other public body, non-profit, or for-profit business.

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Grand Rapids






St Joseph


Foster Swift Collins & Smith, PC E-Newsletters are intended for general information for our clients and friends. This newsletter highlights specific areas of law and is not legal advice. The reader should consult an attorney to determine how this information applies to any specific situation.

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