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Ag Law News

December 26, 2023

In this issue:



   Father Walking Through Field With Son   

How to Talk to Your Family About Succession Planning

Michael C. Zahrt

A survey conducted by the Family Firm Institute indicated that the majority of small business owners want their business to transfer to the next generation. However, 70 percent of family businesses do not survive into the second generation, and 90 percent do not survive into the third generation.

No secret recipe guarantees your business will last for generations to come. Communication with family members about your business goals, philosophy, and succession plans with family members is critical...

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   2024 Goals Checklist   

2023 Year-End Checklist for Businesses

Amanda J. Dernovshek and Lindsey M. Mead

The following is a checklist of matters that businesses should address going into 2024 including:

  • Meeting with tax advisors
  • Preparing for the upcoming Corporate Transparency Act
  • Monitoring your intellectual property
  • Yearly gifts and charitable donations...

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What You Need to Know About the Upcoming Corporate Transparency Act

January 1, 2024

The Corporate Transparency Act (“CTA”) was enacted as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 (“NDAA”). The CTA is intended to combat money laundering, terrorist financing, corruption, tax fraud, and other illicit activity, thereby protecting U.S. economic prosperity. The database that will be created as a result of the CTA’s requirements is intended to aid law enforcement with investigations and mitigate risks as quickly as possible. 

While these intentions are good, the impact of the CTA is expected to be drastic and jarring. The number of legal entities already in existence in the U.S that may now need to report information on themselves, their beneficial owners, and their formation or registration agents is in the tens of millions.

Beginning January 1, 2024, newly created companies that fall under the umbrella of the CTA will be required to report immediately. Existing entities will have one year to report...

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   Teenager Texting While Driving   

Are You Prepared? Video Series Exposes Potentially Devastating Legal Challenges for Young Adults & Their Families

If your 18-year-old child is badly injured in a car accident, do you have the paperwork you need to talk with doctors about their medical condition?

As the holiday season draws to its conclusion, the attorneys at Foster Swift encourage families to make this traditional time of reflection—a time for action. To empower people to take proactive steps, the firm launched an informative video series aimed at demystifying pressing legal concerns for both college students and their parents, paving the way for a safer and more informed academic journey ahead...

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U.S. Department of Labor Announces Proposed New Rule to Strengthen Protections for Temporary Farm Workers

On September 12, 2023, the Department of Labor (Department) announced issuance of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), Improving Protections for Workers in Temporary Agricultural Employment in the United States

The proposed regulatory changes would provide a number of additional or strengthened protections to better fulfill the Department’s duty when authorizing and enforcing temporary agricultural labor certification, including the following reforms...

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Great Lakes Crop Summit

January 24-25, 2024

Foster Swift will once again sponsor the annual Great Lakes Crop Summit convention and trade show on January 24-25, 2024 at the Soaring Eagle Resort in Mt. Pleasant. 

Visit with members of our firm at Booth #11. This year marks the 10th Anniversary of the Summit which allows attendees a chance to:

  • Learn about current farm policies, markets, future trends and more.
  • Listen to a number of well-respected and recognized speakers.
  • Visit the trade show and learn about the newest technologies, products and services
  • Network with farmers, agribusinesses and agricultural experts from across the Midwest

Where: Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort
6800 Soaring Eagle Blvd., Mt. Pleasant, MI 48858

When: January 24-25, 2024




Take Root Conference: Farm Succession & Estate Planning

February 27, 2024

Farmers throughout Michigan are invited and encouraged to attend and network with fellow attendees and gain valuable insights to secure the future of your farm. Speakers will cover topics such as legal considerations, tax planning, and family dynamics.

Foster Swift Ag Law attorneys Todd Hoppe and Mike Zahrt will both be presenters at the 2024 Take Root conference. Presented by the Michigan Farm Bureau, this conference covers Statewide Farm Succession and Estate Planning. 

  • Todd will be presenting Large Farms and Multiple Operations—How do we structure our growing business?
    • Now you have multiple operations, generations of family members, and numerous farm employees. You have farm managers. You have grain elevators, livestock, trucking, real estate and cropping, all run independently. You do contract work for other farms and agribusinesses. What structure should you be moving to? Should you do it all at once or in stages? What are other companies doing?
  • Mike will be presenting Estate Planning Essentials for Agriculture. His session will discuss how to:
    • Maximize and preserve wealth during lifetime;
    • Transfer wealth at death to intended recipients;
    • Minimize estate administration expenses;
    • Reduce or defer taxes; property ownership; and
    • Avoid conflict among family members.

Where: The James B. Henry Center for Executive Development
3535 Forest Road Lansing, MI 48910

When: February 27, 2024 from 8 am - 4:30 pm




What Employers Need to Know for 2024

On October 12, members of the Labor & Employment law practice group hosted a webinar that was very well-received and discussed various topics that employers need to know going into 2024. Here are the video links to the individual sessions:







Grand Rapids






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