Legal Solutions to Risk on the Farm and Ranch

(Jamie) Thanks for staying with us. Next up is Mike Irvin, Director of the Kansas Farm Bureau Legal Foundation.
(Duane) Duane Toews joining you once again from the Kansas Forage and Grassland Council Annual Meeting and Winter Conference in Manhattan. Have a chance to catch up with Mike Irvin with Kansas Farm Bureau and Mike you talked about a pretty important subject when we get to the bottom line for producers of forages and crops in general. Tell us a little bit about kind of a synopsis of the things that you hit for high points with the guys today. (Mike) Great question. What our goal was today was to do kind of an educational on risk, from a legal standpoint. And our goal is to take the examples of risk through cases and just different sorts of issues that would be raised on their farm or their operation and then give them solutions, legal solutions to kind of minimize those risks. So really the whole class or the whole seminar was based on taking these tools and then implementing them so that you minimize your risks so that you can operate in a very efficient fashion. (Duane) We think of that old adage of an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Here’s a case where that maybe goes well beyond that. (Mike) That’s right. What we try to do is give them the tools so then they can implement these tools instead of getting into a quagmire and then at that point they find themselves stuck and they don’t know where to turn to, then they have to go to an attorney. And then that gets pretty expensive at that point in time to get themselves out of that situation. So, the whole goal is to educate and implement these risk tools and management so that we can avoid those problems and things in the future. (Duane) An individual realistically though needs to be educated themselves on what regulations and rules there are for the industry that they’re participating in. (Mike) Oh absolutely right. Whether it’s trucking regulations, spraying, and transporting their goods through carriers. We talk about billing late, sale of our contracts through contractual relationships. Again the idea is to pin what they want to do and so that we have a definitive agreement between the parties so that everybody knows what the expectations are. And to go along with that, we try to work with them on again the trucking regulations and the things that might be out there that might trip ’em up. So again, the whole idea is to get them in a vein where they feel comfortable and can operate risk free. (Duane) We think about doing so. If you’ve done all that homework, that takes a lot of stress off a producer in the operation, really let’s them get back to the business of production. (Mike) Well that’s absolutely what we try to preach and that is is you know, there’s no way to get rid of all risk, but if we can go through and mitigate that risk for them and help them just by doing simple little things such as business structures, insurance. We can help them alleviate those worries as we go through and operate and just try to do what they every day and do it efficiently. (Duane) Our thanks to Mike Irvin with Kansas Farm Bureau joining us with the Kansas Grassland and Forage Council here in Manhattan at their annual conference and convention. Jamie, we’ll send it back to you for more AGam in Kansas.

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