Farm and food initiative

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CLF’s Hub Helps Improve New England Farms’ Uncertain Future
by Melissa Chalek

In late April, CLF partners American Farmland Trust (AFT) and Land For Good (LFG) released a joint study on farm succession in New England. The study reveals that our region’s farmers are aging fast – as of 2012, 85% of principal farm operators were over the age of 45, up from 76% in 2002. In…

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Local Food Innovation: A Win for Maine
by Ben Tettlebaum

This past weekend, ten teams competed to win the first ever Maine Farm, Fish, and Food Innovation Challenge. What’s an “Innovation Challenge”? Think Top Chef for startup businesses aimed at expanding the sustainable distribution, processing, marketing, and aggregation of Maine foods. Thirty-six participants representing 10 teams participated in the weekend event at Bowdoin College. Over…

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Farmers and Lawyers: A Match Made in Maine
by Ben Tettlebaum

Noah Fralich moved back home to Maine with one ambition: to open a business on his family’s land in New Gloucester. His fledgling cidery business was just getting off the ground when he hit a snag – the name of his business was already trademarked by someone else. Now, in the midst of trying to grow…

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Starting a Business Just Got Easier
by Ben Tettlebaum

Sooner or later, if you’re thinking of starting a business, you’ll need to decide what form it should take. Do you want to start a for-profit? A nonprofit? A cooperative? Wonder if an S Corp might be a better choice than a C Corp? Is a B Corp right for you? What’s the difference between…

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CLF’s Pro Bono Legal Services Food Hub Helps Boston Food Entrepreneurs
by Molly Norton

Earlier this year, two young Boston entrepreneurs were in the thick of starting a food business. Their idea was to start a food truck in low-income Boston neighborhoods where they would cook and serve on-the-go meals made with ingredients sourced from local farms. Through this venture, the duo aimed to increase access to healthy, affordable,…

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WANTED: Transactional Lawyers for Farmers and Food Entrepreneurs
by Elena Mihaly

Imagine you’d like to start a local farm. You’ll want land, equipment, seeds, and that special ingredient that few people think about: a lawyer. Surprised? You’re not alone! Few people recognize how necessary lawyers are in building the farms, food businesses, and food cooperatives that make up our local food system. Acquiring land, negotiating agricultural…