Calling all Farmers and Land Stewards!

Agroecology Commons Collective Working primarily within unceded Lisjan Ohlone Territory (also known as the Bay Area) Agroecology Commons came together as a collective of individuals who share deep resonance for the connection between land and liberation. Coming from backgrounds as farmers, educators, artists, and cooperative business owners, we share a commitment to agroecological land stewardship and justice.

Our work is not new, but rooted in Indigenous, peasant, and community organizing lineages, that for time immemorial have protected land and agroecological practices. We honor all those that steward and protect, while simultaneously rooting this work in our own diverse ancestral land-based practices.

The Sustainable Economies Law Center provides direct legal support to individuals and groups who are working to create new solutions for resilient local economies. The Resilient Communities Legal Cafe provides sliding-scale donation-based legal advice, via Zoom, by appointment. 

Our particular expertise at the Law Center is in starting worker-owned cooperatives, converting existing businesses into cooperatives, organizing housing and real estate cooperatives, and founding nonprofits or other social enterprises; but regardless of whether or not you’re interested in cooperatives, we can help you think through choosing an entity type, acquiring land, creating agreements with co-owners, labor and employment laws, how businesses and nonprofits are taxed, various types of contracts, liability, and governance or decision-making structures. We will also be able to discuss basic tax, labor and employment, budgeting, and administrative functions specific to beginning farmers. Here are some examples of questions you could bring to us:

      ❖ I want to operate a farming business out of my personal residence. Do I need a separate entity for the business? How do I separate out my business and personal assets and report them on my taxes?

I want to start a farming business with a few other people. What do we need to get clear on amongst ourselves before we start? 

❖ I am thinking about purchasing land for my farming business. What should I be thinking about and looking for? 

My uncle has been casually working for me in my farm business. How do I make sure I’m not violating any labor or employment laws?

❖ I want to start a business or a nonprofit, but I’m not sure which. We want to make money but also do good in our community. Also, we’d like to access grant funding. What entity type should we choose?

I want to operate a farming business out of my personal residence. Do I need a separate entity for the business? How do I separate out my business and personal assets and report them on my taxes?

Note: We especially encourage Black, Indigenous, people of color, and low-income communities to RSVP. We focus on cooperatives, participatory or democratic nonprofits, land trusts, and mutual aid groups. If you need Spanish Language or American Sign Language interpretation, please email Hope ([email protected]) with Subject Line "Interpretation Request - for [mm/dd/yyyy] event." We will do our best to accommodate your request.

Keep an eye out for an e-mail when you RSVP. The e-mail will have your appointment slot, instructions on how to attend our Legal Cafe remotely, and an intake form that we need you and your partners to fill out. 

Format: You and/or your group will be paired with a lawyer for 30-45 minutes to get answers to questions about entity formation, contracts, governance, and more! Since we're based in Oakland, our event times are listed as Pacific Standard Time.

Got any questions? E-mail [email protected]!


Only one person per group needs to RSVP.

March 28, 2024 at 12:00pm - 1:30pm PDT
Online via Zoom
Oakland, CA
United States
Google map and directions
Hope ·

Will you come?

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