UM Transactional Clinic Joins In Field Day for Mississippi Farmers in Pickens

By: Professor Phil Broadhead

Gregory Alston at Field Day.

Gregory Alston at Field Day.

The Transactional Clinic at UM Law serves a number of different businesses ranging from for-profit LLC’s to nonprofit private foundations and public charities. A significant portion of the work the clinic does is split between advising specific clients and conducting community outreach.

A vital part of the Clinic’s outreach is attending the monthly educational group meetings referred to as “field days” hosted all over the state by The Alliance for Sustainable Agricultural Production. The field days provide farmers a way to network with other operations, to learn about varied farming techniques, and to hear a variety of speakers who share their expertise on sustainable farming in Mississippi.

On April 15, 2016, the UM Transactional Clinic attended a field day held in Pickens, Mississippi, at Seven Cedars Farm where the owner of the farm spoke alongside a representative from Mississippi State and a representative from the Rainbow Co-op in Jackson, Mississippi.

Gregory Alston, a third-year law student representing the Transactional Clinic, also spoke to the farmers about the protection benefits of creating limited liability companies for their farming operations. Alston said, “I was excited to be able to share with farmers from around the area about the importance of a Limited Liability Company and also hear from them about the necessity of [establishing] sustainable agriculture.”

The attendees were very engaged and asked Alston several follow-up questions about how to separate personal funds from business income, as well as how the attendees could become a single-member LLC business entity. The questions posed by the attendees also provided Cam Abel and Marie Cope, Transactional Clinic supervising attorneys, the opportunity to provide more general guidelines on business practices such as the proper method of an LLC making a bank loan for the operation of the farm.