Agricultural Lawyer in Missouri

If you are a farmer dealing with legal issues, you can turn to agricultural lawyer Kelvin Birk and the Birk Law Firm. Most aspects of agricultural Law are actually the application of other areas of business law specifically to farming. Kelvin knows and has an emphasis on farm law due to his experience as an attorney in all these issues and because he knows what it take to run his own farm.

Farming today is more than just planting and harvesting crops and raising livestock. Agriculture is a major business that is integral to the economy of Southeast Missouri, and it supports much of the population in our area. Just as in any business, legal issues relating to farming and agriculture arise and need to be taken care of properly to avoid problems and negative consequences.

Don’t let legal issues get out of control. Our agricultural attorneys in Cape Girardeau offer a free consultation to examine your issues and show you how we can help. Call the Birk Law Firm today at 573-332-8585.

Our Agricultural Lawyer in Missouri Handles a Wide Range of Cases

Farming is integral to the economy and community of Southeast Missouri.  The agricultural base in Southeast Missouri is very diverse, ranging from cattle to cotton and from rice to beans. From the flat land in the Missouri Bootheel to the hills in the Ozarks, there is a huge variety of agriculture.  This diversity creates various challenges when legal issues arise.

At Birk Law Firm, our agricultural lawyer in Missouri has handled a vast number of matters involving farm law, and we know what is involved with these issues.  Kelvin Birk’s expertise in tax law and estate planning as well as real estate, contracts and litigation, combined with his real-world farm experience make him ideally suited to all aspects of farm law.

Farm Law in Missouri

Agriculture is a highly regulated industry in our society, with laws that pertain to general business and specifically to agriculture. There are farm laws dealing with environmental impact, land and water use, seasonal workers and other labor, use of pesticides, marketing, and other issues. There are licenses and permits that farms need to operate in Missouri, and issues such as making contracts, setting up corporations and partnerships, and taking out and paying back loans. Any of these situations can be handled with the help of an agriculture lawyer.


We Help with All Agricultural Law Matters

Running a farm involves knowing and adhering to state and federal laws, and the chances are you are too busy to handle the legal aspects. At Birk Law Firm, our agricultural lawyer can take the burden off you by taking care of the legal aspects so you can focus on the running of your business.

The following is a sampling of the matters we handle regarding agricultural and farm law:

Farm Leases

  • The most common form of agriculture lease is a land lease. Most leases are either those where you pay cash for rent or crop-share leases, where a landlord receives a share of the crops produced in exchange for the use of the land. We will help develop lease agreements that protect both landlords’ and tenants’ rights and defend you should disputes arise.


  • An easement is a right to use and/or enter onto your property for a specific purpose, without possessing it. For example, a utility company may have an easement on part of your land where it can lay cable, pipes, or wires, and it is allowed to come onto that section of your property for service.

Estate and Tax Planning

  • Chances are you have spent your life establishing and growing your farm, and you want to pass it on to your heirs. Good tax and estate planning allow you strategies to manage and minimalize your tax burdens during your life and after death so that you can reduce income taxes and estate taxes.

Real Estate Purchase and Sale Agreements

  • These are agreements between buyer and seller to transact real estate where a buyer agrees to pay an agreed-upon amount for a property. Our agricultural attorney makes sure all agreements are valid and meet the following four requirements:
  1. They must be in writing.
  2. They must contain an offer and an acceptance.
  3. The agreement must be for a legal purpose.
  4. There must be an exchange of things of value, such as money exchanged for property.

Liability for Damages Caused by Livestock

  • According to Missouri law, lawsuits against you can arise for many reasons, such as cattle breaking through a fence and damaging a neighbor’s crop or coming down with a disease that spreads to your neighbor’s herd. We can help prevent and fight lawsuits.

Contracts for Sale and Purchase

  • We will create or examine sale and purchase contracts to make sure they are fair and legal so you don’t wind up in court due to disputes. Our agricultural attorneys will help you develop lease agreements that protect both landlords’ and tenants’ rights, and defend you should disputes arise.

Business Structuring

  • While many farmers still operate as partnerships and sole proprietorships, you might benefit from becoming a corporation or limited liability company. Doing so may have tax benefits and afford you protection for your business and for personal assets.


  • There are many situations that may be considered trespass. For example:
  • Someone is on your land without permission, regardless of the extent of damage they do.
  • Someone damages property on your land, such as by bulldozing a fence line and damaging trees.
  • Someone’s livestock breaks through a fence and causes damage on your property.

Birk Law Firm handles these and a wide range of other trespass situations as they arise, so call our agricultural lawyers with any issues you face where others trespass on your property.


Fence Law

  • Disputes often arise over fences and boundaries between adjoining properties.  Missouri Statutes deal with issues such as what is a lawful fence and what portion of the fence each party is required to maintain, and we can defend you should disputes arise.

Lien Issues on Livestock and Crops

  • Much agricultural business depends on financing to buy crop inputs, machinery, equipment, and livestock, and there may be liens placed on the proceeds to secure the loan.

Farm Bankruptcy

  • Farm bankruptcies have been rising, and if you are considering bankruptcy, we can help you decide whether it is a good option for you. Bankruptcy allows farms in financial distress to get a fresh start by developing a plan to either reorganize the debt or divide available assets among creditors. Liquidation may be necessary for those too deeply in debt to recover, while reorganization may enable farmers to keep their land.

Farm Succession Planning

  • If yours is a family farm, our agricultural lawyer in Missouri will help you make sure that the process of passing it on to the next generation works successfully.


  • We can help defend you if someone is suing you for any reason, or if you are in a situation where it is necessary to file a lawsuit against another party.

Environmental Issues

  • Agriculture has direct effects on the environment, and the environment directly affects the productivity and viability of your farm. There are always environmental threats, such as climate change, irrigation and water shortages, deforestation, soil erosion, loss of soil fertility, pests and pesticides, waste disposal, and pollutants, that need to be dealt with.

Grain Contracts

  • There are ways to better market grain by using basis contracts that can provide more flexibility in how farmers can market and profit from their crop. In addition, there are futures contracts, which are agreements to buy or sell a specific amount of a commodity at a set price. Our agricultural attorneys can help you understand these contracts and determine what works best for you.

Water Rights

Water disputes often arise over use or diversion of water from one farm to another, particularly in the low-lying Missouri Bootheel area. These disputes are classified as nuisances, and Missouri has developed a “comparable reasonable use” rule to deal with them. The rule requires all water users to accommodate each other’s reasonable use of water and attempts to avoid depriving users of beneficial uses by balancing:

  • The value of the use
  • The harm involved
  • The costs of avoidance of each party

Birk law firm has handled these disputes in court and will defend you if a neighbor brings action against you, or bring action against a neighbor if you are being harmed.


Let Our Agricultural Attorneys in Cape Girardeau Help You

Today’s farms are complex enterprises, and farmers need to be skilled business people; but when business law and agricultural legal issues arise, it makes sense to have an agricultural attorney on your side.

The Cape Girardeau agriculture lawyers at Birk Law Firm have helped farmers throughout Missouri with their legal needs for years. Kelvin Birk has experience and expertise in estate and tax planning, which is particularly applicable and beneficial to farmers.  When you speak to Kelvin you won’t have to explain the difference between a steer and a bull or a cow and a heifer, or what is a bushel – he knows and understands.

We offer a free consultation to discuss any of your agricultural law issues and show you how we can help. Call us today at 573-332-8585.  


Why Choose Birk Law?

Birk Law Firm is a small firm by choice that is big on client services. Attorney Kelvin Birk and his team are responsive to their clients’ needs. When we sign on as your law firm, you can count on us for strong legal counsel, from negotiations to settlement to trial.

Cape Girardeau Law Firm Kelvin BirkOur clients benefit from the intertwining of Kelvin Birk’s legal and CPA background and experience. We provide well-rounded advice to solve both legal and financial issues and to come up with creative solutions. We use modern technology to deliver legal services in a more efficient and client-focused manner than was previously possible.

We provide personalized and compassionate service. We believe that each client’s matter is the most important matter in the world to them, and we strive to treat it that way.


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