What Types of Legal Issues Does the Fund Support?
How Can the Legal Defense Fund Help Me?
The Legal Defense Fund steps in to help cover the cost of legal representation for members to ensure that cost alone isn't a barrier to you defending your rights as a farmer or rancher.
Please consider a contribution from your county to the MFB Legal Defense Fund this summer.
Help your fellow farmers today to set the precedent that will impact your farm tomorrow.
If you are currently facing a legal dispute and would like to request a grant, you should complete an application (click here or on the image below) and submit it to Michigan Farm Bureau. Michigan Farm Bureau will do a legal review and consult with the Legal Defense Fund Committee. The committee is made up of Farm Bureau regular members. The committee will make a recommendation to the Michigan Farm Bureau Board of Directors. The Board of Directors will then deny or grant (in full or in part) the request for funding.
“I was recently involved in an agricultural property tax dispute with Courtland Township. The issue was whether the taxable value on a property should be revised because it had been continually qualified agricultural property. The Michigan Farm Bureau Legal Defense Fund agreed to hire outside legal counsel to file an amicus brief with the Michigan Tax Tribunal in support of my position. The issue was particularly important to Michigan farmers who might purchase qualified agricultural property with an uncapped taxable value, and seek to have the value “re-capped.” An adverse ruling would have resulted in higher property taxes for likely hundreds, if not thousands, of Michigan farmers. Ultimately, the Tax Tribunal ruled in our favor, and ordered Courtland Township to re-cap the taxable value. No doubt, Michigan Farm Bureau’s support of my position was key to our success.”
Grants Awarded by County
Since 2011, the Legal Defense Fund provided 42 grants and contributed Amicus Briefs in support of agricultural litigation totaling nearly $419,000