The attorneys of HBS’ Agribusiness and Food practice group have first-hand experience and deep understanding of the food and agricultural industry that can only be developed from years on the farm and representing agribusiness and food clients. We leverage our specialized knowledge of the law, the economics of agriculture, and the people who work in this industry to develop timely, comprehensive, and efficient plans to achieve the unique objective of each client.

Our team has represented individual farmers and large institutional agricultural investors, as well as clients of many different sizes and scales in between. Our attorneys have litigated, negotiated, and consummated significant business transactions and provided critical regulatory compliance counsel across many different aspects of the agribusiness and food sector.

Business Transactions

Working with our Business Transactions team, the attorneys of HBS Agribusiness & Food practice have significant experience in assisting family-owned and investor-backed entities in the buying, selling, operating, and financing of farmland, agribusinesses, and food companies. Our attorneys negotiated equity and asset purchase and sale agreements and managed deals involving a variety of food and agribusiness assets.

Our team has extensive experience handling the specialized issues involved in agricultural transactions and related due diligence, integrations and operations, and finance, including:

  • Agricultural overtime exemptions and other agricultural labor laws (e.g., H-2A)
  • Farm Labor Contractor Agreements
  • Conservation Use Assessment Property Tax Covenants
  • Water Withdrawal Permitting
  • Food and Other Regulatory Licensures and Certifications
  • Agricultural exemptions to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations
  • Regulatory compliance (i.e., Packers and Stockyards Act, Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act, state agricultural bond acts, food labeling, food processing)
  • Federal Farm Programs
  • Federal Crop Insurance
  • Farmland and Hunting Leases
  • Solar Leases
  • Supplier Agreements


Our team works closely with the Business Litigation team to prosecute and defend claims on behalf of small, family-owned farms and agribusinesses as well as large companies and their insurers involving a variety of disputes, including:

  • Statutory Trust and Fair Practice Claims under the Packers and Stockyards Act (PSA) and Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA)
  • Federal Crop Insurance Arbitration
  • Pesticide Drift and Contamination Claims
  • Food Adulteration Claims
  • Farm Partitions
  • Seed Warranty Claims
  • Poultry and Livestock Grower Contract Disputes
  • Loan and Collateral Agreement Disputes
  • Mineral Quiet Title Actions
  • Payment and Breach of Contract Disputes
  • Wrongful Farmland Foreclosure
  • Timber Conversion Claims
  • Agricultural Nuisance

Regulatory Compliance

The Agribusiness & Food practice group provides regulatory and legal guidance and opinions on a wide variety of agricultural related topics, including:

  • Packers and Stockyards Act (PSA)
  • Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA)
  • Food Licensing and Certification
  • Food Labeling
  • Water Withdrawal Permitting
  • Federal Crop Insurance
  • Conservation Use Valuation Assessment (CUVA)
  • Georgia Forest Land Protection Act (FLPA)
  • Federal Farm Programs
  • Dealer in Agricultural Products Licenses
  • Georgia Agritourism, Hunting, and Recreation Property laws


Joel McKie

Joel McKie

Partner | Atlanta Office

T: 404.586.6608
E: jmckie@hallboothsmith.com

Full Team

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