Underwood’s Agriculture Practice Group possesses unique knowledge and valuable insights for clients—the attorneys in this group have extensive personal involvement and experience in farming and ranching themselves. Our ag attorneys help producers and ag businesses in many aspects of their operations, including real property transactions, financing, water and wind issues, and general assistance with the implementation and development of agricultural businesses.
Our transactional work includes the purchase and sale of all property types and sizes, ranging from small tracts to large ranches, including, most recently, the purchase and sale of the historic Waggoner Ranch.
We also assist clients with regard to water rights and related issues. For example, in 2008 and 2011, we facilitated an exchange of water rights located in the northeast Panhandle for water rights located in Hartley and Dallam Counties. The exchange facilitated the development of ranch land into an organic farm supporting an adjacent dairy.
Additionally, we are active in assisting our clients with the identification and procurement of agricultural financing. For example, following the Good Friday 2009 failure of New Frontier Bank in Greeley, Colorado, our lawyers were active in helping clients locate alternate financing. Several strategies were used in the process. With Underwood’s help, several clients identified capital sources. Underwood structured bridge financing to assist clients as the clients located commercial lenders. We also represent a number of ag lenders, primarily with respect to loan documentation.
Our ag team has also assisted families with relocation and initiation and development of dairy and farming operations. We recently assisted more than a dozen Dutch and Danish families as they pursued “the American Dream.” Our work with these families has been comprehensive. We help identify possible property, lenders, equipment, contractors, and opportunities. Most of our Dutch and Danish clients are in the dairy business. Some own multiple dairies and farming operations adequate to provide a majority of their forage requirements.
We also support ag businesses as they consider their role and participation in the development of the area’s wind industry. Among other things, we are working with landowners to purchase and establish met towers on their properties so the landowner will be positioned to best develop their wind rights.