University of Maryland Extension

Webinars Offered for CSA Operators on Drafting Membership Agreements and Labor Issues

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) operators or those thinking about starting a CSA are invited to attend one of the featured webinars focused on drafting better membership agreements and addressing common labor law issues. The webinars are free but registration is required.  The webinars are sponsored by the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA), the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics (AREC), the Agriculture Law Education Initiative (ALEI), the Maryland Farm Bureau, and Mid-Atlantic Farm Credit with funding from the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service. The webinar schedule is:

  • March 31 webinar: “CSA Membership Agreements: What Not to Do and Introduction of the Model Membership Agreement” from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Register online at eventbrite.com
  • April 7 webinar: “Typical CSA Labor Law Issues and CSA Crop Insurance Products” from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Register online at eventbrite.com

“This initiative is designed to help our CSA farmers develop strong risk management tools,” said MDA Marketing Chief Mark Powell.  “We want operators and consumers to have successful relationships.”

The webinars will focus on common issues with CSA membership agreements used in Maryland, an overview of a model CSA contract developed for Maryland CSAs, a look at labor issues faced by CSA operators in the state, and an overview of crop insurance products available to CSA operators.

“Currently, we get a lot of questions on labor issues when it comes to CSA operations and other diversified operations in Maryland,” said Paul Goeringer, Extension Legal Specialist with the University of Maryland Ag and Resource Economics Department at the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.  “These webinars will provide a good opportunity to answer questions on CSA membership agreements and labor issues impacting CSA operators.”

“Incorporating a CSA into your operation can be very beneficial but it may necessitate extra labor and it is very important to make sure that workers are paid and treated in accordance with both Federal and State law,” said Sarah Everhart, Legal Specialist with the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law.

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