For 34 years, the Farmers’ Legal Action Group (FLAG) has kept true its mission is to provide legal services and support to family farmers and their communities to help keep family farmers on the land.
This year we have risen to meet the challenge of how COVID-19 has affected farmers in unprecedented ways. See our current and archived COVID-19 Relief Guides here: COVID-19 Guide
FLAG was established in 1986 in response to the farm credit crisis of the 1980s, when its founding legal aid lawyers helped won a landmark case preventing foreclosures for more than 80,000 family farms. Since then, our services have broadened, and we now operate as a comprehensive public interest law firm serving family farmers. We perform outreach and education on laws and programs that help families sustain their farms; operate a national hotline offering free legal advice for family farmers; conduct impact litigation to help large numbers of family farmers by defending laws that protect them; provide legal services to farm advocacy organizations; and provide resources and information on crucial disaster assistance programs to many family farmers every year.
FLAG’s deep understanding of disaster assistance programs was put to the test this year as farmers responded to hurricanes, derechos, massive wildfires and the global pandemic of COVID-19. These factors had multi-pronged effects on farmers: crop and produce loss, cancelled contracts for school lunch programs, disruption in distribution, loss of farmers markets and other sources of income. 2020 was already going to be a tough year for farmers before COVID-19 hit.
FLAG’s attorneys quickly rose to these challenges creating a series of indispensable guides to WHIP+ (Wildfire, Hurricanes and Indemnity Program +) and the newly created COVID-19 Relief Programs. These materials assist farmers with direct information on programs for immediate disaster unemployment benefits and other farm relief assistance. These guides are invaluable tools for farmers to get through these challenging times and demand for FLAG’s expertise came into sharp focus with requests for webinar trainings from our attorneys coming in from across the country and here in Minnesota, specifically for Minnesota Farm Advocates. We saw a 2,000% increase in website traffic related to our COVID-19 and Disaster Guide work. Our attorneys work hard to understand the details of how these programs will actually affect farmers and farmers repeatedly tell us our expertise means they can continue to farm and grow our food.
If farmers matter to you, please donate to support our work so that we can support farmers.