Landlords know what you are signing

New farm bill creates new forms for landlords to sign to keep their farms enrolled in USDA programs; be sure to keep copies.

Completing the paper work for enrollment in the 2014 USDA- Farm Service Agency programs includes landlords documenting who is renting their land. Many landlords provide their renter with a Power of Attorney (POA) for the requirements of getting and keeping their farm enrolled in USDA- FSA programs. Be sure as a landlord that you know what you are signing and above all make sure you make a copy of the signed document for your file. The documents you keep help you answer questions you may have later about the details they contain.

In today’s world it is all about having good paperwork to support the business arrangements that you are involved in. Too often people find that sometime later they would like to review or verify the documents they have signed and not having a photo copy in hand creates a problem. In some situations, landlords, as part of the signup process sign land rental paperwork and may not realize that now they have a five year rental agreement in place. Individuals using a verbal lease will be required to sign a rental commitment for the renter to enroll the land in FSA programs which needs to be clear to identify the years covered.

Landlords that do not use written land rental agreements may want to visit the Michigan State University Extension, FIRM- Farm Management web page where some sample land rental agreements can be found. Even if you do not use one of these example rental agreements the review of their content can help you identify some of the important points that need to be in your next farm land rental agreement.

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