Cooperatives Law

The Vogel Law Firm Cooperative Practice Group is comprised of lawyers who meet the legal needs of a diverse variety of local, regional and national cooperatives. With each client, our mission is to understand our clients' businesses, understand their needs, bring experienced attorneys to the table and provide the client with practical advice in a cost effective manner. We bring our common sense and understanding of the industry to solve our clients' legal needs.

The legal services provided by our Cooperative Practice Group have assisted clients with cooperatives organized for the following purposes:

  • Numerous rural electric distribution cooperatives, along with generation and transmission cooperatives in North Dakota and Minnesota.
  • Telephone service cooperatives.
  • Value added agricultural processing enterprises: durum, wheat, beef, pork, specialty meats, rhubarb, organic grains, potatoes, grass seed, pasta, ethanol, oats, specialty oilseeds and strawboard.
  • Production agriculture including farrowing units, beef feedlots, pork feedlots, dairy farms and grazing associations.
  • Agricultural marketing companies involved in selling to domestic and international customers, organic and conventional commodities.
  • Joint ventures of cooperative entities to develop agronomy businesses and large terminal as well as local elevators.
  • Data processing and software vendor cooperatives.

With more than 50 lawyers, Vogel is one of the largest regional law firms outside of the Twin Cities. Our lawyers focus on specific practice areas so they can bring a wealth of expertise to meet client needs in the most economical and efficient manner. Some areas of expertise we provide to cooperative clients include:

  • Board counsel regarding corporate formalities and governance. Mergers and consolidations of cooperatives. Draft policies regarding operations and administration. Provide forms to streamline the process and protect the cooperative regarding capital credit distribution.
  • Advise on new opportunities bringing value to the cooperative from ancillary business services, such as the development and financing of solar power subsidiaries, wing energy development, carbon sequestration, bio-diesel, new livestock production, etc.
  • Employment counseling, including labor relations work, development of policies for employment and benefits, assisting with compliance and disciplinary issues, and assisting with and defending against allegations of discrimination, grievances, arbitration, elections, and disability issues.
  • Vendor contracting, and real estate purchasing and leasing.
  • Disputes and litigation, including right of way acquisition, collections and working through member bankruptcy, as well as placement and foreclosure of liens.
  • Work with RUS and CoBank, as well as other cooperative financing companies to develop the most appropriate debt financing strategies for new debt, new initiatives, and current debt restructuring.

Since 1880, Vogel Law Firm has invested its wisdom in serving the region. We are proud of some extremely long term relationships with cooperative clients. We sincerely believe that our future is tied to the success of our clients.