Legal Guide for New Hampshire Agricultural Producers

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We are excited about the completion of a multi-year effort to develop a Legal Guide for New Hampshire Agricultural Producers!  

The project was primarily funded through a Northeast SARE Grant focused on building skills in agricultural service providers to assist farmers with legal questions. Additional support for this guide was provided by the United States Department of Agriculture/National Institute of Food and Agriculture (Award Number 2018-70027-28588), Northeast Extension Risk Management Education, N.H. Department of Agriculture, Markets and Food, NH Farm Bureau, Sullivan County Farm Bureau, and Farm Commons. We are extremely grateful to these organizations.

The lawyers at BCM Environmental & Land Law PPLC, led by Amy Manzelli, Esq. were instrumental in putting this guide together.

This guide has 15 chapters, which are listed below.  This is not a complete list of all laws and regulations with which agricultural producers need to comply. Instead, these were subjects that agricultural producers were commonly asking about. 


Labor and Employment Law

  •  Correctly Classifying Your Farm Labor Matters
  •  Legal Classifications For Farm Workers
  •  Paying Your Farm Labor
  • Paperwork
  • Managing Migrant, Seasonal, and Foreign Workers
  • Terminating an Employee
  • Child Labor
  • Workers’ Compensation
  • Unemployment Insurance
  • Workplace Safety Requirement
  • CSA: Volunteers and the CSA Model

Legal Organizational Structures

  • A Farmer’s Options for Organization
  • Sole Proprietorship
  • Limited Partnership
  • Limited Liability Company
  • New Hampshire Corporation and S-Corporation
  • Non-Profit Corporation
  • The Lease Option: Protect Your Farmland from Business Liabilities

Taxation and the Farm Business

  •  Federal Taxation
  •  State Taxes
  •  Business Enterprise Tax
  •  Business Profits Tax
  •  Interest and Dividend Tax
  •  Meals and Rooms Tax
  •  Real Estate Transfer Tax
  •  Current Use Tax
  •  Farm Structures and Land Under Farm Structures Tax

Interstate Commerce: Sales and Transit Regulations

  •  Federal Law Often Applies to Agriculture
  •  Federal Agencies Involved
  •  USDA Oversight
  •  FDA Oversight
  •  EPA Oversight

Weights and Measures

  • Sale of Commodities
  • Uniform Open Dating Regulation
  • Licensing of Commercial Devices
  • Service and Certification by Service Technician
  • Violations of RSA 438:40, I and of Administrative Weights and Measures Rules

Food Labeling

  • Advertising of “Native,” “NH Made” and More
  • Organic Products Labeling
  •  Labeling Specific Products
  •  Homestead Food Products

Homestead Operations

  • What Are Homestead Food Products?
  • Determining Whether a License is Required
  • Completing the License Application
  • Labeling Requirements
  • Kitchen Standards for Licensed Homestead Food Operations

Organic Certification

  • Organic Certification Process
  • Recordkeeping
  • Use of Official Seals and Logos, Labels

Farmers’ Markets in New Hampshire

  • Operating a Farmers’ Market
  • Vendors

Milk and Milk Products Regulations in New Hampshire

  • Who and What is Regulated
  • Types of Regulation, Generally
  • Pasteurization Requirement and Exceptions
  • Raw Milk
  • Permits
  • Licenses
  • Additional Department Guidance

Animal Health in New Hampshire

  • Infectious and Contagious Diseases Among Domestic Animals
  • Transportation of Poultry
  • Importation of Bovines and Other Domestic Animals
  • Registration of Commercial Feed Manufacturers
  • Treatment of Equines
  • Feeding Garbage to Swine

Meat and Poultry Safety in New Hampshire

  • Food Safety and Inspection Service
  • Preventing the Distribution of Adulterated Food
  • HACCP Implementation
  • Federal Meat Inspection Act
  • Federal Poultry Products Inspection Act
  • Labeling Requirements

Carcass Composting in New Hampshire

Land Use and Zoning

  • Agricultural and Land Use
  • Nuisance and Right-to-Farm
  • Zoning

Municipal Laws in New Hampshire

  • Zoning Board of Adjustment
  • Planning Board
  • Regional Planning Commissions
  • Municipal Staff
  • Conservation Commissions
  • Agricultural Commissions
  • Municipal Enforcement and Agriculture

Download resource to see the complete guide. 


Extension Field Specialist, Agricultural Business Management
Phone: (603) 863-9200
Office: Cooperative Extension, Taylor Hall, Durham, NH 03824