Food & Agriculture Law

There are many essential components to a thriving food and agricultural system.  Having worked extensively with individuals, entrepreneurs, businesses, local governments, and non-profits, Olson, Bzdok & Howard is able to provide our food and agricultural clients with guidance and representation grounded in a detailed understanding of how the overall food system is connected, as well as experience with the many varied stages and facets of this important sector of our local, state, and national economy.  Some of our related areas of practice include:

Food and Agricultural Businesses and Entrepreneurs.  We have provided assistance and guidance to food- and agricultural-related entrepreneurs and businesses with a variety of issues, including: formation of a business, corporate governance, local investment and finance, contracts, employment, farm market rules, and other legal matters.   

Food and Safety RegulationWe can provide assistance in navigating the state, federal, and local food and health laws, including the Food Law and Cottage Food Law Acts.

Agricultural Real Estate Transactions and Estate and Tax PlanningWe have assisted with real estate transactions related to the transfer, purchase, lease, and protection of farmland, including the tax implications and permanent protection of land through conservation easements.   Similarly, through our estate law practice, we can help farm families develop estate plans providing for the stewardship of their business and land for future generations.

Food and Agricultural ZoningWe have advised local governments on the drafting and application of agricultural zoning provisions, and helped farmers and other agricultural and food businesses navigate local zoning and the Right-to-Farm Act.


Kate Redman Discusses Crowd-Funding Rules in TC's Record-Eagle

“Investment crowdfunding has been leading the industry globally, but we should see a really startling growth in the U.S. once these new rules are effective,” said Kate Redman, attorney with Olson, Bzdok & Howard PC in Traverse City. Redman will offer training “labs” starting in May for businesses and nonprofits interested in investment crowdfunding. Contact her at for more information.

Traverse City Record-Eagle (01-24-16) 

The Traverse City law firms, Olson, Bzdok & Howard, P.C. and Sondee, Racine & Doren, PLC, are pleased to announce our formal affiliation as of January 1, 2016. Our firms will be working together closely to represent clients as a team, and provide our clients with a greater variety and depth of legal services.

Each firm will retain its own identity, but Sondee, Racine & Doren will be “of counsel” to Olson Bzdok & Howard. This means that all of our attorneys will have a close, continuous and regular professional relationship and that we all will work together for you.

Each firm will be maintaining its own office and staff, and all attorney contact information will remain the same.


Public Trust Framework Recommended for Great Lakes

The International Joint Commission (IJC) of the United States & Canada has issued a report recommending the application of a bi-national Public Trust framework to help fill regulatory gaps and guide decision-making that will ensure the protection of the long-term ecological integrity, economic stability, and the many public and private uses of the Great Lakes.

Firm founder Jim Olson has advocated for the active implementation of Public Trust principles in Great Lakes decision-making for decades, so this recommendation is both a welcome development, and a tremendous accomplishment. Congratulations Jim!

Full Report (pdf): Protection of the Waters of the Great Lakes 

Kate Redman is one of TC's 40 under 40!

Kate Redman, Community Enterprise Attorney and Partner at Olson, Bzdok & Howard, has been selected as one of Traverse City's Most Influential Professionals under 40 for 2015. This is the second year in a row Kate has been selected by the TC Business News as part of TC's "40 under 40." Congrats Kate!

Sept. 1, 2015 

Partnership Announcement

Olson, Bzdok & Howard is pleased to announce that Ross A. Hammersley and Kate E. Redman became shareholders with the firm. Please take a look at their attorney profiles to learn more about these young legal trailblazers.

March 20, 2015