*This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.*
This week I made the trip to Lubbock, Texas to attend the 8th Annual John Huffaker Agricultural Law Course. The program has been excellent and I’ve had the opportunity to meet with several ag law attorneys from across the state. As a member of the planning committee, I know the work that goes into this program and want to thank directors David Waggoner and Trace Blair for allowing me to be a part of this event. For any of you attorneys out there interested, there will be video replays of the entire 2-day CLE later this summer in McAllen and in Waco. Check out the Texas State Bar website for more information.
Here are a few ag law stories in the news this last week of May.
* Texas Water Resources Institute Publishes Summer Newsletter. The TWRI recently published its Summer 2014 newsletter including a host of great articles and information on Texas groundwater. [View full publication here.] The publication includes an article titled “Groundwater 101″ that provides definitions for commonly used scientific and administrative terminology related to groundwater and a list of the state agencies involved with groundwater. Also included is an article titled “Q&A with Tiffany Dowell” where I provide answers to some common questions about Texas groundwater law.
* South Dakota Supreme Court Allows Discovery to Proceed in “Pink Slime” Defamation Suit. Beef Products Inc., who filed suit against various defendants including Diane Sawyer and ABC News for defamation over the coverage of lean, finely textured beef, which the news labeled “pink slime” will be able to more forward with discovery. The defendants sought a ruling dismissing the case and preventing discovery, including depositions, from going forward. The court denied that motion last week. [Read article here.]
* A Texas Water Law Attorney’s Perspective. The Texas Tribune published an article featuring Texas attorney Sarah Faust discussing what it is like practicing water law in Texas, important pending cases, and her take on Texas water policy. [View article here.]
* Water Battle Pits Farmers Against Hog Operation in Kansas. The planned expansion of a Seaboard Farms hog facility in Kansas has caused concern among landowners and environmentalists about the increase in water use by the operation. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has approved the company’s permit. This expansion comes as local groundwater management districts are requiring decreasing irrigation water in the area by as much as 20 percent. [Read article here.]
* Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course Dates Set. The 60th Annual Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course will be held in College Station August 4-6, 2014. This is an amazing conference that provides three days of great information, networking opportunities, and food to cattle producers. I spoke on grazing leases at the Short Course last year and have been asked to speak at the Short Course again this year on eminent domain and pipeline easement negotiations. To view a tentative schedule of events, click here. For more information and for registration, click here. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me. Although I will probably have to talk to someone actually in charge to get you an answer, I am happy to do so!