Category Archives: “Ag Gag” Statutes

Idaho “Ag Gag” Statute Declared Unconstitutional, Producers Should Review Practices

I recently wrote an article for Progressive Cattleman Magazine discussing the recent ruling by an Idaho federal judge, which found that the state’s “ag gag” statute was unconstitutional.  The statute, which prohibits interference with agricultural operations, including undercover videotaping, was held to violate both the First Amendment  and the Equal Protection Clause.  As the article explains, in light of this ruling, producers should review and consider their current hiring policies, training procedures, crisis response plan, and potential common law claims if an undercover video situation were to arise…. Read More →

August 14, 2015 Weekly Round Up

Last Friday I visited with a group of West Texas landowners at the Permian Basin Oil and Gas Conference.  Thank you all for your great questions and for those of you new to the blog, welcome!  Here are some ag law stories in the news this week. * EPA To Blame for Catastrophic Spill on Animas River.  One of the biggest national news stories this week, unfortunately, involved a catastrophic spill of contaminated water out of the Gold King Mine into the Animas River.  The spill of over… Read More →

Federal Judge Finds Idaho “Ag Gag” Law Unconstitutional

In a much anticipated decision from the United States District Court for the District of Idaho,  Idaho Code Section 18-7042, which is commonly referred to as an “ag gag law” (hereinafter “the Statute”) has been deemed unconstitutional, specifically violating the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Background After a secret, undercover investigation by the animal rights group Mercy for Animals was released and showed abuse of cows at an Idaho dairy, a bill was introduced by several ag groups to criminalize… Read More →

August 7, 2015 Weekly Round Up

Last night I spoke at the Amarillo Ag Club meeting and really enjoyed the great discussion with everyone in the group!  To those of you new to the blog from that meeting, welcome!  Here are some ag law stories in the news this week. *  Idaho “Ag Gag” Law Held Unconstitutional.  A federal judge in Idaho has ruled the state’s “ag gag” law, which was passed last year to prohibit persons obtaining access to ag operations through false pretenses or recording ag operations without consent, violates the United… Read More →

June 5, 2015 Weekly Round Up

This week I gave two presentations via the internet to folks in San Angelo and in Jefferson County.  To those of you new to the blog from these presentations, welcome! It’s been another busy week in the agricultural law realm. *  Hays County Groundwater Bill on Governor’s Desk.  The Texas Legislature passed HB 3405, known as the  Hays County Groundwater Bill, sending it on to Governor Abbo[Read article here.]  As you likely recall from prior blog posts, Hays County finds itself in the middle of a groundwater battle… Read More →

May 15, 2015 Weekly Round Up

Last week, I found myself all over the state at various meetings.  I kicked things off in Ft. Worth, where I spoke on agricultural law at Annie’s Project.  Next up, I discussed wildlife leases at a program sponsored by the Texas Parks and Wildlife in Bonham.  Finally, I wrapped things up speaking at a Landowner Rights Seminar in College Station.  To those of you new to the blog from these presentations, welcome! Here are some of the ag law stories recently in the news. * Groundwater Continues in… Read More →

March 20, 2015 Weekly Round Up

Spring is in the air!  Hope you are all enjoying some warmer temperatures, and hopefully, some rain!  Here are some of the ag law stories in the news this week. *Briscoe County Will Not Become Part of High Plains Water District.  Despite a TCEQ recommendation that the High Plains Water District annex Briscoe County under its jurisdiction, the District Board voted unanimously not to do so last week.  Numerous Briscoe County residents spoke against the annexation, claiming they were perfectly happy being unregulated by a groundwater conservation district…. Read More →

January 30, 2015 Weekly Round Up

I’m not sure how the month of January has already drawn to a close, but I hope everyone has enjoyed the first 30 days of the new year!  This month has brought two great speaking opportunities.  First, I spoke to beef producers from Texas and New Mexico at the Southwest Beef Symposium in Amarillo, where I presented on legal resources for agricultural producers.  Last week, I traveled to Atlanta to speak at the Southern Dairy Conference.  There, I presented on how to prevent and survive and undercover video… Read More →

Agriculutral Law: What To Watch in 2015

As everyone is recovering from the New Year celebrations and getting back to the grindstone, I thought it would be fun to highlight a few of the major ag law issues to watch in 2015. Water Disputes Unfortunately, this issue will likely top the list every year for the near future.  Across the country we are seeing more and more water-related disputes.  In addition to the issues outlined in my 2014 Year in Review post, there are two additional issues I think will be in the forefront this year. Water… Read More →

October 3, 2014 Weekly Round Up

I spent a good part of this week at county Farm Bureau meetings visiting with Texas agricultural producers.  Last Saturday, I was in Longview, TX for the Gregg County Farm Bureau meeting where I spoke about current Hot Topics in Agricultural Law.  Many thanks to Glenn Richardson for the invitation.  On Wednesday evening I made the drive to Huntsville for the Walker County Farm Bureau meeting where we discussed water rights in Texas.  I appreciate Carl thinking of me and including me on the program.  Welcome to those… Read More →