April 29, 2016 Weekly Round Up

supreme court

I want to apologize for the lack of blog posts over the last couple of weeks.  We had a death in our family and have been dealing with all that goes with that situation.  I hope to be back in the saddle with posts back to normal next week.  For now, here are a look at some of the ag law stories in the news this last week of April. * WOTUS Ruling Not Coming Anytime Soon.  Ag Professional recently published an article discussing the likely timeline for… Read More →

Violations of Veterinary Feed Directive Could Lead To Stiff Penalties

kay dairy

The Veterinary Feed Directive has been in the news a great deal lately.  This prior blog post explained the rule and the impacts it will have on producers.  One important issue, however, has not been frequently discussed.  What are the potential penalties faced by a person who violated the rules of the Veterinary Feed Directive? Background The Veterinary Feed Directive will make three significant changes to how medicated feed may be used by livestock producers.  First, many drug labels are currently being modified to limit the use of… Read More →

April 15, 2016 Weekly Round Up

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First, I want to apologize to those of you attending the Texas and Southwest Cattle Raisers Convention for my absence last Friday.  We had a family medical emergency pop up on my way to Ft. Worth that required me to turn around and come home.  I’m happy to report that all is well now and hopefully my husband’s grandfather is on the mend.  Second, it’s been another busy week in the ag law realm. Here are some of the key stories in the news. * Texas Water Development… Read More →

Questions from Tiffany’s Desk: Does an Oil Company Have to Fence Around Well To Protect Livestock?

Texas A&M Agrilife Extension photo by Blair Fannin

Question: Does an oil and gas company who is drilling on ranch land have an obligation to put up a fence around the well to prevent livestock from being injured? Answer:  Believe it or not, the answer is no.  Texas law is clear that an oil and gas company is under no legal obligation to fence around operations areas to protect a surface owner’s livestock.  This can (and should) be changed by terms in an oil and gas lease or surface use agreement. First, let’s consider the applicable… Read More →

April 8, 2016 Weekly Round Up

pipeline

It has been a busy week around here!  On Monday, I was a co-presenter on a Right to farm webinar.  On Tuesday, I offered a water law webinar for Texas extension agents.  On Thursday night, I spoke on agricultural law hot topics to a great group in Denton.  And, finally, today I am giving three presentations at the Texas & Southwest Cattle Raisers Convention in Ft. Worth.  To all of you new faces joining the blog, welcome! * Right to farm webinar recording available.  If you missed the… Read More →

Case Looks at Winter Grazing and NPDES Permit Requirement

Texas A&M Agrilife photo by Steve Byrns

Like many other agricultural operations, my family grows crops and raises livestock.  When I learned of a case decided last year by the Minnesota Supreme Court that addressed whether farms like my own family’s would be required to obtain a federal NPDES permit in order to graze livestock on our fields, I was very interested and concerned.  Today, we will take a look at this issue in In the Matter of Reichmann Land and Cattle, LLP.  This case offered interesting insight into the issue of whether winter grazing of… Read More →

April 1, 2016 Weekly Round Up

Kay 5

This week found me in west Texas speaking at county extension meetings in Reagan, Coke, and Upton Counties.  Many thanks to county extension agents Chase McPhaul, Morgan Runyan, and Raymond Quigg for the invitations.  Welcome to those of you new to the blog from these programs.  Here are some of the ag law stories in the news this week. * US Supreme Court Hears Argument in Hawkes Clean Water Act Case.  This week, oral argument was held in an important Clean Water Act case at the United States Supreme… Read More →

Child Labor on the Farm and Ranch

peter

In preparing for an upcoming presentation, I have been looking into child labor laws in agriculture.  What I’ve learned is that pretty much my entire childhood was illegal!  Because many farmers and ranchers do employ minors to help on weekends or over the summer, understanding child labor laws related to agriculture is extremely important. Source of Laws Laws related to child labor and agriculture are found at both the federal and state levels.  Federally, these rules are found in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  Additionally, many states… Read More →

Landowner Liability: What If Blowing Dust Causes Highway Accident?

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My very first assignment as a summer associate at a law firm was to look into whether our client, a rancher, could be held liable where dust from his property blew across the highway causing decreased visibility and a car accident ensued.  This same question was included in the Top 10 Things Agricultural Lawyers Should Know presentation by John Huffaker and David LeBas at the Texas Ag Law Course in 2015. It is an interesting and important issue for Texas landowners.  The answer, like so many legal answers, is not… Read More →

March 18, 2016 Weekly Round Up

Texas A&M Agrilife Extension photo by Blair Fannin

I hope you all had a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day!  Here are a few of the ag law stories making news this week. * Senate rejects voluntary GMO labeling bill.  On Wednesday, the US Senate rejected a bill that would have created a voluntary GMO labeling system and would have prohibited states from imposing mandatory labeling requirements.  Proponents of the bill claim that GMOs are safe and that labeling should not be mandatory as it would increase food prices.  Further, they argue that allowing states to pass different… Read More →