July 22, 2016 Weekly Round Up

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Happy Friday!  This week I enjoyed the opportunity to travel to Floydata and visit with producers at their ag field day about one of my favorite things…agricultural law hot topics.  To those of you joining from that meeting, welcome!  Here are some of the major ag law stories in the news this week. * Congress Passes GMO Labeling Law.  Last week, Congress passed a federal law that will impose federal standards on the labeling of foods made with genetically modified ingredients.  [Read bill text here.]  The law will… Read More →

Solar Leasing Webinar

Fritz Farm

Recently, Texas A&M Agrilife Extension helped co-sponsor a webinar hosted by my friend Paul Goeringer at the University of Maryland.  The topic was solar lease agreements and the speaker was the famous Dr. Shannon Ferrell of Oklahoma State University.  I still get phone calls about once a week from folks who have been contacted by a solar company about potentially leasing their land.  This webinar offers invaluable information about the solar energy process, key questions and considerations for landowners, and other important topics. To view the webinar, click… Read More →

July 15, 2016 Weekly Round Up

Kay Ledbetter4

We’ve hit the halfway point for July and I hope everyone is staying cool in this heat!  It’s been a busy week for me.  On Monday, I gave an online presentation on agricultural leases to the 2016 Generation Next participants.  Thursday found me in Sherman, again talking ag leases.  On Friday, I wrapped things up in Greenville talking key laws for Texas landowner to beware of.  Welcome to those of you joining from these events! Here are some of the ag law stories in the news this week…. Read More →

ABA Blawg 100 Nominations Are Open!

AgriLife Logo

It’s that time of year again…the American Bar Association is taking nominations for its list of the top 100 legal blogs (called “Blawgs”).  [Read press release here.] To nominate the Texas Agriculture Law Blog, just click here and fill out the quick nomination form.  The deadline for submissions is August 7, 2016.   We are hoping that the third time is the charm and we make the list for a third year in a row.  For the last two years, we’ve been the only agriculture law blog to… Read More →

Trial Court Ruling in Duarte Nursery v. Army Corps of Engineers Concerning for Landowners

Texas A&M Agrilife photo by Kay Ledbetter

Today’s blog is long….I’m warning you now. In the last few years, we have seen an increased focus on the regulatory reach of federal jurisdiction over agricultural lands, with the new WOTUS rule and other court decisions.  A recent trial court decision from the Eastern District of California should be extremely concerning to landowners across the country.  At issue, the federal Clean Water Act and agricultural operations. Background In 2012, Duarte Nursery purchased 450 acres land in Tehama County, California with the intent to farm the land, initially by sowing… Read More →

July 8, 2016 Weekly Round Up

Robert

Here are some of the agricultural law stories in the news this week. * NM Supreme Court Holds Agricultural Exemption to Workers Compensation Law Unconstitutional.  Last week, the New Mexico Supreme Court affirmed the Court of Appeals holding that an exemption excluding farm and ranch laborers from mandatory workers compensation coverage was unconstitutional.  [Read full opinion here.]  I previously wrote a blog post explaining this issue and outlining the Court of Appeals opinion.  To read that, click here.  Although the Court agreed that the provision was unconstitutional, it… Read More →

Ranchers’ Agricultural Leasing Handbook Available

Book Cover

Recently, my colleagues Shannon Ferrell (Oklahoma State), Rusty Rumley (National Agriculture Law Center), and I held a series of workshops around Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas discussing agricultural leases.  These programs were well attended (nearly 250 people total) and participants reported being very satisfied with the information they received.  The funding for these workshops and the handbook was provided through a grant from the Southern Extension Risk Management Education Center and the USDA.  We certainly appreciate their support of these programs. We’d also like to offer a huge thank… Read More →

July 1, 2016 Weekly Round Up

Marca Chopper

Happy July!  Last week we held our final Ranchers’ Leasing Workshop here in Amarillo.  We had a great turn out and I want to welcome those of you joining from that program. Here are some of the ag law stories in the news this week. * The Other Border War.  Texas Monthly published a great article discussing the ongoing dispute between north Texas landowners and the federal Bureau of Land Management regarding the location of the Texas/Oklahoma border.  The article outlines the struggle of one landowner who was… Read More →

Texas Supreme Court Addresses Nuisance Law

Compressor Station

Last week, the Texas Supreme Court issued its opinion in Crosstex North Texas Pipeline, L.P. v. Gardiner.  [Read full opinion here.]  In doing so, the Court took the much-needed opportunity to address and clarify the law of nuisance in Texas.  The 54-page opinion walks through a detailed discussion and analysis of nuisance law in Texas. Factual Background Crosstex operates a natural gas pipeline running from Tarrant County to Lamar County.  Along this route, in Denton County, Crosstex bought a 20 acre tract of land midway along the pipeline that… Read More →

Texas Landowner Liability Statutes

Ag Law CLE

Recently, I had the honor of speaking at the 10th Annual John Huffaker Agricultural Law Course.  This event, put on by the Texas State Bar, is a continuing education event for attorneys.  My task was to provide an overview of limited liability statutes in Texas.  Three statutes (Recreational Use Statute, Agritourism Act, and Farm Animal liability Act) offer limited liability to Texas landowners if the requirements are met.  It is critical that Texas landowners be aware of these statutes and seek to comply to protect their operations in… Read More →