March 27, 2015 Weekly Round Up

I spent this week on the road in San Angelo speaking at county programs in four different locations.  The turn outs were  great, participation was excellent, and I really enjoyed my trip.  Big thanks to County Extension Agents Raymond Quigg, Chase McPhaul, Josh Blanek, and Morgan Runyan for the invitation to present at these meetings.  To those of you new to the blog from these presentations, welcome!

Here are some of the ag law stories in the news this week

* Cantaloupe Lawsuits Settled.  You likely recall from this blog that after listeria linked to cantaloupe sickened over 140 people and killed 33, numerous lawsuits were filed by those harmed.  These suits have now been settled against all defendants for a confidential amount.  [Read article here.]

*  Interesting Article Discussing AQHA Cloning Suit.  The LA Times recently ran an interesting article discussing the potential impact of the 5th Circuit’s decision to dismiss the lawsuit challenging the AQHA’s refusal to register cloned horses.  The article discusses important issues about the impact that cloning could have on future generations and the potential impact this case could have on other animal industries.  Currently, the case remains in the 5th Circuit as a motion for rehearing before the entire panel is pending.  [Read article here.]


* Farm Journal Offers Three Tips to Tenants to Improve Landowner Relationships.  Farm Journal recently published an article offering tips for how tenants can improve their relationship with landowners.  This is extremely important for tenants, as landowners likely have other options for what to do with their land, and tenants want to ensure their landowner is happy and willing to continue the leasing relationship.  Specifically, the article advises that tenants should share field and farm updates, improve the appearance of the land, and be fair and timely with rent payments.  Although this seems common sense, it is a good reminder of the importance of this relationship.  [Read article here.]

* There Can Be Trouble With Advanced Care Directives If Not Handled Properly.  Last week the New York Times published a great article titled “The Trouble with Advance Directives.”  The article explained that oftentimes when a person executed an advanced directive, generally requesting that no heroic or lifesaving measures be used–that person never tells his or her family members or doctors about the document.  This can lead to situations where unwanted medical procedures are undertaken and only later, when the document is found tucked into a desk drawer, are the person’s actual wishes known.  Please remember, as with any estate planning documents, it is critical that you make sure that the right people have copies of the documents or know where they are located.  [Read article here.]


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