April 10, 2015 Weekly Round Up

Yesterday found me in Menard, Texas talking to local landowners about hunting leases.  Thanks to Lisa Brown for the invitation and welcome to those of you joining the blog from that presentation!

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

* Midland County to Purchase Land for Groundwater Rights.  Midland County officials recently approved the purchase of land to secure additional groundwater for the county.  [Read article here.]

USDA Proposes Modifications to “Actively Engaged in Farming” Definition.  The USDA has proposed changes to the definition of persons who are “actively engaged in farming.”  To view the proposed regulations, click here.  This is important because only those who are actively engaged are eligible to receive government program payments.  Importantly, the proposed definition exempts family farms. [Read article here.]  Additionally, Paul Goeringer at the University of Maryland wrote a  blog post discussing the proposed changes in detail. To read that, click here.


*In California, It’s Urban v. Agriculture When It Comes To Water.  The Chicago Tribune ran an interesting article discussing the drought and water shortage situation in California.  The article specifically  discusses how shortage issues pit agricultural uses against urban uses.  Unfortunately, this is not unique to California.  [Read article here.]    

*  Importance of Updating Your Estate Plan.  Braun & Gresham, a Texas law firm, recently published an article discussing the importance of updating estate plans.  Oftentimes, a person creates an estate plan and does not ever think to go back and make periodic updates.  This can be a major problem, particularly if major life events such as marriage, birth of children, or death of beneficiaries, happen in the meantime.  [Read article here.]

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