Monthly Archives: September 2015

Seed Law Fact Sheet

Earlier this year, I published a fact sheet related to seed saving laws.  There are a number of legal protections that may be afforded to different seeds.  It is critical that farmers understand these laws and investigate which of them might apply to any seeds that they plant.  To view the fact sheet, click here.

Short Pause in Weekly Round Ups

There will be a short pause in our normal Weekly Round Up posts each Friday.  Before you get upset, know that I have a good excuse.  My husband and I recently welcomed our first child, a baby boy named Braun. I will be on maternity leave for a couple of months.  Although regular blog posts will continue, I will be unable to keep up with the Weekly Round Up. Weekly Round Up will continue as soon as I return to work. For those of you need your weekly… Read More →

Breach of Contract Case Offers Important Lessons

Recently, the North Carolina Court of Appeals issued an opinion in a breach of contract case pitting a chicken grower against Johnson Breeders, Inc.  The case offers a good illustration and discussion of breach of contract claims in the agricultural context. Background The plaintiff in this case was a chicken grower who had contracted to grow chickens for Johnson Breeders Inc. from 1987 until 2011.  Under the contracts, Johnson furnished flocks of baby chicks to the grower, who then raised the chicks by providing labor, electricity, houses, and… Read More →

Dispute Resolution Clauses: Understand What You Are Agreeing To

Earlier this year, I wrote an article for Progressive Cattleman Magazine discussing dispute resolution clauses.  Although these clauses–generally requiring parties to participate in mediation or arbitration–are in most contracts, very few people understand the impact that agreeing could have on their legal rights.  All people should understand the difference between mediation and arbitration, and the impacts, both positive and negative, of agreeing to either form of alternative dispute resolution. To read my article, click here.

Iowa Farm Lease Case Offers Reminder of Importance of Written Agreements

A case recently decided by the Iowa Court of Appeals offers an important lesson for farm landlords and tenants when it comes to drafting leases:  all terms of a lease should be contained in the written lease agreement. Background Beginning in 2006, Four Acres began leasing 690 acres of Iowa farmland from Mr. Peck.  The parties signed a lease agreement that provided the lease would be for a term of 1 year for 689.5 acres, for which the tenant (Four Acres) agreed to pay $195.00.  The equal payments… Read More →

Questions from Tiffany’s Desk: Liability for Snakes on My Land

Question:  If someone is bitten by a snake on my land, can I be held liable? This is a great question and as I was working on this blog post, I came across a great quote in a Texas appellate court opinion that sort of summarizes this issue:  “A good deal of the vegetation in Texas stings, sticks or stinks.  Any number of insects and animals can hurt or even kill you.” Answer:  Although liability is unlikely, it is possible under certain circumstances. As you may recall from… Read More →

September 11, 2015 Weekly Round Up

Here are a few of the major ag law stories in the news this week. * Texas Supreme Court Will Consider City of Lubbock v. Coyote Lake Ranch. Last Friday, the Texas Supreme Court granted Coyote Lake Ranch’s petition for review in this important water law case that asks whether the accommodation doctrine should be applied to groundwater.  Lower courts split on this issue, with the trial court issuing a preliminary injunction in favor of Coyote Lake Ranch, which was overruled by the Amarillo Court of Appeals, which held… Read More →

Big Data on the Farm (Part III): Non-Disclosure Agreements

This is the final post in our three-part series based on a paper co-authored by myself and Shannon Ferrell of Oklahoma State University. As you can tell from our last blog post in this series, there is not a legal framework specifically suited for the protection of agricultural data.  Trade secret comes closest, and if indeed a farmer can prove their data is protectable information (with the burden of such proof resting on the farmer), no written agreement between parties is needed for trade secret law to apply.  However,… Read More →

Big Data on the Farm (Part II): What Laws Might Protect It?

Today we continue in our Big Data on the Farm Series by looking at what laws may apply to protect farmers’ data.  As I mentioned in Part I, this three-part blog series comes from a paper co-authored by myself and Shannon Ferrell at Oklahoma State University. When the topic of big data is brought up, many farmers’ first reaction is to ask how they can protect their information from others?  An adequate legal analysis of this question must necessarily start with determining who actually owns the data in… Read More →

September 4, 2015 Weekly Round Up

Here is the first weekly round up of September!  The year is really flying by!  Here are some ag law stories in the news this week. *  Is New “WOTUS” Rule In Effect in Texas?  As you read last week, a North Dakota federal judge issued an injunction in a case brought by 13 states, prohibiting enforcement of the EPA’s new “waters of the United States” rule.  After the decision, all sides were claiming victory.  All sides agree that in the 13 states (including New Mexico) party to… Read More →