We hope everyone is enjoying some fall weather and football on tv! Here are some of the agricultural law stories in the news this week.
Appellate Court Reverses Decision, Finds EPA Violated Privacy of Farmers and Ranchers. The United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth has reversed a trial court decision to dismiss a lawsuit filed by National Pork Producers Council and the American Farm Bureau Federation against the EPA for releasing farmers’ and ranchers’ personal information to environmental groups. This case began when the EPA released personal information gathered by the agency to environmental groups in response to a Freedom of Information Act Request. In 2015, the district court dismissed the lawsuit for lack of standing, reasoning that no association members had suffered or was likely to suffer harm. [Read prior blog post here.] The Eighth Circuit disagreed, holding that the associations had established sufficient injury to bring the suit. The case will now be remanded to the district court to proceed with discovery. [Read article here.]
Monsanto/Bayer Merger Agree to $66 Billion Merger. Bayer and Monsanto have agreed on a merger deal that will result in Bayer acquiring Monsanto. This story, however, is far from over. The agreement will face intense scrutiny from a variety of governments, including the United States. Several other mergers have been challenged by regulatory authorities in recent months. [Read article here.]
FREE Ag Labor Webinars. We are excited to help host a series of three free webinars focusing on agricultural labor issues. The webinars will cover a variety of topics including developing job descriptions, what you can and cannot ask in the interview process, conducting background checks, and how to get proper training for employees after hiring. The webinars will each begin at 2:00 CST and will be held on September 21, 28, and October 5. The ever-popular Shannon Ferrell will be one of the featured speakers. For more information and to register, click here.
Common Estate Planning Mistakes of Ag Producers. Roger McEowen has worked with farmers and ranchers on estate planning issues for over 25 years. He’s compiled a great list of the 10 most common estate planning mistakes. The items include range from doing nothing at all, to not accounting for the lack of liquidity of a farm/ranch estate, to not understanding the difference in “fair” and “equal.” His blog post is a must-read for farm and ranch families. [Read post here.]