Last week I was in College Station to speak at the TAMU Beef Cattle Short Course. Our session, titled “Ask an Ag Lawyer” featured Jim Bradbury, James Decker, Kyle Weldon, and myself and was quite a hit. We recorded a podcast summarizing the session and sharing our favorite questions. If you are interested in listing to that, click here. A big thanks to Dr. Jason Cleere and his team for putting on such a wonderful event.
Here are some of the ag law stories in the news this week.
* Duarte Nursery “reluctantly” settles Clean Water Act dispute over plowing a field. This was the biggest ag law news story this week, and I wrote a detailed blog post on this topic here.
* Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals will not hear Utah prairie dog case en banc. You may recall People for the Ethical Treatment of Property Owners v. USFWS from this prior blog post. At issue is whether the federal government has the power under the Endangered Species Act to regulate a purely intrastate species. The trial court answered no, but a three judge panel at the Tenth Circuit reversed. After that, the plaintiffs sought an en banc review–meaning a review by the full court. This week, the Tenth Circuit rejected that request. Plaintiffs now intend to appeal to the United States Supreme Court. [Read article here.]
* Settlement in “pink slime” defamation lawsuit reportedly at least $177 million. Earlier this month, ABC settled a lawsuit filed by Beef Products, Inc. alleging defamation due to various news reports where ABC referred to lean finely textured beef as “pink slime.” According to financial filings, Disney, the parent company of ABC, paid $177 million in litigation settlement last quarter. Initially, BPI had sought over $5 million from ABC. [Read article here.]
* NM Land Commissioner claims Texas is stealing dirt from New Mexico. In addition to the battle over water between the two states, New Mexico now alleges that Texas is stealing dirt. According to Aubrey Dunn, State Land Commissioner, his office suspects that Hudspeth County, Texas, has been crossing into New Mexico and mining dirt, sand, and gravel to take back to Texas. The Hudspeth County Attorney responded questioning the exact border between the two states. [Read article here.]