Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been on the speaking trail again with programs in Nacogdoches, Ft. Worth, and Quitaque. Welcome to those of you joining from these events.
Here are some of the ag law stories in the news this week.
*Agricultural producers concerned about changes to Pasture, Range and Forage Insurance. The USDA has announced it will make changes to the county base rates, which is one part of a formula used to calculate coverage that may be purchased under the PRF rainfall insurance product. These base rates have been changed on a yearly basis over the last several years. By way of example, I pulled the county base values for my home county in New Mexico. In 2017, the value was $10.70. For 2018, the value was $17.60. For 2019, the value will be decreased to $11.50. Farmers and ranchers are concerned about this potentially resulting in lower payments under their 2019 PRF insurance policy. Twenty lawmakers have written to the USDA seeking to halt these changes due to the impact that could have on their constituents. [Read article here.] For more information about the PRF rainfall insurance, listen to this prior podcast with Dr. Jason Johnson.
* Importance of having lease agreements in writing. I was recently featured on a great television spot called From the Ground Up talking about the importance of having lease agreements in writing. This is a topic that is important to me and I think deserves consideration by anyone involved in a lease agreement of any kind. [Read article here.]
* Opening an agriculture law practice. My friend and Aggie alum, Cari Rincker, was recently on the Spark Podcast talking about what it was like to open her own ag law firm. She is a farm girl, with a masters in ruminant nutrition, who decided to hang out her own shingle and practice agricultural law. Those of you interested in becoming an ag lawyer need to listen to this interview! [Listen to podcast here.]
* Estate planning for children with special needs. I appreciated an article published by My Statesman that discusses estate planning for folks with children who may have special needs. As the author points out, although the specific documents needed may not be that different than other estate plans, there are special considerations that must be considered for those with special needs. [Read article here.]
Programs Next Week
Next week will be a busy one. I will start the week on Monday in Fredericksburg at the Empowering Women – New Stewardship Traditions Conference. On Wednesday, I’ll be pulling a double-header. I’ll speak at the Menard County Range Workshop on agricultural leases [more info here] and that evening I’ll head to Big Spring to speak at a meeting focused on eminent domain [more info here]. To see a full list of my upcoming presentations, click here.