Happy May! Welcome to this week’s Agricultural Law Round Up.
It’s been a busy couple of weeks, but I want to say welcome to those of you who I met presenting in Canadian, Burnet, and Kerrville! Here are some of the ag law stories in the news over the past couple of weeks.
*Settlement offer in Maui County v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund could remove case from SCOTUS docket. This week, news broke that a settlement offer had been made by plaintiffs in the Maui County Clean Water Act case, which you previously read about here. If the case were to settle, that would mean no answer from the US Supreme Court on the key issue in the case: does the Clean Water Act apply to indirect discharges of a point source pollutant? [Read article here.]
* Senators introduce bill aimed at regulatory relief for livestock haulers. A group of US Senators have introduced a bipartisan bill to reduce the regulations related to Hours of Service rules for livestock haulers. The “Transporting Livestock Across American Safely Act would make a number of changes to current regulations for livestock haulers, including increasing the exempt miles from 150 to 300 and allow a driver to finish a trip anytime he or she is within 150 miles of the destination, regardless of hours of service. [Read bill here.]
* Lawsuit filed over new Iowa “Ag Gag” law. Animal rights groups filed suit in federal court challenging the recently passed Iowa “ag gag” law. Click here to read a prior blog post discussing the new law. You may recall that the prior version of the Iowa law was held unconstitutional. That decision is on appeal. In March, the Iowa Legislature passed a new law, which deems a person a trespass if they use deception to gain access to a farm to cause physical or economic harm. [Read article here.]
*Arkansas passes labeling law for cell-cultured food products. We previously mentioned that North Dakota had passed a bill imposing labeling requirements for cell-cultured food products. [Read prior post here.] Now, Arkansas has passed a similar bill, called the “Truth in Labeling” law. The bill’s definition of meat expressly excludes synthetic products derived from plants, from insects, or products grown in a lab. The bill also includes a provision related to labeling of rice, requiring that any product labeled as such must derive from certain rice plant species. [Read bill here.]
On Tuesday, I’ll be in Lubbock for our very first “Owning Your Piece of Texas: Top Laws Texas Landowners Need to Know” program. I’m thrilled to kick off these events and look forward to hosting them around the state. To register to attend in Lubbock, or to see if we’ll be in your neck of the woods, click here.
The following week, I’ve got two programs scheduled via internet. On Wednesday, May 15, I’ll be talking landowner liability at a program hosted by the Val Verde County Extension Office, and on Thursday, May 16, I’ll be doing a “Lunch and Learn” on estate planning for the Williamson County Extension Office.
To see my complete list of scheduled programs, click here.
We are excited to also offer an Online Owning Your Piece of Texas course. This 8.5 hour class is on demand, allowing you to watch whenever and wherever you would like. The online course, taught by Tiffany Dowell Lashmet, will cover every topic included in the Owning Your Piece of Texas handbook. For more information or to register, click here.