Happy December! It’s hard to believe we are already into the last month of the year. I’ve presented in several locations recently, so welcome to all of you joining us from Val Verde County, Swisher County, and Goliad County.
Here are a few of the top ag law stories in the news from the past couple of weeks.
* Texas High Plains agriculture publications released. Several of my colleagues were involved in drafting and publishing two new publications: The Impact of AgriBusiness in the High Plains Trade Area and the Health in the High Plains. Both look specifically at the Texas Panhandle and offer some really interesting insights on both economic issues related to agriculture and on health statistics. [Click here for more info.]
*President Trump signs PACT Act. Recently, President Trump signed the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act. The Act prevents “animal crushing” that affects interstate or foreign commerce. “Animal crushing is defined as ” actual conduct in which one or more living non-human mammals, birds, reptiles, or amphibians is purposely crushed, burned, drowned, suffocated, impaled, or otherwise subjected to serious bodily injury.” Additionally, the law deems it unlawful for anyone to create or distribute videos that depicts animal crushing and are obscene that were created or distributed in or using interstate or foreign commerce. Violators are subject to criminal penalties include both fines and potential imprisonment for up to 7 years. There are a number of exceptions, which include customary and normal veterinary, agricultural husbandry, or other animal management practice; slaughter of animals for food; hunting, trapping, fishing, predator control, pest control, and legal sporting activities; medical or scientific research; necessary to protect life or property of a person; or performed as part of euthanizing an animal. My friend, Beth Rumley at the National Agricultural Law Center wrote an article on how this law will affect agriculture. [To read Beth’s article, click here. To read the text of the Act, click here.]
*”Building a fence: Avoiding trouble.” Jim Bradbury and Alexis Long wrote a great article for Progressive Cattlemen discussing Texas fence law. This is a great refresher for all Texas landowners on issues from loose livestock to fence building to estray rules. [Read article here.]
*Article highlights critical need for farm transition plan. A heartbreaking story from New York State was recently featured in the New York Times about a family that may be forced to sell the family farm that highlights the importance of thinking ahead and making a farm and ranch estate and transition plan. [Read article here.] This was also the topic on this week’s episode of the Ag Law in the Field Podcast with Shannon Ferrell. Be sure you give that a listen by clicking here.
I’ve got three programs left in 2019. On Monday (12/9), I’ll be in Goodwell, OK with my friend Stephanie Fryer to talk estate planning. On Tuesday (12/10), I’ll be headed to Perryton for the Northeast Panhandle Beef Conference to talk fence law. I’ll wrap the year up my presentations for the year in Canyon on December 17 at the Randall County Production Ag Landowner/Tenant Conference.
To see my list of 2020 programs, click here.