Monthly Archives: April 2020

US Supreme Court Decides Maui County Clean Water Act Case

The much-anticipated United States Supreme Court decision in County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund was released last week.  It is a fascinating decision that results in the Court adopting a “functional equivalent” test.  [Click here.] Background Under the federal Clean Water Act, it is unlawful to discharge a pollutant from a point source into a Water of the United States without obtaining a federal permit.  The question before the US Supreme Court is whether a permit is required when pollutants originate from a point source, but travel through… Read More →

New Ranchers Leasing Workshop Dates

Like just about everything else, our Ranchers Leasing Workshop events were impacted by COVID-19. We have re-grouped and worked with our County Extension Agents to determine new dates for our postponed events.  We appreciate your patience and flexibility with us. The remaining events for 2020 will be:  Brenham (August 18); Fredericksburg (September 14); Abilene (September 29) and Leming (October 6).  Note that Leming will be the location of our event previously scheduled in LaVernia. To get more information or to register, please click here.  As always, feel free… Read More →

Texas Department of Agriculture ADOPTED Hemp Regulations

This article summarizes the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) hemp regulations as adopted on March 6, 2020.  The full text of these regulations may be found here.   While the changes from the proposed rule (which we summarized here) were few in number, there were several significant changes in the adopted regulations. We have attempted to note those significant modifications within this summary.  A video summary of this adopted rule put together by Dr. Justin Benavidez may be accessed here. Licensing Producers looking to grow hemp will need to… Read More →

April 17, 2020 Weekly Round Up

Hello again from the Lashmet household.  I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy.  Here are a few ag law stories in the news the past two weeks. *COVID-19 legislation and ag producers.  There have been a number of programs created by Congress in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The National Agricultural Law Center has created a website with great resources and frequently asked questions.  This is a perfect place to start diving into the details, determine how these programs may impact you, and look for information… Read More →

Common Alternatives to Probate in Texas

When people hear talk of the probate process, they may cringe and have an idea that probating a will or going through an estate administration if someone dies intestate (without a will) should be avoided at any cost.  Fortunately for those of us who live in Texas, the probate process is not nearly as onerous as it may be in other states.  Thus, while there may be situations to seek out an alternative to the probate process, it is certainly not a goal that exists for every estate. … Read More →

Montana Court Rules in Favor of Beef Checkoff

In a major ruling from the United States District Court for the District of Montana, the court held that the qualified state beef checkoff (QSBC) programs operating under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the United States Department of Agriculture (UDSA) do not violate the First Amendment and dismissed the lawsuit brought by the Ranchers-Cattleman Action Legal Fund (R-CALF). Background In 1985, Congress passed the Beef Promotion and Research Act, which imposed a $1 per head assessment each time cattle are sold in the United States.  The funds… Read More →

April 3, 2020 Weekly Round Up

Here is a list of some of the recent agricultural law stories in the news. *Montana Court upholds constitutionality of beef checkoff.  The biggest story of the last couple of weeks was a trial court ruling in the beef checkoff litigation.  The United States District Court for the District of Montana found in favor of USDA and the Montana Beef Council, holding that the advertising and promotional speech of the Montana Beef Council (and similar organizations in 14 other states) constituted government speech given USDA oversight.  Thus, the… Read More →

Online Ranchers Leasing Workshop Course Available!

We are so excited to announce that we are now offering our award-winning Ranchers Leasing Workshop as an online course! In the Online Ranchers Leasing Workshop, participants will be able to obtain all of the information shared at our half-day leasing workshop from the comfort of their own home, anytime, at their own pace by watching Tiffany Lashmet and Dr. Greg Kaase present on video. The course is designed for both landowners and lessees and focuses specifically on grazing, hunting and livestock leases. Tiffany presents on the various… Read More →