July 10, 2020 Weekly Round Up

Happy Friday!  We are looking at a high of 108 today in the Texas Panhandle.  I hope you are all staying cool and healthy.

Here are some of the agricultural law stories in the news over the past week.

*Texas Wildlife Association Annual Convention available online.  The Texas Wildlife Association has curated a wonderful annual convention and has posted every session online, available to anyone, for free!  This includes my 30 minute presentation on landowner liability, which you can watch by clicking here.

*USDA seeks comment on potential RFID tag rule. USDA APHIS is seeking public comment on a proposed rule that would require tags for interstate movement of certain livestock be RFID tags.  You may recall from last fall that USDA attempted to put this in place, but then withdrew the policy.  If you’d like to comment, you can do so here.  Comments will be accepted through October 5.

*Colorado rants injunction on Navigable Waters Protection Rule; California rejects similar request.  The Navigable Waters Protection Rule, the Trump administration’s definition of “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act, became effective on June 22. As we have previously discussed, numerous lawsuits have been filed challenging the rule.  Recently, the United States District Court for the District of Colorado granted an injunction blocking the effective date of the NWPR within Colorado, becoming the first state to do so. [Read Order here.]  The EPA and US Army Corps of Engineers have filed a notice of appeal. Previously, the US District Court for the Northern District of California denied a similar motion for preliminary injunction in State of California v. Wheeler, a lawsuit filed by 17 states challenging the rule. [Read Order here.]

*Bayer Round Up settlement may have hit a snag.  The $11 billion settlement Bayer agreed to pay for claims related to Round Up has hit a potential snag.  Because the settlement involves class action claims, it must be approved by the judge.  The judge has indicated he is “tentatively inclined” to reject the settlement due to concerns of it including claims of a future class.  A hearing will take place on the settlement approval on July 24.  [Read article here.]

*Groups exploring potential hemp checkoff program.  Two groups, the National Industrial Hemp Council and the Hemp Industries Association have announced that they are working together to explore creating a national hemp checkoff program. [Read article here.]

* Potential perils of DIY contracts. My friend at TAMU alum, Cari Rincker, recently published a blog post highlighting some of the potential dangers of using DIY contracts, rather than having an attorney assist in drafting or at least reviewing an agreement before it is executed.  She brings up several potential pitfalls, and highlights why I always recommend an attorney be involved! [Read article here.]

* 5 ways to mess up estate planning.  I saw this article on Texas Tech University School of Law Professor Beyer’s blog and thought it was really useful.  It illustrates five common mistakes that occur in the estate planning process. [Read article here.]

Upcoming Programs 

I’ve recently updated my Upcoming Programs page, which you can access here.  Do note that while I currently have a number of in person programs scheduled for the fall, those are subject to change depending on the COVID-19 situation.  I’ll do my best to keep the Upcoming Programs page up to date.

Next week, I’m going to be chatting about agricultural leases on Capital Farm Credit’s Facebook page at noon CST on Wednesday, July 15.

Also, remember our Online Ranchers Leasing Workshop course is available online 24/7.  You can take it at your own pace and re-watch any portions you want as many times as you want!  To learn more, click here.

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