September 25, 2020 Weekly Round Up

Happy Friday!  Here are a few of the ag law stories in the news.

TAMU AgriLife photo by Steve Byrns

* Sign up for CFAP 2 program begins.  The USDA has announced a Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2, which will provide payments to qualifying farmers and ranchers.  The application period is open now through December 11.  Many of the main commodities in our area, including cattle, sheep, sorghum, wheat, cotton, and corn are eligible.  For more information and a full list of eligible commodities, click here.  Our District 1 economist, Dr. Justin Benavidez, recently did a blog post discussing the program, showing payment rates, and doing example calculations.  It is really helpful and can be accessed here.

* Water wars in the United States Supreme Court.  Bloomberg recently published an article discussing Texas v. New Mexico, an interstate water dispute that we have discussed extensively in prior blogs, and for which the Supreme Court will hear arguments on October 5.  The article also discusses Florida v. Georgia and notes that these types of cases will likely not be going away anytime soon.  [Read article here.]

* Lawsuit filed against USDA regarding beef checkoff program.  R-CALF has filed a lawsuit against the USDA claiming that the MOUs entered into between various state beef councils and the USDA are unlawful.  Plaintiffs argue that by entering into the MOUs, USDA violated the Administrative Procedures Act.  Keep in mind, although this is a separate lawsuit, it is related to the pending  R-Calf v. Montana Beef Council litigation we have previously discussed here.  [Read Complaint here.]

* Ask an ag lawyer summary.  Progressive Cattle Magazine recently did an article summarizing our recent Ask an Ag Lawyer session from Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course. Jim Bradbury, Stephanie Fryer, and I discussed important topics like landowner liability, fence law, and estate planning.  To read more about that session, click here.

* Podcast episode on agriculture and mental health.  Yesterday, I released Ag Law in the Field Podcast Episode #90.  Lesley Kelly and I talk about mental health in agriculture, why it is critical to tell our stories, warning signs to watch for, and tips if you or someone you love seems to be struggling.  This is a topic that is really important to me, and I am so hopeful that this podcast episode will be helpful to people in our industry.  To listen, click here.

Upcoming Programs 

On Thursday, October 1, I will be speaking on fence law as part of the TAMU AgriLife Range Webinar Series.  For more info, click here.

On Tuesday, October 6, I will be pulling a double-header.  At noon, I will be speaking to the St. Mary’s School of Law Ag Law Club and that evening I will be part of a panel on eminent domain on a Texas Farm Bureau webinar.  Once I have information on how to sign up or log into the Farm Bureau webinar, I will post it on my Upcoming Presentations page.

To see a full list of my scheduled programs, click here.

Also, don’t forget that our Online Ranchers Leasing Workshop is available anytime!  This three-hour course is made up of videos of Dr. Greg Kaase and me presenting information on grazing, hunting, and livestock leases, as well as a section on landowner liability.  Registration is $75, but you will be able to watch at your own pace and re-watch sections as many times as you like.  For more information or to register, click here.

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