February 12, 2021 Weekly Round Up

Happy Friday!  It seems like the entire state of Texas is preparing for winter weather this weekend.  I hope you all stay safe and warm.  I want to welcome those of you joining from my recent programs in El Campo and Robstown.  We’re glad you are here!

Photo by Scott Ymker via Unsplash

Here are some of the ag law stories in the news the past couple of weeks.

*Claims period open for soybean farmers who were injured by dicamba drift in 2015-2020.  Soybean farmers around the country may be eligible to make a claim to recover damages for dicamba drift damage.  This stems from a $400 million settlement reached between defendants Monsanto (now owned by Bayer) and BASF and plaintiffs who filed suit related to dicamba drift damage.  [Read article here.]  Claims may be filed through May 28, 2021.   For more information on the settlement, who qualifies, and the claims process, click here.

*EPA issues draft guidance regarding County of Maui decision.  In order to provide “focused guidance” to the regulatory community and permitting authorities, the EPA has issued a guidance document to help clarify the US Supreme Court’s decision in County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund.  The guidance discusses how the “functional equivalent” test articulated by the Court in County of Maui can be applied within the framework of NPDES permitting, and also adds an additional factor–system design and performance–that may be relevant to a functional equivalent analysis.  [Read guidance here.]

*Study looks at millennial estate planning in 2020.  A recent article discussing estate planning among 20,000 millennials showed some interesting results.  A surprisingly high number of the respondents–78%–created estate planning documents in 2020.   They reported that the primary reason for doing so is the birth of children.  The study also showed that 3/4 of pet owner respondents appointed a guardian for their pet.  To read more about the study results, click here.

* National Agricultural Law Center publishes state-by-state comparison of checkoff programs.  Our friends at the National Agricultural Law Center recently published a compilation of state laws related to checkoff programs.  In particular, their analysis focuses on citing the applicable beef checkoff statutes for each state, identifies whether producers in each state pay a state-only assessment, in addition to the national checkoff assessment, and whether the state statutes allow for a producer refund.  For anyone interested in this topic or doing research on checkoffs, this is a really helpful resource.  [Compilation available here.]

Upcoming Programs

I’ve got a bit of downtime the next couple of weeks, and I plan to spend much of that time working on finalizing our Owning Your Piece of Texas online course.  I’m hoping to launch that course in the Spring, so stay tuned!  Additionally, on February 25, I’ll be presenting at the virtual Southwest Beef Conference.  For more information, click here.

Remember, our award-winning Online Ranchers Leasing Workshop course is always available on demand.  To learn more, click here.

Finally, you can see all of my upcoming programs 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.

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