Happy Friday! Spring has sprung here in the Texas Panhandle and I’m enjoying the green grass and warmer weather. Here are few of the ag law stories in the news over the past couple of weeks.
* Farm Animal Liability Act bill moves forward as amended. You may recall from our post a week ago that HB 365 is currently pending and would modify the Texas Farm Animal Liability Act to ensure application to working farms and ranches. For more detail, click here. The bill continues to move through the legislative process, having now been passed by the House and now pending in the Senate. There has been an important amendment, which has added “a honeybee kept in a managed colony” to the definition of “farm animal.” This is an important change for beekeepers, as it would allow them to raise the Farm Animal Liability Act as a defense if someone is injured by a honeybee while engaging in something falling within the definition of a farm animal activity. [Read amended bill here.]
*Two more New Mexico tribes file lawsuit against Navigable Waters Protection Rule definition of “waters of the United States.” The pueblos of Jemez and Laguna have filed suit in federal court challenging the Trump administration’s Navigable Waters Protection Rule. Their lawsuit closely follows the 2020 suit by the Navajo Nation. The pueblos claim that removing protections for waters flowing through their lands threatens to diminish tribal resources and cultural practices. [Read article here.]
*Texas joins 19 other states in filing briefing in support of lawsuit challenging California Prop 12. Twenty states, including Texas, have filed amicus briefs with the US Supreme Court supporting a petition filed by the North American Meat Institute (NAMI) challenging the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 12. Prop 12 imposes certain requirements to limit animal confinement, in particular related to veal calves and breeding pigs. Petitioners in the lawsuit claim that this law is a barrier to interstate commerce, by imposing additional restrictions on out-of-state producers. The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the lower court’s decision not to award a preliminary injunction, and NAMI is seeking review from the US Supreme Court. [Read article here.]
*Dying Without a Will in Texas Can Leave Behind Legal Nightmares for Your Loved Ones. Dallas Magazine recently published an article with this title that does a great job of explaining why everyone in Texas–whether married, engaged, or single–should have a will in place. [Read article here.]
* It’s Just What Farmers Do. As part of the Progressive Farmer “Our Rural Roots” team, I recently wrote a little story about my little boy, a somewhat embarrassing incident, and his response. [Read story here.]
I’ve got a little breather over the next couple of weeks. I plan to spend most of that time editing video for our Owning Your Piece of Texas: Key Laws Texas Landowners Need to Know online course that we are hoping to release in the next couple of months. Stay tuned for that!
In the meantime, don’t forget our Online Ranchers Agricultural Leasing Workshop is available anytime, on demand. This course is designed for landowners and lessees, and focuses on legal and economic issues related to grazing, hunting, and livestock leases. Click here for more information.
Additionally, for any of you out there interested in or just curious about hemp production in Texas, we’ve got info for you! I partnered up with several economists from the TAMU Ag Economics department to put together a video series called “Legal & Economic Considerations for Hemp Production in Texas.” We have 29 short videos addressing everything from crop insurance to TDA regulations, budgeting considerations to contract terms. You can watch any or all for FREE by clicking here. If you do watch (even if you just watch one!)…do me a favor and be sure to complete the short evaluation at the end of each video!
To see all of my upcoming programs, click here.