Author Archives: tiffany.dowell

April 12, 2024 Weekly Round Up

The agricultural news continues to roll in from across the country. *Texas farmers file discrimination lawsuit against USDA.  Several Texas farmers have filed suit in federal court against the USDA claiming that in administering payment programs, the USDA illegally discriminated on the basis of race and sex.  Specifically, the farmers argue that the USDA improperly used different payment calculation methods for “socially disadvantaged” farmers (American Indians, Alaskan Natives, Asians, Asian-Americans, blacks/African-Americans, Hispanics, Hispanic-Americans, Native Hawaiians or other Pacific Islanders, and women) than it did for those farmers not… Read More →

Court Considers Nuisance and Trespass Complaint Against Texas Feed Mill

The Austin Court of Appeals recently considered, Adcock v. Cal-Maine Foods, Inc., a lawsuit involving nuisance and trespass claims against a Texas feed mill filed by a neighboring landowner. Background Cal-Maine operates a chicken-feed mill.  Adcock is a neighboring property owner. In April 2019, Adcock sued Cal-Maine for nuisance and trespass complaining of the company’s “torment” of him and other residents since it acquired the mill from a prior owner 15 years ago.  He complains of Cal-Maine’s alleged release of “putrid odor of animal waste and chemicals,” loud noises,… Read More →

Family Dispute Leads to Litigation Over Handwritten Will

This case, In the estate of Marilyn Frances Martinez, pits father against daughter in a dispute over whether language in a handwritten will is a valid devise of property under Texas law. Background Marilyn Martinez died of COVID in November 2020.  Less than 5 days later (117 hours, to be precise), her second husband, Raymond Martinez, died as well. She was survived by her son, Clifton, his daughter (her granddaughter) Desiray, and Desiray’s two siblings. After Marilyn’s death, Desiray, found a handwritten document among her belongings.  The first page… Read More →

March 29, 2024 Weekly Round Up

We’ve made it through another week and have another long list of ag law news from around the country! *Avian influenza found in dairy cows in Texas and Kansas and goat in Minnesota.  State agencies announced this week that a disease found in some dairy cows in Texas and Kansas was identified as highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI).  A goat in Minnesota on a farm where chickens had the virus also recently tested positive as well.  The USDA believes the source of HPAI at the dairies is migratory… Read More →

Case Addresses Fence Boundary Line Dispute Between Neighbors

The Fourteenth Court of Appeals in Houston recently ruled in Malhorta v. Quintanilla, a lawsuit that involved a boundary line dispute and the location of fence and debris. Background Mr. Quintanilla and Mr. Malhorta are neighboring landowners.  Quintanilla filed a lawsuit against Malhorta seeking damages for trespass because of a fence encroaching on his property. Quintanilla hired a surveyor who concluded that the fence dividing their two properties encroached onto Quintanilla’s property.   As early as 2017,  Quintanilla requested Malhorta move the encroaching fence to the property boundary line…. Read More →

March 15, 2024 Weekly Round Up

It has only been two weeks since our last Weekly Round Up, but there have been a number of major news items related to agricultural law! * Resources for producers and landowners impacted by Panhandle wildfires.  On Monday, we posted a blog with information for producers and landowners who suffered losses during the wildfires about resources available. We have continued to update that document as additional resources have been announced.  To read more, click here.  In particular, I want to highlight an announcement from USDA about $6 million… Read More →

The Panhandle Wildfire Aftermath – Resources for Producers & Landowners

The damage and devastation left in the wake of the Panhandle wildfires is unimaginable and will continue to impact landowners, agricultural producers, families, and communities for years to come. As those impacted begin to rebuild, there are resources available to help. USDA Programs There are a number of programs through the United States Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency (FSA) that may be available to assist producers who have suffered losses of land, livestock, and fences due to the fires. We have a podcast episode and video walking… Read More →

Texas Supreme Court Finds Landowner Not Liable in Railroad Crossing Death

Last week, in Union Pacific Railroad Co. & Ezra Alderman Ranches v. Prado, the Texas Supreme Court addressed the liability of a landowner and railroad company when a railroad crossing fatality occurs on private land. Background In 2015, Rolando Prado, Jr. died when his pickup was struck by a Union Pacific (UP) train.  The crossing at issue is on private property owned by Ezra Alderman Ranches (the Ranch).  Prado was returning from his first day working at a new jobsite about 7:30 pm. He was driving at or under… Read More →

March 1, 2024 Weekly Round Up

It has certainly been a challenging week here in the Texas Panhandle.  Thank you to everyone who checked on me and my family.  Things got pretty intense for us on Tuesday as an evacuation order was issued.  We were able to get our cattle out of the pasture closest to the fire.  The fire missed our property, but so many others were not as fortunate.   The fires continue to burn. Many of you have asked how you can help.  Here is information on the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension… Read More →

2024 Live Programs — Come Join Us!

Did you know we host three different live programs around the state of Texas every year?  We’ve already kicked off our 2024 schedule with a great event in Tyler.  Below, please find all of our upcoming 2024 events. Note that both the Owning Your Piece of Texas programs and Ranchers Leasing Workshops offer CE credit for real estate agents.  To see more information or to register for any of these events, click below. San Angelo Owning Your Piece of Texas San Angelo Ranchers Leasing Workshop San Marcos Owning… Read More →