US Court of Appeals Upholds Texas Drone Privacy Law

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit recently issued an opinion in National Press Photographers Association v. McCraw, a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Texas’ drone privacy law.  [Read Opinion here.] Statutory Background In 2013, the Texas Legislature passed the Texas Privacy Act, Chapter 423 of the Texas Government Code (“Chapter 423”).  The purpose of this statute was to regulate the use of drones in Texas airspace.  [To read full summary of the law, click here.]  Essentially, Chapter 423 can be divided into two sections:  the Surveillance… Read More →

A Tofurkey Lawsuit for Thanksgiving Week

How better to celebrate the week of Thanksgiving than by taking a look at a lawsuit involving tofurkey? In October, Turtle Island Foods (“The Tofurkey Company”) and the Plant Based Foods Association filed and Amended Complaint in a  lawsuit against the State of Texas claiming that the newly enacted Texas meat labeling law is unconstitutional. Turtle Island Foods SPC v. Abbott was filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas. [Read Amended Complaint here.] Do note that this blog post outlines the claims… Read More →

November 17, 2023 Weekly Round Up

There have been a number of developments in key agricultural law issues around the country over the past couple of weeks.  From the Farm Bill to Right to Farm, WOTUS to water law, we’ll get you up to speed! *Texas voters pass Constitutional right to farm, other Constitutional amendments.  On November 7, Texas voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition 1, which means that Texans now have a right to farming, ranching, timber production, horticulture, and wildlife management in the State Constitution.  [Read more about Prop 1 language here and read… Read More →

Updated Handbooks & Holiday Sale!

We’ve been working our tails off behind the scenes to get all our handbooks updated to reflect legal changes over the past year.  We’re excited to announce we have those handbooks all up to date and ready for you!  Remember, you can download a free PDF of these handbooks, or we sell hard copies. Owning Your Piece of Texas: Key Laws Texas Landowners Need to Know It’s our award-winning book with a beautiful new cover! This handbook is designed to offer a basic overview of several of the… Read More →

New Fact Sheets

My student assistant, Karli Kaase, and I have recently published three fact sheets featuring information on which we frequently get questions from landowners.  All are available to download for free. Easements 101 What is an easement?  What different types of easements exist?  What does the law require to recognize various types of easements?  We cover all of these questions and more in our “Easements 101” fact sheet.  Click here to download. Getting End-of-Life Documents in Order Although no one enjoys thinking about death, there are some basic end-of-life… Read More →

November 3, 2023 Weekly Round Up

Time continues to fly as we have reached the last 60 days of the year!  There has been no shortage of agricultural law news around the country the past couple of weeks. *Texas Drone Law Upheld by U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.  The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has reversed a lower court decision striking down the Texas Privacy Act, a law related to privacy and drone usage.  You may recall from this blog post, a federal district court sided with journalists… Read More →

Appearance on Capital Roots Podcast

I was recently honored to be a guest on the Capital Farm Credit Capital Roots podcast with Joe Patranella and Clint Cryer.  We chatted a bit about my story and how I got involved in agricultural law, my kids’ Miniature Hereford showing experience, and my thoughts on farm and ranch estate planning. Click here to listen.

California Lawsuit Challenges Actions Involving Show Goat and Junior Livestock Sale

A California family has filed a lawsuit challenging actions of a county fair association and law enforcement officers after an exhibitor tried to avoid selling her animal at a junior livestock show.  [Read Second Amended Complaint here.] Please note that all of the facts below were taken from the Second Amended Complaint for Damages.  The Defendants have not yet filed a response. Background E.L. (name protected as she is a minor child) owned a goat named Cedar.  She purchased the goat in April 2022 and cared for him… Read More →

2023 USDA Land Values Summary

Earlier this fall, the USDA released its annual Land Values Summary for 2023.  [View report here.] Not surprisingly, the report indicates increasing values nationwide over the past year.   For “farm real estate value,” which takes into account the value of all land and buildings on farms, the US average value was $4,080, up 7.4% from 2022.  For cropland, the nationwide average value increased 8.1% to $5,460/acre.  For pastureland, the nationwide average value was $1,760/acre, up 6.7% from last year. The report also looks at various regional measurements. Farm… Read More →

October 13, 2023 Weekly Round Up

Well, better late than never as the saying goes.  We’re sneaking in right before the clock strikes midnight with our recap of some of the biggest ag law stories in the news over the past few weeks. *SEC Chair testifies that privately held farms will be exempt from climate emissions reporting under forthcoming rule.  Last month, Gary Gensler, the Chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission told Congress that the SEC intends to exempt privately owned farms from climate emissions reporting requirements when selling to publicly traded companies. … Read More →