December 6, 2019 Weekly Round Up

Happy December!  It’s hard to believe we are already into the last month of the year.  I’ve presented in several locations recently, so welcome to all of you joining us from Val Verde County, Swisher County, and Goliad County. Here are a few of the top ag law stories in the news from the past couple of weeks. * Texas High Plains agriculture publications released.  Several of my colleagues were involved in drafting and publishing two new publications: The Impact of AgriBusiness in the High Plains Trade Area and… Read More →

2020 Ranchers Leasing Workshop Dates

We are so excited to continue offering our Ranchers Leasing Workshops around the state in 2020.   Dr. Greg Kaase and I will be hitting the road and hosting 5 workshops in 2020.   These half-day programs feature information on grazing, livestock, and hunting leases; economic resources available through Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, and landowner liability. All attendees receive a copy of the Ranchers Leasing Handbook and lunch will be sponsored by Ag Workers Insurance (Palestine, Abilene, LaVernia, and Brenham) and the Bennett Trust (Fredericksburg).  The cost of of… Read More →

Enhanced Life Estate Deeds (aka Lady Bird Deeds)

We recently discussed Transfer on Death Deeds in Texas.  If you missed that blog post, click here. Today, we will turn our attention to enhanced life estate deeds, also known as “Lady Bird Deeds.”  Unlike Transfer on Death Deeds, Lady Bird Deeds (“LBD”) are not a statutory creation, meaning there are no set statutory guidelines regarding these documents.  Instead, it is Texas case law that governs the interpretation of LBDs, and there are actually very few cases on this topic. What is a LBD?  A LBD is a deed… Read More →

Transfer on Death Deeds

In 2015, the Texas Legislature created statutory guidelines for “Transfer on Death Deeds” in Texas.   The “Texas Real Property Transfer on Death Act” provides the requirements for using a transfer on death deed (“TODD”) in Texas.  Importantly, these statutory requirements apply only to a deed executed on or after September 1, 2015 by a transferor who died on or after September 1, 2015.  Any deeds attempting to directly transfer real property at death prior to that date may be effective, but will not be governed by the provisions… Read More →

November 15, 2019 Weekly Round Up

Happy Friday!  I spent last week in Washington, DC for our American Agricultural Law Association Conference.  It was a great event and, to top it off, I was able to attend oral argument at the United States Supreme Court in County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Foundation, a water law case I’ve been closely watching.  It was a bit like going to to the Super Bowl for an ag law nerd like me!  On Thursday, I’ll have a podcast all about the oral argument from several of us who… Read More →

Video Summary of USDA Interim Final Hemp Rule

Last week, Dr. Justin Benavidez and I sat down to talk through some of the key provisions included in the just-released USDA Interim Final Hemp Rule.  To hear our thoughts on the highlight of the rule–both from a legal and economic perspective–take a look at the video below. If you want to read a more detailed discussion of the rule, click here.  If you would like to see a great summary on the “benefits and costs of production” section of the rule, click here for Dr. Benavidez’ blog… Read More →

November 1, 2019 Weekly Round Up

Happy Halloween!  Here is a look at how trick or treating in went in my house with our unicorn and feed sack.   Here are a few ag law stories in the news over the past couple of week. *USDA released Interim Final Hemp Rule.  The much-anticipated USDA rule related to hemp production was released on Wednesday.  To read my summary of the proposed rule, click here.  Also, Dr. Justin Benavidez wrote a great summary of some of the economic info included in the “costs and benefits” section… Read More →

USDA Interim Final Hemp Rule Summary

After months of anticipation, the USDA has released its Interim Final Hemp Production Rule (IFR).  [Read full document here.]  This blog post is an attempt to summarize some of the key provisions included in the IFR.  To me, the three issues that jumped out were the 15-day window for testing prior to harvest, the new concept of “acceptable hemp THC level” with regard to THC testing, and the compliance provisions related to negligent violations. What is this regulation? This is an interim final rule with request for comments… Read More →

Livestock and Community Property

Let me start out with a disclaimer here:  I am by no means a family lawyer.  This was the one area of law I knew I did not want to practice when I went to law school.  That said, I’ve seen this issue come up a couple of times and it involves cattle, so it seems important to include on an ag law blog. Texas is a community property state.  Property can be categorized as separate or community.  Separate property is property that one spouse brought into the… Read More →

2019 Texas Legislative Recap – Top 5 Bills for Agriculture

A couple of weeks ago, I did a podcast with J Pete Laney giving an update of the key bills coming out of the Texas Legislature for agriculture.  The response was great, and several folks asked if I would do a similar blog post.  So, I’ve narrowed the bills J Pete and I discussed to a Top 5 list of bills for agriculture. If you want more detail on any of the bills, be sure to click on each bill number to read the text, and be sure… Read More →