Case Explains Why Livestock Sales Contracts Should Be in Writing

The Texarkana Court of Appeals recently issued an opinion in Lee v. Jorgenson, which offers a critical reminder about the need to have all livestock sales contracts in writing. [Read opinion here.] Background Ralph Lee sold Waygu cattle to TJ’s Land and Cattle Company, LLC, (“the LLC”) of which Tom Jorgenson was a member.  Lee alleges this was a “handshake deal” that was memorialized in a Cattle Purchase Agreement (“CPA”).  The CPA was not signed by Jorgenson or anyone representing the LLC, but did include price terms for Waygu… Read More →

April 7, 2023 Weekly Round Up

It’s been another busy couple of weeks in the world of agricultural law. *State of Texas files suit challenging lesser prairie chicken listing.  The State of Texas has filed suit challenging the listing of the lesser prairie chicken as threatened and endangered pursuant to the Endangered Species Act.  The lawsuit claims the listing violates the Administrative Procedure Act, the Endangered Species and the National Environmental Policy Act.  In addition to these claims, the lawsuit alleges that this action “threats to derail” the efforts undertaken by the State and… Read More →

Question from Tiffany’s Desk: Can I Sell State Inspected Meat Across State Lines?

Question:  When can I sell meat to customers across state lines?  Are there different rules if the sales take place on the internet?   Answer:  For Texas producers (and those in most other states as well), only meat processed at a federally inspected facility may be sold to customers in another state. This is true for both in person and internet sales. Analysis:  Let’s look at the applicable rules.  (Do note that here, we are focusing on “amenable animals,” which include cattle, sheep, goats, and swine.  For “non-amenable animals,”… Read More →

WOTUS Update: Court Denies Nationwide Injunction; Grants Injunction for TX & ID

A federal judge in Texas recently issued an important ruling in Texas v. EPA, a case challenging the legality of the Biden administration’s “Waters of the United States” definition under the Clean Water Act.  [Read Opinion here.] Background As we’ve discussed at length previously on this blog and on the Ag Law in the Field Podcast, Congress passed the Clean Water Act (“the Act”) in 1972, granting federal jurisdiction over “navigable waters,” which it defined as “waters of the United States, including territorial seas (WOTUS).”  Congress did not, however,… Read More →

March 24, 2023 Weekly Round Up

Hello from Ft. Worth!  We’re excited to be at the Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Convention this weekend.  If you’re here in Cowtown, be sure to say hi! Here are a number of ag law stories in the news over the past couple of weeks. *Numerous challenges filed against Biden WOTUS definition.  Brigit Rollins at the National Agricultural Law Center recently published a great article outlining the legal challenges currently filed against the Biden WOTUS definition.  [Read article here.]  Since this article, a federal judge here in Texas… Read More →

Texas Supreme Court Analyzes Herbicide Drift Case

Last week, the Texas Supreme Court issued an opinion in Helena Chemical Co. v. Cox, a case pitting cotton farmers against an aerial herbicide applicator. [Read opinion here.] Background Plaintiffs grow cotton in Mitchell County, Texas.  They allege that defendant, Helena Chemical Company (“Helena”), supervised aerial application of Sendero, a herbicide primarily used to kill mesquite trees, on the Spade Ranch.  Plaintiffs claim that the Sendero sprayed on the Spade Ranch over several days in 2015 and 2016 drifted and damaged their cotton crops.  They blame this drift for… Read More →

Many Over the Counter Livestock Antibiotics to Require Prescription Starting in June

In January, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) released specific details on a change to how certain antibiotics for animal use may be purchased.  As of June 11, 2023, a number of veterinary antibiotics considered “medically important antimicrobials” previously sold over the counter will require a veterinary prescription in order to purchase.  Here are answers to some common questions surrounding this new rule. What is the new rule?  The Food and Drug Administration’s CVM GIF #263 makes changes to the availability of certain over the counter antibiotics for… Read More →

March 10, 2023 Weekly Round Up

Once again, it has been a busy couple of weeks on the agricultural law front.  Here are some of the key ag law stories in the news. *US Supreme Court will not hear New Mexico stream access case.  The United States Supreme Court has denied a Petition for Certiorari in  Chama Troutstalkers, LLC v. Adobe Whitewater Club of New Mexico.  You may recall from this prior blog post that the New Mexico Supreme Court held laws allowing landowners to close portions of streams on private property were unconstitutional.  This… Read More →

Overview of Biden WOTUS Rule

On December 20, 2022, the Environmental Protection Agency and the US Army Corps of Engineers released its Final Rule redefining “waters of the United States” (“WOTUS”) under the Clean Water Act (“Biden Rule”).  [Read Biden Rule here.]  The Biden Rule is set to go into effect on March 20, 2023.  There have, however, been lawsuits challenging the Final Rule that could impact this effective date.  [Read Complaint here and Complaint here.] Background For those of you keeping score, this marks the third attempt by the EPA to redefine… Read More →

Texas Oil & Gas Law: When 1/2 of 1/8 Not Equal 1/16

The Texas Supreme Court recently issued a ruling in Van Dyke v. The Navigator Group, an interesting case involving the use of double fractions in historic oil and gas documents.  [Read Opinion here.]  As the Court noted to open its opinion, “Only in a legal context could the formula ‘one-half of one-eighth’ mean anything other than one-sixteenth.” Background In 1924, the Mulkeys conveyed their ranch and the underlying minerals to White & Tom with the following reservation: It is understood and agreed that one-half of one-eighth of all minerals… Read More →