AgriLife LogoRight-to-farm Supreme Court arguments heard at Colony High School This week I traveled to Lockney for the Caprock Crops Conference. As usual, this was a great conference. Thanks to Caitlin and Cristen for inviting me to present. To those of you joining from that meeting, welcome! Here are some at law stories in the news this week. * US Supreme Court will hear WOTUS dispute over jurisdiction, no merits to be considered. The United States Supreme Court has granted certiorari in a dispute involving where challenges to the…

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently found that a local law passed by the County of Kauai attempting to regulate pesticide use and genetically modified crops is pre-empted by state law. [Read the full-opinion-here.] Factual Background Numerous seed companies plant and test genetically modified crops, such as corn, soybeans, and rice in Hawaii. They spray a variety of pesticides–including insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides–on the crops. In 2013, the County of Kauai passed Ordinance 960, aimed at regulating the application of pesticides. Specifically, the Ordinance requires…


Hello! I am excited to be back in the saddle with Weekly Round Up posts. I appreciate all of your kind words and well wishes while I was off on maternity leave to welcome home our daughter, Harper. There is sure no shortage of ag law news to report on this week. Here are some of the big stories. * Texas producers reject Indemnity Fund assessment. The Texas Department of Agriculture announced that recent voting on whether to create an assessment on grain sales to fund a sort of…

Although the Texas Supreme Court decision in Denbury Green Pipeline-Texas, LLC v. Texas Rice Land Partners, Ltd. has put an end to the litigation, there are a number of unanswered questions and potential issues that remain in the opinion’s aftermath. [Read full opinion here.] This case will continue to have serious impacts on landowners and pipeline companies dealing with the use of eminent domain in Texas. Factual Background When the Denbury Green Pipeline project planned to build a C02 pipeline from Missisippi to Brazoria and Galveston Counties in Texas, …


The Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund (“R-CALF”) and the United Stockgrowers of America have likely survived a motion to dismiss their case against USDA challenging the beef checkoff and obtained an injunction against the Montana Beef Council (“MBC”) to prevent it spending money received from the federal Beef Checkoff Board on promotion. A federal Magistrate Judge sided with the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, which claims that the federal law requiring funding of the MBC is unconstitutional. Additionally, the Magistrate suggests a preliminary injunction be issued, which would prohibit the…

Happy New Year! We are back with Part II in our series looking back at the biggest agricultural law issues of 2016. If you missed Part I, which focused on federal issues, click here. Today, we will be focused on Texas-specific issues. *Jury issues .4 million verdict in Bragg v. Edwards Aquifer Authority. The seemingly unending saga of the Bragg case came to an end in 2016. On remand, a Medina County jury issued a judgement in the amount of .5 million (exclusive of interest) in favor of the Braggs as…

rice field

2016 was quite a year for agricultural law. From the FAA passing UAS regulations to a major water law decision by the Texas Supreme Court to Congress passing a GMO labeling bill, a lot has happened in the past 12 months. We will take a look at the highlights in two parts, focusing today on federal issues and considering Texas issues in our next blog post. *WOTUS joint resolution vetoed, stay in place during litigation. The controversy surrounding the Clean Water Act definition of “Waters of the United…

A Dallas Court of Appeals decision offers an important reminder for everyone to consider…be sure to check your beneficiaries designated to receive payment upon death for items like life insurance policies, pensions, or Transfer on Death accounts. Failure to do so can lead to unintended and unfair consequences for the loved ones left behind. Switzer v. Vaughan In this case, a dispute arose when David Eric Switzer passed away in 2014. From 2007 to 2009, Eric dated a co-worker named Kay. During that time, Eric designated Kay as his…

funeral2 Texas A&M Agrilife Extension photo by Steve Byrns 5837124364_3010ec8eac_z 319917_10101137596609242_1897770725_n

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