10-Minute Webcast: Zoning Tips for Livestock Operations

10-Minute Webcast: Zoning Tips for Livestock Operations

We are launching a new series of short webcasts, designed to be watched during a break in your busy day. This is the second webcast and it addresses zoning tips for livestock operations.

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Indiana Legislative Committee Hears Testimony on Livestock Rules

Indiana Legislative Committee Hears Testimony on Livestock Rules

The Indiana Legislature's Interim Study Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources is considering whether any changes should be made to Indiana confined feeding laws.

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Indiana Farm Store May Sue Michigan Customer for Unpaid Seed

Indiana Farm Store May Sue Michigan Customer for Unpaid Seed

The Indiana Court of Appeals recently affirmed that a northern Indiana feed and farm supply store can sue a Michigan man in Indiana court for unpaid seed bills. The Appellate Court ruled the court in LaGrange County has personal jurisdiction over Harold Walters, who lives just over the border in Michigan. 

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The Perils of Representing Yourself Before an Administrative Agency

The Perils of Representing Yourself Before an Administrative Agency

Livestock facilities must go through numerous steps in order to operate, including state permit approval and county siting approval. State permit appeals in Indiana are heard by the Office of Environmental Adjudication. Permittees may represent themselves before the OEA, but they do so at their peril. 

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Legal Nonconforming Use, or Being "Grandfathered In"

Legal Nonconforming Use, or Being "Grandfathered In"

Livestock facilities in rural areas may be considered "legal nonconforming uses" and therefore be exempt from new zoning ordinances. Indiana law, in particular, gives special protection to agricultural land uses.

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What To Do If Your Crops are Damaged by Dicamba

What To Do If Your Crops are Damaged by Dicamba

"Pesticide drift" is not a new issue, but it has taken center stage this summer as we hear widespread reports of crops damaged by Dicamba. This post suggests the initial steps a farmer should take if they believe their crop has been damaged by another person's Dicamba use. 

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"Pink Slime" on Trial

"Pink Slime" on Trial

A major agriculture lawsuit is finally underway in South Dakota. The defendant is ABC Television; the plaintiff is Beef Products, Inc., a South Dakota meatpacker. The lawsuit centers on ABC's repeated use of the phrase pink slime to describe BPI's lean finely textured beef in March 2012. Five years ago, BPI sued ABC in a $1.9 billion defamation suit under South Dakota law. 

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How Should A Farm Respond to a Workplace Injury?

How Should A Farm Respond to a Workplace Injury?

Farms can be dangerous places. Most agricultural operations are in the full swing of a busy spring, which is a good time to review workplace injury protocol. Do you and your employees know what to do if someone is injured in the field or barn?

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What to Do If Immigration Officers Visit the Farm

What to Do If Immigration Officers Visit the Farm

The Trump administration has made aggressively searching for and deporting undocumented immigrants (including farm workers) a priority. The first question farmers usually ask is what to do if an immigration officer shows up on the farm. I suggest the following steps:

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Illinois Food & Agriculture Legislative Update

Illinois Food & Agriculture Legislative Update

The Illinois legislature has introduced a number of bills directed at the food and agriculture industries. Most of these proposed bills are intended to make life easier for agriculture. This post provides a rundown on the bills which could affect Illinois livestock, cottage food industries, fields, farmers markets, or agricultural businesses. 

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FSMA and Grain Elevators

FSMA and Grain Elevators

FSMA rules can apply to just about any entity in the animal or human food supply chain, from the producers to packagers to transporters and anyone in between. But do the new rules apply to typical grain elevators? In this blog post, I answer that question: usually no, because typical grain elevators are exempt from the most common FSMA regulations.

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Des Moines Water Works Nitrate Lawsuit Dismissed

Des Moines Water Works Nitrate Lawsuit Dismissed

A federal judge recently dismissed the Des Moines Water Works case, holding water quality problems caused by nitrates are for the legislature (not the court system) to fix.

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Six Tips for Agricultural Zoning Applications

Six Tips for Agricultural Zoning Applications

Let's say you want to expand your livestock operations, build a new manure storage structure, or start an agritourism business focused on beekeeping or growing hops. You know you have to complete a state application for such an operation, but what about the local level? Here are my tips for navigating the local zoning scene.

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Poultry Farmers File Federal Antitrust Lawsuit Against Integrators

Poultry Farmers File Federal Antitrust Lawsuit Against Integrators

Poultry growers recently filed a federal lawsuit against Tyson Foods, Perdue Farms, and other poultry integrators under the Sherman Antitrust Act and the Packers and Stockyards Act ("PSA"). The Growers alleged the integrators have shared data about the individual Growers without aggregating or anonymizing the information. 

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Five Tips to Comply with the New FDA Antibiotics Rule

Five Tips to Comply with the New FDA Antibiotics Rule

As of January 1, 2017, a new FDA regulation requires a veterinarian feed directive ("VFD") from a veterinarian be in place for all antibiotics administered to livestock in feed or water. How can you stay in compliance? 

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What Does the USDA's Agreement with Montana Beef Mean for You?

What Does the USDA's Agreement with Montana Beef Mean for You?

On December 22, 2016, the USDA entered into a Memorandum of Understanding ("MOU") with the Montana Beef Council ("MBC"). This MOU could affect other states' beef councils or qualified checkoff boards for other commodities. 

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Where's the Beef: Are Checkoff Funds Being Used to Violate the First Amendment?

Where's the Beef: Are Checkoff Funds Being Used to Violate the First Amendment?

A lawsuit in Montana grabbed the attention of checkoff boards across the country. R-CALF sued the Montana state beef checkoff council in May, asking a federal court to prohibit the council from spending federal checkoff dollars on advertising unless the state cattle producers paying the fees have agreed to it. A federal magistrate recently issued an opinion agreeing with R-CALF.

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What Do the Controversial New GIPSA Rules Really Say...and Does it Matter?

What Do the Controversial New GIPSA Rules Really Say...and Does it Matter?

New GIPSA rules were announced on Tuesday. There are plenty of opinions out there criticizing and praising the regulations, but what do the new rules really say? And, with the incoming Trump administration, does it matter?

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Federal Court Says Hawaii Counties Can't Ban GMOs or Pesticides

Federal Court Says Hawaii Counties Can't Ban GMOs or Pesticides

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down several Hawaii county ordinances limiting or altogether banning the use of pesticides and GMO products. The court held the local laws attempted to legislate an area already comprehensively covered by state or federal law and those local laws were preempted by state and/or federal laws.

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Federal Judge Halts National Implementation of Overtime Rule

Federal Judge Halts National Implementation of Overtime Rule

A federal judge in Texas just issued an injunctive order halting the overtime rule nationwide. Judge Amos Mazzant issued a 20-page order preventing the rule from going into effect on December 1. The court wrote the injunction would preserve the status quo while the court considered the merits of the challenge to the overtime rule.

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