Does Running a Dairy Farm Violate Your Neighbor's Religious Rights?

Does Running a Dairy Farm Violate Your Neighbor's Religious Rights?

On January 16, 2018, the Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a county decision to allow a dairy to build a new farm in rural Rush County. The Court rejected arguments made by a nearby camp that the dairy's special exception would violate its religious rights.

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Indiana Challenges Massachusetts Livestock & Poultry Law in U.S. Supreme Court

Indiana Challenges Massachusetts Livestock & Poultry Law in U.S. Supreme Court

Indiana is leading a group of states in a lawsuit against Massachusetts over a new livestock and poultry law requiring any pork, veal, or eggs sold in the state to be derived from animals raised with space to turn around and lie down without touching an enclosure. 

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What are Others Saying about Air Emissions Reporting?

What are Others Saying about Air Emissions Reporting?

A federal court stayed the mandate requiring many livestock producers to report air emissions from manure until January 22, 2018. We are awaiting further guidance from EPA. In the meantime, here is what others are saying.

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Livestock Air Emissions Reporting: What's Next?

Livestock Air Emissions Reporting: What's Next?

Livestock producers are not yet required to report air emissions under the Clean Air Act, but that will soon change. On January 22, 2018, this new obligation for farms is expected to take effect. 

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Farmer Group Challenges Trump Rollback of GIPSA Rules

Farmer Group Challenges Trump Rollback of GIPSA Rules

On December 14, 2017, a farmer group filed a federal lawsuit challenging the Trump administration's rollback of two controversial GIPSA rules intended to protect individual farmers.

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Can Fish Feel?

Can Fish Feel?

I recently read an article called "Do You Care If Your Fish Dinner Was Raised Humanely?". It got me thinking: was aquaculture the next industry to be targeted by animal activists? All signs point to yes.

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Four Major Federal Agriculture Stories from 2017

Four Major Federal Agriculture Stories from 2017

The past 365 days have been a wild ride, complete with major changes to federal programs relied on by farmers and ag businesses. Four federal stories dominated 2017: WOTUS, NAFTA, GIPSA, and Air Emissions. 

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Court Delays Livestock Operations Air Emissions Reporting Requirement

Court Delays Livestock Operations Air Emissions Reporting Requirement

A November 15, 2017 deadline for livestock operations to report air emissions was delayed by a federal court. The reporting requirements are delayed until at least January 22, 2017. Hold off on any reporting until we hear more from the Court and/or the EPA. 

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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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