Five years ago a friend suggested that I start “blogging” about the legal issues I was handling involving agriculture. She knew I grew up on a farm, that agriculture was my passion, and that I was working on a number of different agricultural legal matters. She told me farmers and ag industry professionals would enjoy reading about my experiences. I immediately responded with typical lawyer answers: I don't have time. No one will read it. There are too many ethical complications when lawyers blog.
Fortunately, I decided that these excuses were challenges that could be overcome. Why do good legal work if you cannot use your experiences to help others? So here I am today, five years later, and I can't imagine how my legal career would have evolved without having the Janzen Ag Law Blog. I'm happy to announce that the Janzen Ag Law blog is moving to a new platform as part of my decision to found a new law firm, Janzen Agricultural Law LLC. Before this site is moved, I thought it would be fun to take a look back and see how this blog has evolved over the years.
When I started writing this blog, I wrote on a host of different issues affecting agriculture. My first post was "Why did I create this blog?" Subsequent posts addressed a myriad of issues, from hot button environmental topics to more basic case law reports on contract disputes. I was getting the hang of it.
My first blog header was a picture of me sitting on my dad's John Deere 4020, demonstrating that some lawyers really do know how to drive tractors.
As I continued to write, I found that my readers frequently enjoyed topics involving agriculture and technology. For example, an ag drone article I wrote about how the EPA "might" use drones to search for Clean Water Act violations at feedlots really struck a nerve with cattle producers. My article was republished in a number of mainstream beef and dairy publications. Before I knew it, Congressmen were writing the EPA administrator to demand EPA stop the use of aerial surveillance of farms. Did my blog article set off this firestorm? I'll never know for sure, but I learned that the digital pen is a powerful tool.
My updated blog header reflected that my content had shifted to modern farming technology. Gone was the Deere 4020, replaced by a then current model John Deere 4-wheel drive. (Thanks Carnahan & Sons Farms!)
I eventually determined that writing about agriculture, technology, and the law was the most interesting to me and my readers. (I think this is because I was farm kid during the early Space Shuttle years, or perhaps because I grew up near the Kansas Cosmosphere.) Now my blog posts are nearly exclusively focused on the intersection between law, technology, and agriculture.
My interest in this area drove me to start my own law firm, Janzen Agricultural Law LLC, which, among other things, seeks to help the law adapt to new agricultural technology. Please bookmark my new Janzen Ag Law Blog page, as I will be moving this blog to a new platform on January 1, 2016. The new blog address is: http://www.aglaw.us/janzenaglaw/
As my loyal readers know, the Janzen Ag Law Blog allowed me to find my voice. For that, I am forever grateful.
By Todd Janzen