Preface 4 results
- Agricultural law is a dynamic field that began to develop as an area for study largely in the twentieth century. Over the past 60 years, agricultural law courses have been developed and are offered widely at land grant universities, law schools, junior colleges and two-year vocational-technical institutions.
- Agricultural law covers a wide array of topics and issues that illustrate the many areas where agriculture intersects the law. The reader will note how the law often treats “agriculture” and “farmers” and “ranchers” in a unique manner. In many respects, agricultural law is “law by the exception” as the late Washburn Law School Professor James B. Wadley often said. But, the legal concepts and principles addressed in this Nutshell have application that is broader than simply to agriculture, and the reader will find that fact apparent.
- It is my hope that you find the material in this text enjoyable and much more than a mere academic exercise. This text addresses real-life issues faced by real persons. Agricultural law is reality, and students will benefit from having used this text in a course on agricultural law, as will others that are in the business of agriculture.
- This Nutshell is intended to introduce readers to the basic concepts that apply to many legal issues that have application to farmers, ranchers, rural landowners, and agribusinesses. The Nutshell is designed to be used as a supplement to courses and teaching materials involving the various aspects of the law that are addressed. The book is organized along the same lines and largely drawn from the author’s larger treatise,
- Open Chapter
Chapter 7 Civil Liabilities 72 results (showing 5 best matches)
- Every state has enacted a right-to-farm law that is designed to protect existing agricultural operations by giving farmers and ranchers who meet the legal requirements a defense in nuisance suits. The basic thrust of a particular state’s right-to-farm law is that it is unfair for a person to move to an agricultural area knowing the conditions which might be present and then ask a court to declare a neighboring farm a nuisance. Thus, the basic purpose of a right-to-farm law is to create a legal and economic climate in which farm operations can be continued. Right-to-farm laws can be an important protection for agricultural
- A second type of right-to-farm statute is designed to prevent local and county governments from enacting regulations or ordinances that impose restrictions on normal agricultural practices. This type of statute is usually contained in the state’s agricultural districting law. Under this type of a statute, agricultural operations are required to be located within a designated agricultural district in order to be protected from nuisance suits. However, agricultural activities, even though they may be located in an agricultural district, must be conducted in accordance with federal, state and local law or rules in order to take advantage of the statute’s protections. Some courts have held that state law preempts local governments from making siting decision for confined animal feeding operations.
- Before the advent of workers’ compensation statutes, it was rare for an employee to recover for injuries sustained while on the job. By 1920, almost all industrial employment was covered by workers’ compensation laws. Historically, agricultural employment has been exempt from coverage. Indeed, as recently as 1973 only about one-third of the states included agricultural employment under their workers’ compensation statutes. In 1973, a national report was issued that called attention to the plight of injured agricultural employees. This report caused several states to extend workers’ compensation coverage to agricultural employment. But, workers’ compensation coverage may not apply to ag production contract transactions.
- The most common type of right-to-farm law is nuisance related. This type of statute requires that an agricultural operation will be protected only if it has been in existence for a specified period of time (usually at least one year) before the change in the surrounding area that gives rise to a nuisance claim. These types of statute essentially codify the “coming to the nuisance defense,” but do not protect agricultural operations which were a nuisance from the beginning or which are negligently or improperly run. For example, if any state or federal permits are required to properly conduct the agricultural operation, they must be acquired as a prerequisite for protection under the statute.
- Right-to-farm laws are of three basic types: (1) nuisance related; (2) restrictions on local regulations of agricultural operations; and (3) zoning related. While these categories provide a method for identifying and discussing the major features of right-to-farm laws, any particular state’s right-to-farm law may contain elements of each category.
- Open Chapter
Chapter 3 Secured Transactions 36 results (showing 5 best matches)
- A perfected agricultural lien has priority over a conflicting unperfected security interest or agricultural lien. The first security interest or agricultural lien to attach or become effective has priority if a conflicting security interest or agricultural lien is unperfected. If a statute under which an agricultural lien is created provides that the agricultural lien has priority over a conflicting security interest or agricultural lien in the same collateral, that statute governs priority if the agricultural lien is perfected. As for conflicts between
- In summary, several points can be made about Revised Article 9 and agricultural liens. First, an agricultural lien must be created by state law. Second, all agricultural liens must be perfected by filing a proper financing statement centrally—there no longer can be secret agricultural liens. Third, statutes without a priority rule will be controlled by Article 9 priority rules. Finally, the statute can provide for “super priority” agricultural liens, but they will be subject to the perfection and enforcement rules of Article 9.
- If a landlord’s lien exists on a crop and the tenant sells the crop without paying rent, it is critical to determine whether the statute creating the lien provides that the lien continues in proceeds. Revised Article 9 refers to an “agricultural lien, but not to “proceeds.” Consequently, the negative inference is that proceeds of collateral subject to an agricultural lien are not covered by Revised Article 9. Indeed, Comment 2 to Revised
- An adequate description of the collateral is critical if there is to be attachment and perfection. This is an important point that can arise in an agricultural context with respect to real estate, livestock and equipment that can be used either directly in agricultural production activities or merely indirectly.
- Some states provide statutorily for an agricultural supply dealer’s lien. The theory behind this type of lien is that parties who supply necessary inputs such as seed, feed, fertilizer, chemicals and petroleum products should have a method whereby they are assured of payment for the inputs supplied to agricultural producers. Several state legislatures passed agricultural supply dealer lien statutes during the farm debt crisis of the 1980s when an extraordinarily high number of farm and ranch operators went bankrupt and all of their property was claimed subject to perfected security interests under Article 9, leaving the supply dealer as an unsecured creditor with large unpaid bills.
- Open Chapter
Chapter 10 Regulatory Law 87 results (showing 5 best matches)
- The MSAWPA broadly defines the term “farm labor contractor” to apply to three classes of persons: agricultural employers, farm labor contractors and agricultural associations. An “agricultural employer” is any person who owns or operates a farm, ranch, processing establishment, cannery, gin, packing shed or nursery, or who produces or conditions seed, and who either recruits, solicits, hires, employs, furnishes, or transport any migrant or seasonal agricultural worker. An “agricultural association” is a nonprofit or cooperative association of farmers, growers, or ranchers, incorporated or qualified under applicable state law, which engages in any of the activities listed in the preceding sentence. A “farm labor contractor” is any person, other than an agricultural employer or association, or an employee of either, who, for a fee, performs any farm labor contracting activity such as recruiting, soliciting, hiring, employing, furnishing or transporting migrant or seasonal agricultural...
- Section 10.08 addressed antitrust laws in the context of agricultural cooperatives. This section addresses antitrust issues involving resale price maintenance, the Packers and Stockyards Act, and the Agricultural Fair Practices Act.
- The FLSA requires that agricultural employers who use 500 man-days or more of agricultural labor in any calendar quarter of a particular year must pay the agricultural minimum wage to certain agricultural employees in the following calendar year.
- The MSAWPA protects two types of agricultural workers. Migrant agricultural workers are persons engaged in agricultural employment of a seasonal or other temporary nature who are required to be away overnight from their permanent residence.
- AFIDA requires reports in four situations: (1) when a foreign person “acquires or transfers any interest, other than a security” in agricultural land; (2) when any interest in agricultural land, except a security interest, is held by any foreign person on the day before the effective date of the Act; (3) when a nonforeign owner of agricultural land subsequently becomes a foreign person; and (4) when nonagricultural land owned by a foreign person subsequently becomes agricultural land.
- Open Chapter
Chapter 1 Introduction 26 results (showing 5 best matches)
- For a variety of reasons, the law views many aspects of agricultural production as significantly different from other industrial enterprises. As a consequence, in such situations general legal rules have been deemed inappropriate as applied to agriculture. For example, farm employers are not subject to many federal labor laws and in many states are not included within the scope of the state workers’ compensation provisions. Agricultural cooperatives are generally exempt from federal antitrust constraints and therefore can engage in activities which are prohibited to nonfarm businesses. Likewise, the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) has special provisions for goods which are designated as “farm products.” Other UCC rules governing implied warranties on the sale of goods do not apply to some farm livestock sales, and in some states a farmer is not considered a merchant for many purposes under the UCC. In recent years, an entire section of bankruptcy law has been created specifically for...
- Several reasons are commonly cited as an explanation for the different legal treatment of farmers and ranchers from other similarly situated individuals. Farming and ranching is typically viewed as a unique way of life that is dependent upon natural forces occurring in an isolated rural environment. Historically, American society has generally accepted the notion that the success of a particular agricultural operation is dependent upon various factors that are beyond the owner’s control. These factors may include matters such as the weather, price and availability of production inputs, and variation in consumer demand for individual agricultural products. Society has also tended to view farmers and ranchers as a uniquely stabilizing element in society because of their vital role in food and fiber production. The Jeffersonian ideal of “family farms”, while not universally evidenced in reality, still remains a potent idyllic concept to many. Likewise, because farms and ranches need...
- The civil law provides compensation or other remedies for personal injury or loss of property. Civil law involves statutory and case law and establishes the rights and duties of individuals to other
- Substantive law consists of constitutions, treaties, statutes, ordinances, judicial decisions, and regulations and decisions of administrative bodies. There are three general areas of substantive law: criminal law, civil law and the law of equity.
- Legal research primarily involves finding the law, and making sure that the law that is found is current and has not been repealed by statutory enactment or reversed by subsequent legal decision. Primary sources of the law include the federal and state constitutions and opinions of the various federal and state courts. Other primary sources of the law include federal and state statutes and federal and state regulations.
- Open Chapter
Chapter 6 Cooperatives 60 results (showing 5 best matches)
- While the Congress recognized the unique problems of farmers in connection with obtaining adequate prices for agricultural products and provided in several appropriations bills that no part of the funds appropriated for enforcement of the Sherman Act could be used for prosecution of agricultural co-ops, prosecution of co-ops in state courts as violations of state antitrust laws continued. As state legislatures attempted to exempt agricultural co-ops from antitrust statutes, many early state laws granting co-ops exemptions from antitrust laws were held unconstitutional.
- Under the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937 (AMAA), the Secretary of Agriculture
- Upon formation, a co-op is affected by many statutes that do not apply to regular business corporations. Likewise, special provisions govern co-op taxation, the status of co-op financial instruments under state and federal securities laws, the special treatment of agricultural co-ops under antitrust laws, and the eligibility to borrow from farm credit system (FCS) banks. These and other statutes are important not only to the formation of an agricultural co-op, but to its ongoing operation.
- The Clayton Act was enacted in 1914. Section 3 prohibits sales on the condition that the buyer not deal with competitors of the seller (“tie-in” sales, exclusive dealing arrangements, and requirements contracts) where the effect “may be substantially to lessen competition or tend to create a monopoly” in any line of commerce. Section 4 of the Act allows private parties injured by violations of the Sherman and Clayton Acts to sue for three times the amount of damages. Congress also clarified the status of agricultural co-ops and labor unions under the antitrust laws, with Section 6 of the Clayton Act basically exempting labor unions and agricultural organizations from the Sherman and Clayton Acts. Section 6 of the Clayton Act declares that the antitrust laws do not forbid the “existence and operation” of agricultural co-ops that did not have capital stock and were not operated for profit. This section further provides that the antitrust laws were not to be construed so as “to forbid...
- In 1890, the Congress adopted legislation designed to prevent monopolies or any conspiracy to restrain trade (the Sherman Act). The treatment afforded agricultural co-ops under the antitrust laws of the United States has had an impact on their organization and operation.
- Open Chapter
Chapter 5 Real Property 42 results (showing 5 best matches)
- In general, the actual value of agricultural property is to be determined on the basis of productivity and net earning capacity on the basis of use for agricultural purposes. This typically results
- An agricultural lease represents an estate in land for a definite period of time that is fixed in advance. The time of commencement, term and time of termination of the lease must be specified. If such items are not specified in a written lease, state law controls the lease’s duration and establishes the procedure for terminating the lease.
- Agricultural Leases as Estates in Land
- In some states, such as Nebraska, the value of agricultural land is based on prevailing market value instead of the land’s income-producing capability. This can cause valuations to increase substantially when investors buy tracts nearby at inflated values, or land is purchased other than in arm’s-length transactions.
- Two types of contracts are often involved in the sale of agricultural land. One type, sometimes referred to as a “contract for sale of land,” contemplates passage of a deed after a relatively short period of time during which the marketability of title is determined and financing is arranged. Various legal aspects of this type of contract have already been addressed in this chapter. A second type, referred to as the “installment land contract” is an instrument for long-term financing of land purchases.
- Open Chapter
Title Page 2 results
Chapter 2 Contracts 34 results (showing 5 best matches)
- An agricultural lease is a contract as well as a conveyance of an interest in real property. Because a lease is a contract, the terms of the lease are
- AGRICULTURAL LEASE PROVISIONS—COMMON LAW CONCERNS
- It is advisable for the parties to an agricultural lease to be as thorough as possible in covering all areas that might lead to a conflict. While it is impossible to anticipate potential trouble areas with complete accuracy, the following is a suggested list of provisions that a written lease involving agricultural land should address.
- Agricultural production contracts commonly contain an arbitration clause requiring the parties to submit any contract dispute to an arbitrator before going to court. Such provisions may violate state law.
- Part performance by the tenant to an agricultural lease may constitute an exception to the statute of frauds in many jurisdictions. For example, an oral agricultural lease might be removed from the requirements of the statute of frauds if payment of consideration (whether in money or in goods or
- Open Chapter
Outline 40 results (showing 5 best matches)
Chapter 9 Environmental Law 77 results (showing 5 best matches)
- The Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), which became law in late 1980, set as a goal the initiation and establishment of a comprehensive response and financing mechanism to abate and control problems associated with abandoned and inactive hazardous waste disposal sites. While CERCLA focuses on hazardous waste sites, it can have significant ramifications for agricultural operations because the term “hazardous waste” has been defined to include most pesticides, fertilizers, and other chemicals commonly used on farms and ranches.
- A state may regulate the use and sale of pesticides only if, and to the extent that, its laws and regulations do not permit any sale or use otherwise prohibited by FIFRA. Presently, all states have enacted pesticide use laws. Most of the state statutory provisions follow the same general pattern and require classification of pesticides, the licensing of pesticide dealers, the regulation of the storage and disposal of pesticides and pesticide containers and the prohibition of acts relating to the improper use of pesticides. In general, enforcement of state pesticide
- . In addition, agricultural stormwater discharges are excepted from the NPDES as nonpoint source pollutants. In EPA’s proposed CAFO rule (
- Water pollution is commonly divided into two categories: point source and nonpoint source. Point source water pollution is waste discharged into a water body from a specific and clearly discernable discharge point such as a pipe or ditch. Nonpoint pollution, on the other hand, is the diffuse discharge of waste into a water body where the specific source cannot be located, as with sediment or certain agricultural chemicals. Most agricultural water pollution is nonpoint source pollution. However, runoff from an animal feedlot can be construed as point source pollution.
- The Conservation Security Program was established as part of the 2002 Farm Bill and provides payments to farmers and ranchers that practice good stewardship on agricultural land and implement new practices that improve existing conservation benefits. The CSP is an entitlement program (not a competitive sign-up as is the CRP) that is available to any agricultural landowner that develops an approved plan specifying the acceptable conservation practices to be utilized. The program is generally available for all cropland, grassland, prairie, improved pasture and rangeland in the United States. In general, land enrolled in the CRP, the Wetland Reserve Program and the Grassland Reserve Program is ineligible for the CSP.
- Open Chapter
Chapter 8 Water Law 21 results (showing 5 best matches)
- The strict application of the civil law rule has also been modified by a so-called “husbandry” exception, and interference with natural drainage will be allowed if the interference is limited to that which is incidental to reasonable development of the dominant estate for agricultural purposes.
- Farmers and ranchers owning agricultural land adjacent to a watercourse may be faced with a changing property line due to shifts in the size and location of the watercourse. The property boundary may be slowly eroded away or may change suddenly as the result of a flood or similar natural disaster. In
- The prior appropriation system also does not deal with return flow problems caused by differing rates of consumptive use between different appropriators. For example, agricultural irrigation is approximately an 80 percent non-consumptive use. This means that
- In an attempt to address surface water drainage problems, many states have adopted statutory drainage codes whereby a landowner can institute drainage proceedings. State drainage codes authorize proceedings for construction, repair or improvement of agricultural drainage ditches. Such systems may involve several miles of open main ditch and laterals. Benefitted lands are assessed for benefits received. Any taking of land for physical construction is compensated as in eminent domain, although there is a setoff against benefits that accrue to the balance of the tract. Funding for construction typically is by sale of bonds by the ditch district or authority. Bonds are repaid with funds from special assessments against benefitted lands.
- Conflicts concerning water rights are not uncommon in agriculture, and the factors which may be relevant in solving such problems are numerous. Some of these factors include the significance of the source of the water involved. For example, if the water source is a navigable stream or lake that is of vital commercial importance to the country, diversion by adjoining landowners for agricultural purposes may damage not only other landowners on the watercourse, but also the economic development of the entire area. Conversely, the water source may be a non-navigable stream or lake, underground percolating water, or surface water that merely follows the natural drainage contours of the land. Other factors for resolution of water rights conflicts include the economic interests of the area and the importance of water in the furtherance of those interests.
- Open Chapter
Table of Cases 2 results
Index 70 results (showing 5 best matches)
Chapter 4 Bankruptcy 23 results (showing 5 best matches)
- If the debtor is engaged in farming agricultural land, foreclosure occurs and a deficiency judgment is issued against the debtor, and the debtor does not exercise the delay in enforcement of the deficiency judgment, the “disposable earnings” of the debtor are exempt from garnishment to enforce the deficiency judgment after two years from entry of the deficiency judgment. However, earnings “paid to the debtor directly or indirectly by the debtor” are not exempt.
- Exemptions are authorized under both state law (with the states varying significantly in their generosity to debtors) and federal law. Federal bankruptcy law, however, permits states by legislation to prohibit the use of federal exemptions. Thirty-thee states have acted to prohibit the use of federal exemptions. Debtors in those states can only use exemptions provided under non-bankruptcy law.
- In agricultural bankruptcies, one of the more important exemptions listed above is for “tools of the trade.”
- bankruptcy estate as of the beginning of the debtor’s tax year. Therefore, for example, no depreciation may be claimed by the debtor for the period before bankruptcy filing. That could be a significant issue for many agricultural debtors.
- In the United States, the opportunity for financially distressed debtors to file for bankruptcy is assured by Art. I, Sec, 8of the United States Constitution. Thus, bankruptcy is a matter of federal law.
- Open Chapter
West Academic Publishing’s Law School Advisory Board 10 results (showing 5 best matches)
- Distinguished University Professor, Frank R. Strong Chair in LawMichael E. Moritz College of Law, The Ohio State University
- Professor of Law Emeritus, University of San Diego Professor of Law Emeritus, University of Michigan
- Professor of Law, Chancellor and Dean Emeritus, University of California, Hastings College of the Law
- Professor of Law, Yale Law School
- Professor of Law, Pepperdine University Professor of Law Emeritus, University of California, Los Angeles
- Open Chapter
Acknowledgments 1 result
- I am also grateful to the editorial staff of West Publishing Co. that worked on this project, and for the input of lawyers, fellow law school faculty members and the many farmers, ranchers and rural landowners that I come into contact with on a daily basis, for their common-sense insight into practical issues that the book needed to address.
- Open Chapter
- Publication Date: July 25th, 2017
- ISBN: 9781683282570
- Subject: Agriculture Law
- Series: Nutshells
- Type: Overviews
- Description: Written by Professor Roger A. McEowen, the Kansas Farm Bureau Professor of Agricultural Law and Taxation at Washburn University School of Law, and drawn from his leading, cutting-edge textbook on agricultural law and taxation which is presently in its 40th release (January 2017). This Nutshell is specifically developed to meet the needs of the students, instructors, lawyers as well as farmers, ranchers, rural landowners agri-businesses and lawyers as a handy summary of key areas of the law impacting agriculture. Material covered includes an introduction to agricultural law, contracts, agricultural financing, bankruptcy, real property, cooperatives, civil liabilities, water law, environmental law, and regulatory law. The Nutshell covers the general principles of law for ease of class discussion and provides a balance of textual explanation with case citations.