The United States Supreme Court has held that an Indiana farmer cannot plant Roundup Ready (RR) soybeans purchased from a grain elevator (or "commodity soybeans") without violating Monsanto's RR patent. (Read prior post: Indiana Farmer Takes Monsanto to Supreme Court). Justice Kagan wrote the opinion, which the Court summarized as follows:
Monday, May 13, 2013
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
A few years ago, the Obert family decided that in order for their dairy farm to continue on to the next generation, it would need to expand. The family consulted with experts in the industry and ultimately decided to build a new, modern milking parlor and new freestall barn. The location selected for the new barns was on a 67 acre tract of ground adjacent to their historical farmstead, where the Oberts have farmed since the early 1800s when their ancestors immigrated from Bavaria, Germany, to Gibson County, Indiana. Unfortunately, following the expansion, a neighbor sued the farm for "nuisance," claiming that although he was fine living next to the old 100 cow dairy, he was not fine with living next to the new 760 cow dairy.
Sunday, April 21, 2013
Monday, April 8, 2013
Instead of agricultural law, I'm going to break with the theme of this blog and write about a recent observation. I've been blown away in the past few weeks with a number of America's young farmers. They are a different breed. They understand the challenges ahead. And their contribution to agriculture in the next 50 years is going to be huge.
Monday, March 25, 2013
There has been a lot of press in Indiana lately about Senate Bill 373. SB373 attempts to prevent undercover filming or photographing on farms, done without the farmer's permission and with the intent to harm farming operations. Farm industry groups have lined up to support the bill. Bob Kraft at Indiana Farm Bureau explained that the bill seeks to stop vigilante practices used to denigrate Indiana’s livestock industry. Animal rights groups and some environmental groups have lined up to oppose it, calling it an "ag gag" bill. Even Bob Barker--of Price is Right fame--interjected himself into the debate by sending a letter in opposition to the bill. (And no, the bill does not prevent anyone from spaying or neutering their pets). PETA said the bill would "make it illegal to film on factory farms." Putting aside the debate, here are some facts about the bill:
Monday, March 11, 2013
In my experience, most farmers are skeptical of environmentalists. Many environmental groups deserve this reaction, in my opinion, because some exhibit a self-righteous quality that is insulting to someone whose livelihood depends on the long-term sustainability of his or her land. How can someone in an office in Washington, D.C. understand land management better than someone who has spent his or her entire life managing the field outside their kitchen window? This tension recently came to light when I, together with my Indiana Agricultural Leadership classmates, visited the Environmental Working Group (EWG) in Washington, D.C. Here are some of the ideas I heard (italics are my paraphrasing of EWG):
Saturday, March 2, 2013
I spent this past week in Washington, D.C., with the Indiana Agricultural Leadership Program. We met with Senators, Congressmen, farm industry and environmental lobbyists, and executive agency officials. Though this was not my first visit to D.C., the past week was eye-opening for a number of reasons. There were a few recurring themes I heard over and over this week I thought I would share.
Sunday, February 17, 2013
Fertilizer Use Rule promulgated by the Office of the Indiana State Chemist went into effect. The new rule has some important components that are new to many Hoosier farmers. The most notable change from prior law is that the rule is applicable to everyone, not just large regulated livestock farms. (If you apply less than 10 cubic yards or 4,000 gallons of fertilizer or manure per year, you remain exempt. But for all other farmers applying fertilizer or manure for the production of crops, this rule applies.) Here are some important parts:
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
God Made a Farmer.
Some portion of the proceeds from the "likes" of the video will go to benefit the national FFA hunger relief efforts.
By Todd Janzen
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
settlement, Syngenta Crop Protection, Inc. (Syngenta), the maker of Atrazine, has agreed to pay $105 million to over 1100 class members, consisting of water utilities across the Midwest. (Indianapolis will reportedly receive $1 million).
Monday, January 14, 2013
Indiana’s dairy industry lost one of its own this week, Leontien Van de Laar Oostdijck. Anyone who ever met Leontien knows what a huge loss this is for us all.
Leontien was part of waive of Dutch immigrant farmers who sold their farms in Europe to move to Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana in latter part of the 20th century. After investing their life savings and relocating to the Midwest, farmers like Leontien worked hard to make ends meet in their new country. Coming from a family of Dutch immigrants, I loved watching the “American dream” unfold before my very eyes.
Monday, December 10, 2012
Unpasteurized or "raw" milk sales for human consumption are illegal in Indiana, but lately every year a bill shows up in the Indiana General Assembly to legalize raw milk sales. After a legalization bill failed in the 2012 legislative session, Indiana legislators authorized Indiana Board of Animal Health (BOAH) to "conduct a study of the issue of farmers selling unpasteurized milk to consumers." After a summer of researching and soliciting public comments, BOAH has released its study on the sale of raw milk.