Publications

Section Newsletter Articles on Agricultural Law

Federal agency backs off—Operators of farm vehicles not subject to CDL requirements By Roger A. McEowen and Erin Herbold-Swalwell Agricultural Law, November 2011 On May 31, 2011, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued a Notice seeking public comment on three issues relating to the applicability of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations to operators of farm vehicles. Many farm operators and agricultural groups interpreted the Notice as an attempt to require Commercial Driver’s Licenses for operators of ag equipment.  
Apparently, “head-in-the-sand” is not a valid defense By Jeffrey A. Mollet Agricultural Law, October 2011 The recent case of U.S. v. Buchman gives practitioners guidance on what not to do to prove your case.
Painting a solution to Illinois’ trespassing problems By Michael Massie Agricultural Law, October 2011 Governor Quinn recently signed legislation amending the Purple Paint Law, allowing landowners to mark trees or posts with purple paint to signify "no trespassing" instead of the traditional posted sign.
Ask the Ag Law Expert—Or at least get a bunch of opinions! Agricultural Law, September 2011 The Ag Law discussion group, or list serve, serves as an open forum for Section members to post questions and seek responses. Get more details and sign up here.
Rising farmland values: Causes and cautions By Lewis F. Matuszewich Agricultural Law, September 2011 The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, on November 15, 2011, will hold a one-day Conference on the factors contributing to the large increase in agricultural land values and cash rental rates in the Midwest.
Country roads: Who owns them? By Robert F. Russell Agricultural Law, August 2011 After searching the records at the courthouse and at the county superintendent’s office, the sellers’ attorney should be able to determine whether the road or roads in question were established by statute or by a dedication that conforms with the Illinois Plat Act.
Rising farmland values: Causes and concerns By Lewis F. Matuszewich Agricultural Law, August 2011 The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago will hold, on November 15, 2011, an all-day Conference to explore the factors contributing to a large increase in agriculture land prices and agricultural cash rental rates in the Midwest.
Legal guide and Web site help small farm producers through maze of legal obligations By Nicholas R. Johnson Agricultural Law, June 2011 A new Legal Guide for Illinois Direct Farm Businesses identifies and explains the legal issues associated with selling foods directly to consumers at locations such as farmers' markets and roadside stands.
Roaming the prairie—Random thoughts on recent agricultural topics of interest By Jeffrey A. Mollet Agricultural Law, June 2011 Legal updates of interest to agricultural law practitioners.
Federalism and animal welfare: Court upholds California animal welfare rules By Nicholas R. Johnson and A. Bryan Endres Animal Law, April 2011 A look at the repercussions of National Meat Association v. Brown.
IDOT answers your questions: Farmers and the Motor Carrier Safety Regulations Agricultural Law, February 2011 The following article, reprinted here from the Illinois Department of Transportation Web site, answers questions regarding how the FMCSR and the IMCSR apply to farmers and those who work for them.
The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Agricultural Enterprise Exemption: Illinois appellate court provides new framework By David A. Kelm Agricultural Law, September 2010 As a result of the Third District's recent ruling, those who rely on the agricultural exemption to avoid workers’ compensation insurance should seek appropriate counsel as to potential liability exposure.
Packers and Stockyards Act bond claims ordered to be paid prior to resolution of Packers and Stockyards Act trust claims By Michael A. Mattingly and William J. Bolotin Agricultural Law, September 2010 With the Illinois Department of Agriculture's ruling in this year's Meadowbrook Farms Cooperative case, federal regulators should re-examine the issue of priority of payment of claims from PASA trust and PASA bond funds and clarify the priority of payment from the two funds.
Addition to futures and options trading “options” By Ann Hagerty Agricultural Law, May 2010 Recent additions to the Chicago Mercantile Exchange's selection of agricultural commodity contracts.
June 15, 2010 deadline for IRS / USDA consent forms Agricultural Law, May 2010 Note the new deadline to avoid any delays in the issuance of 2010 USDA program payments and the possibility of refunding 2009 and/or 2010 program payments
Tax Court again points out that care must be taken when establishing medical reimbursement plans By Roger A. McEowen Agricultural Law, April 2010 Want to make sure medical expenses are deductible? Pay close attention to recent court cases.
Public nuisance, private nuisance and trespass—Issues for siting a new Livestock operation By Jeffrey A. Mollet Agricultural Law, February 2010 The apparent decline of the livestock industry in Illinois seems to be the result of numerous factors.
Distinguishing marketing claims for grass-fed, organic, and pasture-raised livestock By A. Bryan Endres and Stephanie B. Johnson Animal Law, January 2010 In an effort to distinguish their products from those of competitors, some segments of the livestock and meat industries make labeling claims referring to special attributes of their product or process
My basement is a swimming pool—Can I move an easement to fix it? By Jeffrey A. Mollet Agricultural Law, December 2009 A recent appellate court decision may have an impact on your agricultural client’s access to the property it owns or operates.
New risk management and disaster guides available from FLAG Agricultural Law, December 2009 The following is from a recent press release from Farmers’ Legal Action Group, Inc. (FLAG), a nonprofit law center based in St. Paul, MN, dedicated to providing legal services to family farmers and their rural communities in order to help keep family farmers on the land. Certainly some valuable information for lawyers and farmers alike.
Agricultural law Web sites, newsletters and listservs Agricultural Law, November 2009 A list of a few Internet-based resources that you may want to explore.
Recent case law: Illinois drainage code and the repair and replacement of drain tile By Jeffrey A. Mollet Agricultural Law, November 2009 The recent case of Halpin v. Schultz is an interesting but not unexpected development for real estate and agricultural lawyers.
Biofuels Law and Regulation Conference at the University of Illinois By Christopher J. Miller and Timothy A. Slating Agricultural Law, October 2009 Over the weekend of April 24th - 25th 2009, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign hosted the first annual Biofuels Law and Regulation Conference as a forum for discussing legal issues regarding the development of sustainable, second-generation biofuels.
Wind “farming”—An evolving process Agricultural Law, October 2009 A summary of an e-mail from one of our Section Council members, Jerry Quick, Illinois Farm Bureau counsel, and the digital conversation it generated.
Court upholds USDA’s denial of private company’s request to purchase BSE test kit By Raymond Watson Agricultural Law, September 2009 As a part of its marketing program, Creekstone Farms sought to voluntarily test each of its 300,000 cattle it slaughters each year for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), also known as “mad cow disease.”
Saving Roundup Ready® beans for seed? Trantham, McFarling, and Scruggs say “no” By Donald L. Uchtmann Agricultural Law, September 2009 Can farmers save Roundup Ready® beans for seed without being liable for patent infringement or breach of contract?
Farm Aid 2009 By Jeffrey A. Mollet Agricultural Law, August 2009 Originated in 1985 in response to the farm crisis, Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp have continued to use their fame as a bully pulpit for the agricultural community.
Illinois Family Farm Law Project available to help lower-income farmers By Michael Fiello Agricultural Law, August 2009 The goal of the Illinois Family Farm Law Project is to provide lower-income family farmers with help with their current legal problems and to assist them in avoiding future legal and financial problems.
A new ripple on riparian rights By Edward Brandt Agricultural Law, August 2009 The recent case of Alderson v. Fatlan dealt with a new twist on riparian rights—what rights are there with respect to a man-made private body of water?
Agriculture Secretary Vilsack urges producers to learn about new ACRE program* Agricultural Law, July 2009 For those of you who are advising clients, you need to be aware of this new offering from the USDA and educate yourself about the Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) program before the August sign-up deadline