Category Archives: Agriculture

marijuana leaf

RICO Madness: Marijuana Operations Face RICO Challenges in Federal Courts

Don’t look now cannabis businesses, but your neighbors may be raising a racket. A June decision by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver may have opened the doors to new legal challenges to marijuana operations: civil suits under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). RICO was originally intended to go after the …

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Farm, Green, Feild

Proposed Bill Would Create Safeguards Against Agricultural Worker Deportation

In early May, Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) introduced the Agricultural Worker Program Act (AWPA), a piece of legislation that will provide undocumented workers with heightened protection from deportation and aid them in obtaining legal status and citizenship. Specifically, the AWPA allows farmworkers …

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Farm, Green, Feild

NAFTA Renegotiation Would Intend to Benefit Farmers, Ranchers

In recent weeks, the Trump administration took the first step toward renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Robert Lighthizer, United States Trade Representative (USTR), sent a letter to Congress placing Congress on official notice of the Administration’s intention to renegotiate the Agreement with an eye toward advancing the interests of U.S. farmers, ranchers, …

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Farm, Green, Feild

Farming Remains One of the Most Dangerous Professions According to Safety Data

Farmers represent a small portion of our population, but feed the entire country and most of the world. Despite advances in agricultural technology, however, farming remains one of the most dangerous occupations. To exacerbate matters, the injury of a farmer often hurts his or her entire family, as entire families often work together and feel …

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USDA Releases Report On Lifecycle Greenhouse Gas Balance Of Ethanol

On January 12, 2017, USDA released a report on the lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG) balance of corn ethanol, titled “A Life-Cycle Analysis of the Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Corn-Based Ethanol.”  The study reviewed industry and farm sector performance over the past decade and found that in the United States corn-based ethanol generates 43 percent less …

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Grants Available for Specialty Crops – March 26 Deadline

In early February 2015, a spokesperson for the Michigan Department of Agricultural and Rural Development (MDARD)announced the availability of a series of grants for Michigan specialty crop growers. The grants are funded by the Crop Block Grant Program, an initiative of the United States Department of Agriculture Ag Marketing Servicesprogram. The grants are designed to …

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Boyz In the Agrihood: Planned Communities Trade Golf Courses for Working Farms in North Carolina

I don’t play golf.  I like golf, I’ll go out and hit around with friends or colleagues, but I don’t “play golf”.  To me, playing golf means 18 holes on a weekend, maybe 36, and perhaps a round or two during the week.  No, I don’t play golf. And I don’t think I’m alone in …

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USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) Finalizes Import Regulations for “Mad Cow Disease”

  In November, the USDA announced a final rule that will align the Agency’s import regulations for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE or “mad cow disease”)with international standards. According to a USDA November news release, the final regulation will allow for the safe trade of bovines and bovine product, while still protecting the U.S. from the introduction of …

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How Monsanto Applies to Nonagricultural Biotechnology

The facts behind the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Monsanto v. Bowman are simple enough. Farmers are able to buy soybeans containing Monsanto’s patented glyphosate resistance technology under a license that permits them to plant and grow one generation of crops. Vernon Bowman skirted this program, however, by purchasing commodity soybeans from a grain elevator knowing that the seeds …

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Patent Exhaustion Rejected: Patented Seed Purchaser Has No Right to Make Copies

The Supreme Court in Bowman v. Monsanto Co. ruled unanimously that a farmer’s replanting of harvested seeds constituted making new infringing articles.  While the case is important for agricultural industries, the Supreme Court cautioned that its decision is limited to the facts of the Bowman case and is not a pronouncement regarding all self-replicating products. In a narrow ruling …

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