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|Sixth Circuit Holds Cucumber Harvesters Were Employees, Not Independent Contractors|
Liza Catherine Moore; Foster, Swift, Collins & Smith, P.C.;
July 28, 2015, previously published on July 17, 2015On June 22, 2015, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a judgment from the Western District of Michigan that a farm had violated provisions in the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act. Perez v. D. Howes, LLC, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 10476 (6th...
|Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Announces Change to CAFO Permits Which Restricts Use of Manure Received from CAFOs|
Charles E. Barbieri, Zachary W. Behler; Foster, Swift, Collins & Smith, P.C.;
July 28, 2015, previously published on July 17, 2015The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) regulates how, when and where Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) may spread manure. The permitting process authorized under the federal Clean Water Act, and administered by the DEQ, is intended to ensure that large farms avoid...
|Contract Considerations for Farm Data|
Michael C. Zahrt; Foster, Swift, Collins & Smith, P.C.;
July 28, 2015, previously published on July 17, 2015The emergence of “precision agriculture” offers farmers the opportunity to be more efficient (and more profitable) in their day-to-day operations. Autosteering technology helps farmers reduce planting and tillage overlap. Farm management software collects a wide variety of data produced...
|The United States Supreme Court Holds Raisin Marketing Order Unconstitutional|
Scott M. Brookens; Smith Haughey Rice & Roegge, P.C.;
July 14, 2015, previously published on July 13, 2015The United States Supreme Court recently issued its opinion regarding the constitutionality of the raisin marketing orders in the Horne v. Department of Agriculture matter. The Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937 grants authority to the Secretary of Agriculture to issue “marketing...
|An Ounce of Agribusiness Prevention is Worth a Pound of Drinking Water Cure|
Kevin P. Braig; Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP;
June 24, 2015, previously published on Spring 2015With lawmakers, lawyers, and the public focused on the relationship between agriculture and drinking water, those in farming, fertilizer, and livestock businesses would be wise to heed Ben Franklin’s caution that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
|New Sustainable Food Systems Certification at Grand Valley State University|
Foster Swift Collins Smith P.C.;
May 15, 2015, previously published on April 30, 2015Grand Valley State University is now offering a five-class Sustainable Food Systems certification. This hands-on learning approach is in response to a growing interest by both the community and students to learn more about sustainable agriculture practices.
|Improper Agricultural Manure Usage or Storage May Be Subject to RCRA Liability|
Hubert T. Lee; Morris Polich & Purdy LLP;
April 22, 2015, previously published on March 23, 2015On January 14, 2015, the Eastern District of Washington in Cmty. Ass'n for Restoration of the Env't, Inc. v. Cow Palace, LLC, No. 13-CV-3016-TOR, 2015 WL 199345, at *41 (E.D. Wash. Jan. 14, 2015) ruled that dairy farms were liable under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act...
|Turning Bytes of Data into a Farming Boon|
John W. Mashni; Foster, Swift, Collins & Smith, P.C.;
April 9, 2015, previously published on March 27, 2015In an industry built around nature, the earth and the environment, it would have been hard to predict - even 20 years ago - the integral role technology would ultimately play in the agriculture industry. The modern farm operation is using satellite- and microchip-driven equipment, high-tech seeds...
|A Guide to Land-Lease Agreements for Farmers and Landowners|
Todd W. Hoppe; Foster, Swift, Collins & Smith, P.C.;
March 20, 2015, previously published on January 27, 2015Farmers have two basic options when it comes to holding land: own it or lease it. Though many farmers prefer to own all of their land, it is rarely possible. Good farmland is often held by families for generations, and is rarely offered for sale. When land is offered for sale, stiff competition...
|Liability Releases for Agritourism Activities - Myths and Realities|
Julie I. Fershtman; Foster, Swift, Collins & Smith, P.C.;
March 19, 2015, previously published on January 27, 2015Owners and operators of farms that offer certain agritourism activities to the public, such as horseback riding and horse-drawn hay or sleigh rides, sometimes assume that liability waivers or releases are off-limits. Many operators fall prey to common myths surrounding these documents. Let’s...