Written by Evin Bachelor, Law Fellow, OSU Extension Agricultural & Resource Law Program
As fans of Elvis and good barbeque, we can’t help but be excited that the National Agricultural Law Center (NALC) is hosting its sixth annual Mid-South Agricultural and Environmental Law Conference soon in Memphis, Tennessee. Most exciting, however, is that the conference will provide timely legal information for attorneys, lenders, accountants, tax professionals, students and others with a passion for agriculture. The NALC is the nation’s leading source of agricultural and food law research and information, and we are honored to partner with NALC on a number of research projects and outreach efforts.
The 2019 conference will be on Friday, June 7th in downtown Memphis at the University of Memphis School of Law. You won’t want to miss the welcome reception on Thursday, June 6th at The Rendezvous Restaurant, which is well known for its Memphis-style BBQ. The schedule on Friday is packed with a diverse mix of speakers and topics that is intended to encourage dialog about the range of legal issues facing agriculture today.
Here’s a sneak peek at the sessions:
- Keynote address by the USDA’s General Counsel Stephen Vaden
- Agricultural Labor and Immigration: Do’s and Don’ts–Brandon Davis of Phelps Dunbar LLP
- Updates from the senior attorneys from the U.S. House and Senate Ag Committees
- Law and Lending in a Down Farm Economy: Recent Trends and Outlooks with Greg Cole of AgHeritage Farm Credit Services and Michael O’Neal of GreenStone Farm Credit Services
- Navigating Environmental Law Issues for Attorneys, Lenders, and Landowners–Jim L. Noles, Jr., Partner, Barze Taylor Noles Lowther, LLC
- The Ethics of Succession Planning for Lawyers–Shannon Ferrell, Oklahoma State University
- Understanding Ag Bankruptcy–Stephen L. Gershner, Davidson Law Firm
In addition to the presentations, there will be time for discussion with conference attendees during the welcome reception on Thursday and a lunch and networking session on Friday. For law practitioners, the conference has been approved for CLE credit in some states and NALC will assist with obtaining CLE credit in other states. The American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers has also approved the program for 7 hours of CE credit.
Register by May 14 and receive access to a two-hour bonus online program that will feature a one hour session on Divorce on the Farm with attorney Cari Rincker and agricultural and environmental law updates from around the country by Elizabeth Rumley of NALC, Ross Pifer of the Center for Agricultural & Shale Law at Penn State Law, Stephanie Showalter Otts of the National Sea Grant Law Center and our own Peggy Kirk Hall of the Agricultural & Resource Law Program at The Ohio State University.
For more information about the conference and to register, visit the NALC’s website HERE.
The American Agricultural Law Association held its national conference last week in Louisville, Kentucky, and two Ohio law students from OSU Moritz College of Law and Capital University Law School took top honors in the student competitions. Evin Bachelor and Devon Alexander joined forces with U. of Houston law student Sara Luther and finished first in the Student Quiz Bowl competition. The Quiz Bowl requires law students to correctly answer questions about law, agriculture and agricultural law.
Bachelor also entered and took first place in the Student Research Poster Competition with his research project titled “Ohio: The Midwestern Ag Mediation Holdout.” Bachelor discussed the potential for Ohio to become one of the last midwestern states to engage in USDA’s Agricultural Mediation Program. Bachelor is a third year law student at OSU’s Moritz College of Law and Alexander is a second year law student at Capital University Law School. Both hope to work in the agricultural law arena after law school.
OSU was able to send the students to the conference due to the generous support of the Paul L. Wright Endowment in Agricultural Law at OSU.
For more information about the American Agricultural Law Association, visit https://www.aglaw-assn.org/.
Attorney Bill Bridgforth will present OSU’s next webinar on “The 2014 Farm Bill: Guiding a Client through the New Law” on Friday, January 9 at 1 pm EST. Bridgforth is a senior partner in the Arkansas law firm of Ramsay, Bridgforth, Robinson & Raley, LLP who represents agricultural producers around the United States. He will explain the election decisions producers and landowners must make under the new Farm Bill and will provide examples of decision making impacts.
There is no registration or fee required for the webinar, which is accessible at https://carmenconnect.osu.edu. A recording of the webinar and a listing of additional webinars is available at aglaw.osu.edu.
The Ohio Food, Agriculture & Environmental Law Webinar Series is an outreach project of OSU Extension’s Agricultural & Resource Law Program.
Ohio State University Extension’s Agricultural and Resource Law Program is excited to announce a new partnership with a group of universities creating a new Agricultural and Food Law Consortium. To read this post, go to our new blog site at aglaw.osu.edu/blog.
Catharine Daniels, Attorney, OSU Extension Agricultural and Resource Law Program
Attorneys across Ohio recently came together for the 2013 Ohio Agricultural Law Symposium to learn about current legal issues for Ohio farmers and agribusinesses. In a session about protecting the farm and agribusiness, Cari Rincker, a food and agricultural law attorney in New York City, discussed why farm and agribusinesses might consider using a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) to safeguard confidential business information.
An NDA is not typically a tool that a farm or agribusiness would think of using in a business transaction. According to Rincker, however, NDAs are underutilized in the food and agriculture industry. Many farms and agribusinesses develop their own ideas, concepts, know-how, trade secrets, intellectual property, business plans or financial information. Preventing other parties from disclosing these types of information can be important to the long-term health and viability of the farm or agribusiness.
Rincker highlighted two common situations for using an NDA. One is when a farm or agribusiness is entering into business discussions with another party; confidential information could be disclosed during the course of these discussions. For example, if a farmer approached a website developer about his or her proposed online agribusiness, that farmer may wish to have an NDA with the website developer to keep the business plan confidential. The second situation concerns employees or independent contractors. An NDA binds employees and contractors to confidentiality about private information they acquire from working for the business. An agribusiness may want a bookkeeper to maintain confidentiality about business finances, for example.
What’s in a Non-Disclosure Agreement? According to Rincker, an NDA should address at least these questions:
- Who will be exchanging confidential information?
- What is the purpose of the exchange of confidential information?
- What type of information will be considered “confidential” for purposes of protection under the NDA?
- How can the confidential information be used and who can use it?
- How will the secrecy of the confidential information be maintained?
- How long will the confidentiality of the information be maintained?
- What are the consequences of a breach or misuse of the confidential information?
Maintenance of confidential information should not be taken lightly, states Rincker. If your farm or agribusiness could be harmed by the disclosure of private information, talk with your attorney about an NDA. For more information on NDAs, visit the Rincker Law website and blog at http://rinckerlaw.com/blog/.
Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio State Bar Association will again partner to host the fifth annual Ohio Agricultural Law Symposium on June 23 and 24, 2013.
The focus of this year’s program is representing Ohio’s farm and agri-business clients. Two nationally respected practitioners will teach for the Symposium. Allen Olson from Albany, Georgia, who has farm clients throughout the southern states, will provide guidance on representing farmers in crop insurance disputes and will also share his outlook on federal farm bill policies. Cari Rincker of Rincker Law Office in New York, NY, whose client base is spread around the country, will speak on protecting the farm client’s business by managing contracts, intellectual property and employment concerns.
The program will also include Ohio legal experts on labor, trucking, food safety and estate and business planning. Leah Curtis from Ohio Farm Bureau and Roxi Liming with Adams, Liming & Hockenberry, LLC in Columbus will use a case study approach to discuss advising farm clients on trucking and labor regulations. Russell Cunningham and Jeff Easterday of Barrett, Easterday, Cunningham & Eselgroth, LLP will present on estate and business planning for farm clients, and advising clients on recent food safety regulations will be presented by our own OSU Extension Agricultural & Resource Law Program. An update from the Ohio Department of Agriculture will feature Deputy Director John Schlichter.
New this year are changes to the location and timing of the Symposium. The conference will be held at Cherry Valley Lodge near Newark, Ohio, and will begin on Sunday evening with a bonus 2.5 hour CLE session on Ethics, Professional Responsibility, and Substance Abuse. Ethics and substance abuse topics will be delivered via video replay and speakers Allen Olson and Cari Rincker will cover the professionalism component with strategies for developing and retaining farm and agri-business clients. The Sunday session will conclude with a social reception. Also new this year, the Ohio State Bar Association Agricultural Law Committee will meet on Monday morning.
Law students interested in attending the Symposium may apply for student scholarships provided by the Paul L. Wright Chair in Agricultural Law Endowment Fund at Ohio State. Contact Peggy Hall at firstname.lastname@example.org for scholarship information.
To register for the Symposium, visit the Ohio State Bar Association Continuing Legal Education website at www.ohiobar.org. View the complete Symposium brochure on the OSU Extension Agricultural & Resource Law website.
Ohio attorneys involved in AALA’s 32nd annual conference
The American Agricultural Law Association (AALA) has hosted another excellent educational event, recently concluded on October 22 in Austin, TX. Approximately 250 attorneys, law students and professionals across the United States attended the conference. Ohio attendees were visible on the program in several ways, including:
- Paul L. Wright of Wright Law Co., LPA presented on “Estate Planning in a Climate of Change.”
- Robert Moore of Wright Law Co., LPA presented on “Partnerships: the Neglected, the Disaster and the Desirable Plan.”
- Peggy Hall of The Ohio State University presented on “Animal Welfare Litigation Impacting Livestock Producers: Emerging Issues.”
- Larry Gearhardt of Ohio Farm Bureau Federation received an AALA Excellence in Agricultural Law award.
- Peggy Hall of The Ohio State University was inducted as the AALA’s President Elect.
Nashville, Tennessee is the site of the AALA’s 2012 conference, which will take place October 19-20. For more information on the AALA, visit http://aglaw-assn.org.