A comprehensive summary of today’s judicial, legislative, and regulatory developments in agriculture and food. Email important additions HERE.


JUDICIAL: Includes landowner liability, biosecurity, and agritourism issues.

In Corey John OURADNIK, Appellant, v. Robert John OURADNIK, Respondent, A16-1516, 2017 WL 1833284 (Minn. Ct. App. May 8, 2017), son was hunting on his father’s land and was injured while climbing into a deer stand. Son sued his father, lost, and appealed grant of partial summary judgment for father, claiming jury was erroneously instructed regarding the requisite duty of care owed by father. Issue on appeal was whether lower court erroneously concluded the recreational-use statute limited father’s liability “when it is undisputed that his private land was not offered to the public for recreational purposes.” Court stated that, “Because it is undisputed that respondent did not offer his hunting land for public use, we conclude the recreational-use statute does not apply to limit respondent’s liability.” District court decision reversed.

In QUALITY EGG, L.L.C., Plaintiff-Appellant, v. HICKMAN’S EGG RANCH, Defendant-Appellee, No. 16-1403, 2017 WL 2182728 (Iowa Ct. App. May 17, 2017), an egg farmer sold eggs to defendant and sued him for money “due and owing” on an open account. Defendant filed counterclaim for breach of contract based on a recall of eggs due to salmonella contamination. Plaintiff objected to admission of defendant’s evidence provided at trial regarding damages, arguing that an exhibit offered by their CFO “was not offered for the purpose of proving the damages sustained by customers of Defendant as a result of the egg recall” but “was offered to show the amounts that Defendant paid (or credited) its customers to keep their business after the egg recall.” Appellate court ruled evidence offered by defendant’s CFO inadmissible and granted plaintiff new trial.

In Virgil GOODSON, Plaintiff, v. OS RESTAURANT SERVICES, LLC, Defendant, No. 5:17-cv-10-Oc-37PRL, 2017 WL 1957079 (M.D. Fla. May 9, 2017), a restaurant server claimed his employer violated overtime and minimum wage provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Florida Minimum Wage Act (FMWA). Per the court, the issue was, “Can tipped employees state unpaid wage claims under Article X and the FMWA based on the “20% Rule” . . . issued by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)?” Defendant argued it is not liable “or violating the 20% Rule because the ‘so-called rule’ does not ‘carry the force of law’ and it deserves no ‘respect or deference whatsoever.’” Court considered an extensive summary of prior case law and determined that “the 20% Rule is entitled to deference as a permissible interpretation of the FLSA.” Defendant’s motion to dismiss denied.


REGULATORY: Includes USDA, CCC, FWS, ITA, NOAA, and RUS rules and notices.

AGRICULTURE DEPARTMENT:

Notice USDA submitted information collection requirement(s) to OMB for review. Title: Assessment of the Barriers that Constrain the Adequacy of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Allotments. Details here.

Notice USDA submitted information collection requirement(s) to OMB for review. Title: Specified Commodities Imported into the United States Exempt from Import Requirements, 7 CFR part 944, 980, and 999. Details here.

COMMODITY CREDIT CORPORATION: Notice FSA, on behalf of the CCC, is revising and clarifying its previous announcement of the availability of funding for fiscal years 2017 and 2018 under the Organic Certification Cost Share Program. Details here.

FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE: Notice FWS will gather information necessary to develop a proposed rule to revise the existing nonessential experimental population designation of red wolves in North Carolina. Details here.

INTERNATIONAL TRADE ADMINISTRATION: Notice Commerce rescinds the administrative review of the antidumping duty order on certain frozen warmwater shrimp from China. Details here.

NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION:

Rule NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for sablefish by vessels using trawl gear in the Bering Sea subarea of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area. Info here.

Notice the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold a meeting of its Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) Mariana Archipelago Fishery Ecosystem Plan Advisory Panel to discuss and make recommendations on fishery management issues in the Western Pacific Region. Info here.

Notice NMFS issued an Incidental Harassment Authorization to the City of Unalaska to incidentally harass, by Level B harassment only, marine mammals during construction activities associated with a dock expansion project at the existing Unalaska Marine Center Dock in Unalaska, Alaska. Info here.

RURAL HOUSING SERVICE: Notice RHS is accepting Fiscal Year 2017 applications for the Community Facilities Technical Assistance and Training Grant program. Details here.