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

ANNOUNCEMENT: Join us Wednesday, April 18th at 12 noon (ET) for a FREE webinar: Examining the Landscape of Agricultural Certainty Programs in the United States. Details available here.

JUDICIAL: Includes taxation, agritourism, and animal law issues. 

WENDELL FALLS DEVELOPMENT, LLC, GREGORY ALAN FERGUSON, TAX MATTERS PARTNER, Petitioner v. COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, Respondent, No. 3494-14, T.C. Memo. 2018-45 (Tax April 4, 2018), involved tax issues with a conservation easement. Plaintiff was a limited liability corporation treated as a partnership for federal tax purposes and the Internal Revenue Service issued a “notice of final partnership administrative adjustment” disallowing “a charitable-contribution deduction of $1,798,000 for the contribution of a conservation easement by [plaintiff].” The IRS claimed that plaintiff expected to receive a substantial benefit from the easement and court considered the charitable nature of the gift. Court noted that plaintiff owned land adjoining the eased property and that plaintiff “planned to create a master-planned community.” Court concluded plaintiff “would benefit from the increased value to the lots from the park as an amenity,” and held no charitable-contribution deduction allowable.

In ROBERT JAMES, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS NEXT FRIEND OF BRADEY JAMES, Appellant v. JUSTIN YOUNG, PAUL YOUNG, YOUNG LIVESTOCK FARMS, LP, AND YOUNG LIVESTOCK RANCH, LLC, Appellees, No. 10-17-00346-CV, 2018 WL 1631636 (Tex. App. April 4, 2018), a six-year old boy was injured horseback riding at defendants’ ranch after boy’s horse took off running at a high speed. Plaintiff sued defendants for negligence, alleging they “failed to determine Plaintiff’s ability to safely manage the horse before allowing him to ride solo.” Trial court granted summary judgment for defendants after concluding that, per statute, they were immune from suit. Court considered evidence and concluded that “[t]he fact that [plaintiff’s] horse eventually ran is due to the nature of horses . . . not due to the negligence of [defendants].” Affirmed.

DIANNA HELMERS, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. CITY OF DES MOINES, Defendant-Appellee, No. 17-0794, 2018 WL 1634136 (Iowa Ct App. April 4, 2018) concerned the constitutionality of a municipality’s “dangerous-animal ordinance.” A dog was seized by animal control officers after seriously injuring a cat, however, it was never determined which animal provoked the altercation. Animal control officers declared the animal a “dangerous dog” per municipal statutes and an administrative law judge determined the dog’s seizure was “procedurally proper and found substantial evidence supported the dangerous animal declaration.” On appeal, plaintiff argued City’s dangerous dog ordinance “is unconstitutional for being vague and broad,” and noted that “there is no element of provocation or a provision for self-defense.” Court considered the definition of “dangerous animal” and concluded that “a dangerous-animal declaration based on injuries to another animal leaves too much discretion in the hands of city officials.” Reversed.


S. 825: Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium Land Transfer Act of 2017. Text for status Reported by House Committee (Apr 5, 2018) is now available.

H.R. 5426: To amend the Food Security Act of 1985 to with respect to conservation innovation grants and payments. Referred to the House Committee on Agriculture.

REGULATORY: Includes USDA, APHIS, EPA, FDA, and NOAA rules and notices.


Notice USDA has submitted information collection requirement(s) to OMB for review. Title: Importation of Baby Squash and Baby Courgettes from Zambia. Details here.

Notice USDA has submitted information collection requirement(s) to OMB for review. Title: Marking, Labeling, and Packaging of Meat, Poultry, and Egg Products. Info here.

Notice announces our intention to request a 3-year extension and revision of a currently approved information collection for “Export Inspection and Weighing Waiver for High Quality Specialty Grain Transported in Containers”. Info here.


Rule proposing to amend the regulations governing the National Poultry Improvement Plan by updating and clarifying several provisions, including those concerning NPIP participation, voting requirements, testing procedures, and standards. Info here.

Notice of a meeting of the General Conference Committee of the National Poultry Improvement Plan and the NPIP’s 44th Biennial Conference. Details here.

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY: Rule corrects the EPA’s regulations to remove “10-5.240”; add “10-5.381”; remove the chapter titled “Missouri Department of Public Safety, Division 50-State Highway Patrol, Chapter 2—Motor Vehicle Inspection” and its entries for “50-2.010 through 50-2.420”; and revise “10-6.010”, “10-6.020” and “10-6.040” to reflect the most currently approved dates and citations. Details here.

FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATIONRule FDA is announcing that we have filed a petition, submitted by Aker BioMarine, proposing that the color additive regulations be amended to provide for the safe use of Antarctic krill meal which is composed of the ground and dried tissue of Euphausia superba, for use in the feed of salmonid fish. Info here.


Rule implements approved regulations for the New England Fishery Management Council’s Omnibus Essential Fish Habitat Amendment 2. Info here.

Rule contains corrections to the preamble of the proposed regulations published on March 13, 2018, governing the take of marine mammals incidental to the U.S. Navy training and testing activities in the Atlantic Fleet Training and Testing (AFTT) Study Area. Details here.