There’s an old saying that legislation either lives or dies in committee. Committees and their chairpersons play a critical role in determining whether an idea makes it through the legislative process and becomes a law. So let’s take a look at the new members and chairs of our agriculture committees, recently appointed for the new two-year session of the 134th Ohio General Assembly.
After announcing a change in the committee’s name from “Agriculture and Rural Development” to “Agriculture and Conservation Committee,” House Speaker Bob Cupp (R-Lima) finalized his committee appointments. The new committee will include:
- Rep. Kyle Koehler (R-Springfield) will return as Committee Chair. Now in his fourth term in the Ohio House, Rep. Koehler has a background as a software engineer and working for his family’s tool company but has raised livestock and refers to himself as a hobby farmer. Rep. Koehler recently received the “Friend of Agriculture” endorsement from Ohio Farm Bureau.
- Rep. Rodney Creech (R-West Alexandria) will serve as the new Committee Vice Chair during his first term in the House. Rep. Creech farms in Preble County, owns a lawn care business, and has served as a township trustee and county commissioner.
- Rep. Juanita Brent (D-Cleveland) will also return to the committee as its Ranking Member. Rep. Brent is in her second term in the House, with a background in non-profit and community engagement work.
- Rep. Brian Baldridge (R-Winchester)
- Rep. Adam C. Bird (R-New Richmond)
- Rep. Sarah Fowler Arthur (R-Geneva-on-the-Lake)
- Rep. Paula Hicks-Hudson (D-Toledo)
- Rep. Don Jones (R-Freeport)
- Rep. Darrell Kick (R-Loudonville)
- Rep. Joseph A. Miller (D-Amherst)
- Rep. Michael J. O’Brien (D-Warren)
- Rep. Jena Powell (R-Arcanum)
- Rep. Michael Sheehy (D-Oregon)
On the Senate side, Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima) announced the members of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, which will include:
- Sen. Tim Schaffer (R-Lancaster) as the new Committee Chair. Sen. Shaffer is in his third term in the Senate and was also elected to the Ohio House for four terms. He is also an association executive in the private sector, and has earned the “Friend of Agriculture” award from Ohio Farm Bureau along with over a dozen other awards for his legislative service.
- Sen. Stephen A. Huffman (R-Tipp City) will serve as the Committee Vice Chair. Following two terms in the House, Sen. Huffman is in his first term as a Senator. Sen. Huffman is a practicing physician and will also chair the Senate’s Health Committee.
- Sen. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) is the committee’s Ranking Minority Member. A two-term Senator also elected to three terms in the House, Sen. Fedor is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and Ohio Air National Guard and a retired teacher for Toledo Public Schools.
- Sen. Bob Hackett (R-London)
- Sen. Tina Maharath (D-Columbus)
- Sen. Sandra O’Brien (R-Ashtabula)
- Sen. Bob Peterson (R-Washington Court House)
The House Agriculture and Conservation Committee holds its first meeting next Tuesday, February 16. Follow the committee through its website, which includes meeting agendas and minutes, bills under consideration, and video of committee meetings.
The Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee began its work last week with consideration of a bill authorizing the use of owls in the sport of falconry. Meeting agendas and bills under consideration are available on the committee’s website
Stay tuned to the Ohio Ag Law Blog for updateson legislative proposals and what bills live or die in our agriculture committees.
Barry Ward & Julie Strawser, OSU Income Tax Schools
Dealing with the tax provisions of the COVID-related legislation for both individuals and businesses are among the topics to be discussed during the upcoming Tax School workshop series offered throughout Ohio in November and December.
The annual series is designed to help tax preparers learn about federal tax law changes and updates for this year, as well as learn more about issues they may encounter when filing individual and small business 2020 tax returns.
The tax schools are intermediate-level courses that focus on interpreting tax regulations and changes in tax laws to help tax preparers, accountants, financial planners and attorneys advise their clients. The schools offer continuing education credit for certified public accountants, enrolled agents, attorneys, annual filing season preparers and certified financial planners.
This is another important year for tax education as the new COVID-related legislation creates some challenges for tax practitioners to prepare tax returns. These schools offer an excellent set of instructors with a great deal of experience and training along with a top reference workbook to prepare tax practitioners to best serve their clients during this ongoing process of incorporating recent tax law changes in completing tax returns.
The workbook alone is an extremely valuable reference as it offers over 700 pages of material including helpful tables and examples that will be valuable to practitioners. Sample chapters of the reference workbook can be found at: https://go.osu.edu/WorkbookChapters
Topics/chapters to be presented this year during the two-day tax schools include:
Financial Distress, S-Corporation Tax Issues, IRS Issues, Business Entity Issues, Agricultural and Natural Resource Issues, Retirement and Investment Issues, Individual Tax Issues, Business Tax Issues, Trusts and Estates, Rulings and Cases, New Legislation.
This year, OSU Income Tax Schools will offer both in-person schools and online virtual schools.
In person schools:
1. Lima – November 2-3
Old Barn Restaurant and Grill
3175 W Elm Street, Lima, OH 45805
2. Fremont – November 4-5
Ole Zim’s Wagon Shed
1375 State Route 590, Gibsonburg, OH 43431
3. Ashland – November 11-12 SOLD OUT
John C. Meyers Convocation Center
820 Clermont Ave., Ashland, OH 44805
4. Dayton – November 17-18
Presidential Banquet Center
4548 Presidential Way, Kettering, OH 45429
5. Columbus – December 10-11 SOLD OUT
Nationwide & Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center
2201 Fred Taylor Dr., Columbus, OH 43221
Virtual Online Schools:
1. Webinar (Zoom)
November 9, 13, 16 and 19
Each Day 12:30 – 5pm
2. Livestream (Zoom)
Livestream of Columbus Tax School Location via Zoom
In addition to the tax schools, the program offers a separate, two-hour ethics webinar that will broadcast Dec. 4 at 10 a.m. The webinar is $25 for school attendees and $50 for non-attendees and is approved by the IRS and the Ohio Accountancy Board for continuing education credit
Register two weeks prior to the school date and receive the two-day tax school early-bird registration fee of $375. This includes all materials, lunches and refreshments. The deadline to enroll is 10 business days prior to the date of each school. After the school deadline, the fee increases to $425.
Additionally, the 2020 RIA Federal Tax Handbook is available to purchase by participants for a discounted fee of $45 each. Registration information and the online registration portal can be found online at:
A webinar on Ag Tax Issues will be held Dec. 18 from 8:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
If you are a tax practitioner that represents farmers or rural landowners or are a farmer or farmland owner that prepares your own taxes, this five-hour webinar is for you. It will focus on key topics and new legislation related specifically to those income tax returns.
Registration, which includes the Ag Tax Issues workbook, is $150. Register by mail or on-line at http://go.osu.edu/agissues2020
Mentoring is a rewarding part of my position with OSU, but it is often a bittersweet experience to see young people come and go. Such is the case with our law fellow Evin Bachelor, whom I’ve had the privilege of mentoring for the past two years. Evin left the Farm Office on September 30 to pursue private practice.
While I’m happy to send Evin off to serve farmers with his brilliant legal mind, I’m sad to see him go. I will miss his passion, his cleverness, his analytical gifts, and his hearty laugh. But it’s been a joy to help Evin evolve from a law student curious about agricultural law to an attorney prepared to impact the world of agricultural law. He has deftly exceeded every challenge I’ve given him.
One of those challenges was to co-author a set of law bulletins on legal documents used in farm financing arrangements, his final project. The Financing the Farm law bulletin series, which specifically targets new and beginning farmers, is now available. The series includes explanations of mortgages, promissory notes, installment contracts, leasing arrangements and secured transactions, and how they’re used in farm financing. Access the law bulletins in the Financing the Farm series here.
Evin will be practicing law with our good friends at Wright & Moore Law Co. LPA in Delaware, Ohio. He's an excellent addition to an already outstanding agricultural law firm. You’ll continue to see his work on the Farm Office, however, as I’ll be contracting with Evin on a few more finance and farm transition projects in the next year. The mentorship and Evin’s time at OSU is over, but the relationship will continue. A bittersweet ending, to be sure.
Somehow it’s mid-September already, and that can only mean one thing: it’s time for Farm Science Review! We’re excited to get back out to the Molly Caren Agricultural Center to talk with farmers about our latest publications and answer their questions.
Check out the schedule above for the talks we will be giving on solar leasing, hemp law, and food regulations. If you can’t make one of the presentations, or want to learn more about other topics on agricultural law, visit us at our booth in the Firebaugh Building, which is located at 384 Friday Avenue.
We will have free copies of our most popular law bulletins available, including:
- Do’s and Don’ts of Dealing with Trespassers on the Farm
- Ohio’s Line Fence Law: Frequently Asked Questions
- Creating an Enforceable Farmland Lease
- A Checklist of Farmland Lease Provisions
- Ohio’s Recreational User Statute: Limiting Liability for Hunters, Snowmobilers, and More
- Ohio’s Noxious Weed Laws
- And many more!
We will also be bringing along some of our new law bulletins, including:
- Legal or Not? Growing Industrial Hemp in Ohio
- The Farmland Owner’s Solar Leasing Checklist
- Laws that Provide Defenses for Agricultural Production Activities
- Youth Labor on the Farm: Laws Farmers Need to Know
For more information about Farm Science Review, including directions, tickets, and a list of events and exhibitors, visit http://fsr.osu.edu. We’ll see you there!
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 won first place in the Student 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 farmoffice.osu.edu.
The Ohio Food, Agriculture & Environmental Law Webinar Series is an outreach project of OSU Extension's Agricultural & Resource Law Program.
OSU’s Agricultural & Resource Law Program is pleased to announce its inaugural webinar, Big Data and UAVs: Legal Issues for Agriculture, scheduled for Friday, December 12 at 1 pm. This is the first webinar in the program’s new “Ohio Food, Agriculture and Environmental Law Webinar Series,” offering monthly legal webinars on issues of importance to Ohio agriculture.
The webinar will feature John Dillard, an Associate Attorney with the law firm of Olsson Frank Weeda Terman Matz, PC in Washington, DC and a leading expert on legal issues with technology and agriculture. With a background in agriculture and experience advising clients in the food and agricultural industries, Dillard will present a practical analysis of the legal issues raised by agriculture’s increasing use of large data sources and UAVs. Dillard authors a blog, Ag in the Courtroom, on AgWeb.com and Legal Ease, a column in Farm Journal magazine. He has appeared on national television and radio agricultural programs to discuss legal issues that affect agriculture.
Future webinars in the Ohio Food, Agriculture and Environmental Law Webinar Series will feature other national and state experts discussing legal issues of importance to Ohio agriculture. Topics in the series thus far will include:
The 2014 Farm Bill: Guiding a Client through the New Law with Bill Bridgforth of Ramsay, Bridgforth, Robinson & Raley LLP, Pine Bluff, Arkansas on Friday, January 9, 2015 at 1 pm.
Managing Pollutant Discharge Risk on Farms with Chris Walker and Jack Van Kley of Van Kley & Walker LLP, Dayton/Columbus, Ohio and Tom Mehnke of Mehnke Consulting LLC, Greenville, Ohio on Thursday, February 12, 2015 at 1 pm (tentative).
Introduction to Food Law: What You Need to Know to Build a Food Law Practice with Jason Foscolo of Foscolo & Handel PLLC, Sag Harbor, New York on Thursday, March 12, 2015 at 1 pm.
Nursing Home Costs & Medicaid: The One-Two Punch to the Family Farm with Craig Vandervoort of Sitterly & Vandervoort Ltd, Lancaster, Ohio on Friday, April 10, 2015 at 1 pm.
Rights and Remedies for Protecting Your Water Supply in Ohio with Joe Reidy of Frost Brown Todd LLC, Columbus, Ohio and Peggy Kirk Hall of OSU’s Agricultural & Resource Law Program on Thursday, May 14, 2015 (tentative).
For information on how to access the complimentary webinars and archived recordings, visit the “webinars” tab on https://farmoffice.osu.edu.
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. The Consortium is a national, multi-institutional collaboration designed to enhance and expand the development and delivery of authoritative, timely, and objective agricultural and food law research and information.
The Consortium will host its first webinar on Wednesday, November 19, from 2:30-3:30 (EST). The webinar, titled Mandatory GMO Labeling Laws: Overview and Status of Current Legal Issues, will focus on GMO labeling laws, proposals, and initiatives. Details about the webinar, including sign-on instructions, are available on the National Agricultural Law Center website at http://nationalaglawcenter.org/consortium/gmolabelingwebinar/. The program presenter will be Consortium member, Ross Pifer, Director of the Agricultural Law Resource and Reference Center at Penn State Law. The program is designed for a broad audience that includes non-attorneys.
The Consortium is being led by the National Agricultural Law Center, which is a unit of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The OSUE Agricultural and Resource Law Program’s role in the consortium will be to conduct legal research, write articles, and produce outreach material. The consortium will allow us to collaborate on national and regional issues using our strengths to create bigger impact and will allow us to bring our expertise and Ohio’s issues to a national audience. Other universities making up the consortium include the National Sea Grant Law Center at the University of Mississippi School of Law and the Agricultural Law Resource and Reference Center at Penn State Dickinson School of Law.
Right now, an online survey is being conducted asking for input on agriculture and legal issues individuals are dealing with. This survey will help define the Consortium’s long-term research and information agenda. Everyone is asked to participate in the short, anonymous survey. The survey can be found at: http://nationalaglawcenter.org/consortium/.
Ohio State University Extension’s Agricultural & Resource Law Program will host the Sixth Annual Ohio Agricultural Law Conference on Friday May 16, 2014 at the Ohio 4-H Center. This year’s program features OSU’s Dr. Carl Zulauf discussing the new Farm Bill. Also on the schedule is a legislative update from Ohio Farm Bureau Federation’s Tony Seegers. Craig Vandervoort of Sitterly & Vandervoort Ltd. will present on Medicaid and nursing home planning for family farms. Robert Moore of Wright & Moore Law Co. will moderate a session featuring an OSU Extension Educator and an insurance agent on agri-tourism and direct marketing trends and liability. A roundtable discussion on guiding clients in today’s agricultural climate, moderated by Troy Callicoat of Barrett, Easterday, Cunningham and Eselgroth LLP, will wrap up the day.
A special highlight of this year’s conference is a bus tour of OSU’s Waterman Farm. The bus will then take conference attendees to the North Market in downtown Columbus for lunch and a discussion with North Market Farmers on legal issues and challenges they face. Law students interested in attending the conference may apply for student scholarships provided by the Paul L. Wright Agricultural Law Endowment Fund. Contact Caty Daniels at email@example.com for scholarship information. For more information and to register for the conference, visit www.regonline.com/OhioAgLaw.