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It’s high season for Ohio’s noxious weeds laws

The poison hemlock popping up across Ohio and the questions we’re receiving in the Farm Office both signal that the high season for “noxious weeds” has begun. Ohio has several statutes and regulations intended to curtail the spread of the invasive and potentially harmful weeds we refer to as noxious weeds.  The most common question we’re hearing is this:  if there is a weed problem spreading onto or around my property, what can I do about it? 

Poison hemlock plants growing in field

Another Lake Erie lawsuit: how does it affect Ohio agriculture?

A new chapter is developing in the legal battle over resolving water quality problems in the Western Lake Erie Basin.  Earlier this month, the Lucas County Board of Commissioners, City of Toledo, and Environmental Law & Policy Center filed a federal lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The lawsuit targets the EPA’s approval of Ohio’s Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) plan for the Maumee River Watershed. If it feels like déjà vu, that’s because it is.

Lake Erie with sunset in background

New rule and legislation on electronic ear tags for cattle: a continuing battle

Producers shipping certain types of cattle and bison across state lines might have to use electronic identification (EID or RFID) tags if a final rule developed by USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) becomes effective. Federal funding is available to help producers obtain the EID tags.  But efforts are underway to stop the EID rule from taking effect.  As we’ve seen in the past, disagreements continue over animal traceability and EID mandates.

Cattle standing in field with sunset in background

Farm Transition Planning Conference Planned for August 

The Cultivating Connections Conference, an annual event dedicated to farm transition planning, is returning for its second year on August 5th and 6th, 2024. This year's conference will be held at the University of Cincinnati College of Law and will convene farm transition planners—attorneys, accountants, educators, and other professionals—from across the country.

Legal Groundwork

New Bulletin Available: The Charitable Remainder Trust Strategy for Retiring Farmers

One of the primary challenges for a retiring farmer is the large tax burden that retirement may cause.  Throughout their farming careers, farmers do a good job of managing income taxes, in part, by delaying sales and prepaying expenses.  This strategy works well while the farm is operating but can cause significant tax liability upon retirement.  The combination of a large increase in revenue from the sale of assets and little or no expenses to offset the revenue can cause a retiring farmer to be pushed into high tax brackets.  It is not unusual for 40% or more of th

Legal Groundwork

Agritourism operators: now is the time for liability risk management

Many of Ohio’s farm markets, u-picks, farm petting zoos, and other “agritourism” operations are preparing to open for their spring and summer activities.  While these types of agritourism activities are popular, they raise unique liability concerns. That’s because there is always the risk of an injury or harm when bringing people onto the farm, whether allowing them to be near animals, riding on equipment, in crop and orchard areas, or engaging in physical activities.

Little girl walking through strawberry patch with basket of berries

Transferring Farm Operating Assets at Retirement

Retirement means different things to different farmers.  For some, retirement is the slow, gradual process of turning over the farming operation to the next generation. For others, retirement may be the immediate sale of operating assets when there is not an heir to take over the farming operation.  Regardless of the type of retirement, operating assets will often be transferred.  This article will discuss the different strategies to transfer operating assets and the implications of each strategy.

The Ag Law Harvest

As April comes to a close, we bring you another edition of the Ag Law Harvest. This month’s harvest brings you laws and regulations from across the country regarding a national drinking water standard, the Endangered Species Act, Ag-Gag laws, noncompete agreements, and pollution. 

The Federal Trade Commission Website.

Change in Ohio law creates new “low risk” license for mobile food vendors

In time for another farmers’ market season, Ohio has a new food license available for food entrepreneurs who sell eggs, meats, and certain home-produced foods at farmers markets and similar venues.  A new “Low Risk Mobile Retail Food Establishment license” (Low Risk MRFE) offers a lower risk level license that will benefit many of Ohio’s farm-based and home-produced food vendors. Regulations establishing the new license were effective on February 12, 2024.

Multi-colored chicken eggs in an egg carton

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