Join Ohio State Maple at the sugarbush on the Mansfield Campus October 9th as we participate in the Fall Into Maple Tour. Maple producers around the state will be participating in this annual event. This link https://www.ohiomaple.org/maple-madness.html will allow you to see all the Ohio maple producers participating in this event.
The following link will allow you to explore all the states participating in the event in case you want to travel North American Maple Tour | (fallmapletour.com)
We hope to see you there!
To register click here.
McArthur, OH – Like a garden, your woodland will likely provide more benefits if you give it some attention. “Tending Your Woodland”, an interactive outdoor learning opportunity for woodland owners in SE Ohio, will help you to understand the various practices that you can use to improve your woodlands. This program is offered on October 8 at the Vinton Furnace State Experimental Forest near McArthur and will include the opportunity to tour numerous field sites demonstrating various practices that have been established since the early 1950’s. Participants will have the opportunity to:
“Tending your Woodland” will take place at the Vinton Furnace State Forest near McArthur on October 8, 2021, from 9 AM to 3 PM.
A registration fee of $12 per person (payable on the day of the event by cash or check to Vinton SWCD) entitles participants to program materials and a box lunch. Registration is required. Please RSVP on or before October 4 by emailing Dave Apsley at email@example.com, or by calling Cheri Porter or Dave Runkle at the Vinton SWCD (740-596-5676).
We plan to hold most of this program outdoors in the woods. We will follow the COVID-19 protocols that are in place at the time. Please bring a face covering to use when:
The Vinton Furnace State Forest is in a very remote portion of Vinton County. Signs will be posted on the morning of the event along the route from both entrances. For a map and directions to help you find the training center at the Vinton Furnace State Forest, visit http://u.osu.edu/seohiowoods.
For more information contact Dave Apsley (firstname.lastname@example.org).
“A Day in the Woods” and the “2nd Friday Series” are sponsored by the Education and Demonstration Subcommittee of the Vinton Furnace State Forest with support from Ohio State University Extension, ODNR-Divisions of Forestry and Wildlife, USDA-Forest Service (Northern Research Station, State and Private Forestry and the Wayne NF), USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, Ohio Department of Agriculture, Vinton-Hocking-Athens Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Central State University Extension, the National Wild Turkey Federation, Pixelle Specialty Solutions, Ohio Tree Farm Committee, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Hocking College, the Ruffed Grouse Society, Ohio Forestry Association Foundation and Ohio’s SFI Implementation Committee. Since 2012, “A Day in the Woods” has offered nearly 80 programs with more than 100 presenters for nearly 4,000 woodland owners and enthusiasts just like you.
Did you know that the Nile Crocodile has the strongest bite of any animal in the world? The deadly jaws can apply 5,000 pounds of pressure per square inch, which is about 10 times more powerful than the crunch of the Great White Shark. Humans? Well, they can apply about 100 pounds of pressure per square inch.
This edition of the Ag Law Harvest takes a bite out of some federal lawsuits, Department of Labor developments, and USDA announcements affecting agriculture and the environment.
Animal advocates lack standing to sue poultry producer. In 2020, animal advocacy groups In Defense of Animals (“IDA”) and Friends of the Earth (“FoE”) (collectively the “Plaintiffs”) filed a lawsuit against Sanderson Farms (“Sanderson”), a Mississippi poultry producer, alleging that Sanderson engaged in false advertising as it relates to its chicken products. According to Plaintiffs, Sanderson advertises that its chickens are “100% natural” with no “hidden ingredients.” However, Plaintiffs allege that Sanderson has been misleading the public after many of Sanderson’s products tested positive for antibiotics and other unnatural substances. This however is not the first court battle between FoE and Sanderson. In 2017, FoE sued Sanderson for the same false advertising. However, the 2017 case was dismissed because the court held that FoE did not have standing to bring the lawsuit. The 2017 case was appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals where the decision to dismiss the lawsuit was upheld. Fast forward to 2020, FoE joined forces with a new plaintiff, IDA, hoping to file a lawsuit that would finally stick. Recently however, a federal district court in California dismissed the most recent lawsuit because FoE was precluded, or prohibited, from suing Sanderson again on the same claims and because IDA lacked the standing to bring the lawsuit. The California district court found that FoE could not bring its claims against Sanderson because those same claims were litigated in the 2017 lawsuit. This legal theory, known as issue preclusion, prevents the same plaintiff from a previous lawsuit from bringing the same claims against the same defendant in a new lawsuit, when those claims were resolved or disposed of in a prior lawsuit. Issue preclusion did not affect IDA, however, because it was a new plaintiff. But the California district court still found that IDA lacked standing to bring this lawsuit against Sanderson. IDA argued that because it expended resources to launch a campaign against Sanderson to combat the allegedly false advertising, it had organizational standing to bring the lawsuit. Standing requires a plaintiff to show they suffered an “injury-in-fact” before they can maintain a lawsuit. Organizational standing is the theory that allows an organization like IDA to establish an “injury-in-fact” if it can demonstrate that: (1) defendant frustrated its organizational mission; and (2) it diverted resources to combat the defendant’s conduct. IDA argued that because it diverted resources including writing letters to Sanderson and the Federal Trade Commission, filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, publishing articles and social media posts, and diverting staff time from other campaigns to focus on countering Sanderson’s advertising, it had the organizational standing to bring the lawsuit. The Court disagreed. The Court reasoned that the diverting of resources by IDA was totally voluntary and not a result of Sanderson’s advertising. The Court determined that in order to obtain organizational standing, IDA must have been forced to take the actions it did as a result of Sanderson’s advertising, the diverting of resources cannot be self-inflicted. The Court held that Sanderson’s advertising did not ultimately frustrate IDA’s organizational mission and that any diverting of resources to counter Sanderson’s advertising was the normal course of action taken by a group like IDA.
Joshua trees, a threatened species? WildEarth Guardians (“Plaintiff”), a conservation organization, brought suit against the U.S. Secretary of the Interior and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“Defendants”) for failing to list the Joshua tree as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”). Plaintiff argued that the Defendants’ decision not to list the Joshua tree as threatened was arbitrary, capricious, contrary to the best scientific and commercial data available, and otherwise not in line with the standards set forth by the ESA. In 2015 Plaintiff filed a petition to have the Joshua tree listed as a threatened species after Plaintiff provided scientific studies showing that climate change posed a serious threat to the continued existence of the Joshua tree. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“FWS”) issued a 90-day finding that Plaintiff’s petition presented credible information indicating that listing the Joshua tree as threatened may be warranted. However, the FWS’s 12-month finding determined that listing the Joshua tree as threatened or endangered under the ESA was not necessary due to the Joshua tree’s long lifespan, wide range, and ability to occupy multiple various ecological settings. That’s when Plaintiff decided to bring this lawsuit asking the federal district court in California to set aside the 12-month finding and order the Defendants to prepare a new finding, and the Court agreed. The Court held that Defendants’ decision was arbitrary, capricious, and contrary to the ESA and ordered the Defendants to reconsider Plaintiff’s petition. The Court reasoned that the FWS’s climate change conclusions were arbitrary and capricious because it failed to consider Plaintiff’s scientific data and failed to explain why in its 12-month finding. Further, the Court noted that the FWS’s findings regarding threats to the Joshua tree posed by climate change and wildfire were unsupported, speculative, or irrational. And finally, the Court determined that the FWS’s conclusion that Joshua trees are not threatened in a significant portion of their range was arbitrary and capricious. The FWS must now prepare a new finding that addresses all the above deficiencies.
Department of Labor announces expanded measures to protect workers from extreme heat. The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) announced that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) is working on ways to protect workers in hot environments and reduce the dangers associated with exposure to high heat. According to the DOL, OSHA will be implementing an enforcement initiative on heat-related hazards, developing a National Emphasis Program on heat inspections, and launching a rulemaking process to develop a workplace heat standard. Current and future extreme heat initiatives and rules apply to indoor and outdoor worksites in general industry, construction, agriculture and maritime where potential heat-related hazards exist.
Deadline to apply for pandemic assistance to livestock producers extended. The USDA announced that it is providing additional time for livestock and poultry producers to apply for the Pandemic Livestock Indemnity Program (“PLIP”). Producers who suffered losses during the Covid-19 pandemic due to insufficient access to processing may now apply for relief for those losses through October 12, 2021. Payments are based on 80% of the fair market value of the livestock and poultry and for the cost of depopulation and disposal of the animals. Eligible livestock include swine, chickens, and turkeys. For more information on PLIP, and how to apply, visit farmers.gov/plip.
By:Peggy Kirk Hall, Associate Professor, Agricultural & Resource Law Friday, September 24th, 2021
As it often goes with farming, the weather interfered a bit with Farm Science Review this year. We missed seeing farmers and students from across the state gather for the show on Wednesday. But even wind and rain didn’t stop our Farm Office team, above, from presenting Farm Office Live from the Review on Thursday. I gave an update on Ohio legislation, as Ohio’s legislature is back from its summer break. Here’s a summary of the legislation I discussed at our Farm Science Review program.
Bills passed and soon effective
S.B. 52 – Solar and wind facilities. S.B. 52 passed several months ago and will be effective on October 11, 2021. The new law will allow counties to designate “restricted areas” in a county where wind and solar projects may not locate and creates a county referendum process for a public vote on restricted area designation. The law will also require developers to hold a public meeting in the county where a facility is proposed at least 90 days before applying for project approval with the Ohio Power Siting Board. After the meeting, the county commissioner may choose to prohibit or limit the proposed project. Another provision of the new law appoints 2 local officials from the proposed location to serve on the OPSB board that reviews a project. And importantly for landowners, the new law requires a developer to submit a decommissioning plan to OPSB for approval with the application and to post and regularly update a performance bond for the amount of decommissioning costs. Watch for our new law bulletins on S.B. 52, which we’ll publish soon.
Bills on the move
H.B. 30 – Slow-moving vehicles. The bill passed the House on June 23, 2021, and just received its second hearing before the Senate Transportation on September 22, 2021. It proposes revisions to marking and lighting requirements for animal-drawn vehicles to make the vehicles more visible and reduce roadway accidents.
H.B. 95 – Beginning farmers. We’ve been hoping this bill aiding beginning farmers would continue to receive attention. It would allow individuals to be certified as beginning farmers and create income tax credits for owners who sell land and agricultural assets to certified beginning farmers and for beginning farmers who attend approved financial management programs. The bill passed the House on June 28, 2021 and was referred to the Senate Ways and Means Committee on September 8, 2021.
S.B. 47 – Overtime pay. The Senate passed S.B. 47 on September 22, soon after returning from break. It would exempt an employer from paying overtime wages for certain activities, including traveling to the workplace, actions before or after beginning principal work activities, or “de minimus” acts requiring insignificant time. The bill sponsors state that it will bring necessary clarity to overtime pay in the era of more employees working unsupervised from home.
Bills newly introduced
H.B. 397 – Termination of Agricultural Lease. A bill that aims to bring certainty to farmland leases was introduced in the House on August 24, 2021 and referred to the Agriculture and Conservation Committee. The proposal states that where a farm lease agreement does not provide for a termination date or a method for giving notice of termination, a landlord who wants to terminate that agreement must do so in writing by September 1. Unless otherwise agreed in writing, the termination date would be either the date harvest or removal of the crops is complete or December 31, whichever is earlier.
H.B. 385 – Municipal waste discharges to Lake Erie western basin Municipalities would be prohibited from discharging waste from treatment plants into Lake Erie under a new bill proposed by Rep. Jon Cross (R-Kenton). The bill would require the Ohio EPA to revoke all existing NPDES permits for municipal treatment works or sewerage systems to in the western basin and prohibit any additional permits for that purpose. It would also fine municipalities up to $250,000 per day for knowingly discharging waste into Lake Erie on the first offense and $1,000 per day for subsequent offenses, or to fine $100 million if the discharge amount exceeds 100 million gallons in a 12-month period. Introduced on August 6, 2021, the bill has been referred to the House Agriculture and Conservation Committee.
Catch a replay Farm Office Live from Farm Science Review at https://farmoffice.osu.edu/farmofficelive. Register at that site to join us for the next Farm Office Live on October 13 at 7 p.m. or a repeat on October 15 at 10 a.m., whern the Farm Office team will digest the latest news and information on agricultural law and farm management issues that affect Ohio’s farm offices.
With today’s weather conditions, the decision has been made to close the Farm Science Review today. It will re-open tomorrow.
All visitors will be turned away today so please do not attempt to go.
We hope to see you out there tomorrow as it will re-open as scheduled. Have a great day and stay dry!
Through September 20th, tickets are $7 at the Licking County Extension Office, and at participating agribusinesses which include these Licking County locations:
Farm Credit, Utica
Granville Milling in Granville and Johnstown and Pataskala
H. W. Martin and Son, Hebron
Hanby Farms / Heritage Co-op, Nashport
Legend Farm and Feed Supply, Newark
Utica Feed and Hardware, Utica
Tickets are $10 at the gate. Children ages 5 and under are admitted free.
Hours for Farm Science Review are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 21–22 and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 23. or more information, visit fsr.osu.edu.
LONDON, Ohio—The Ohio State University’s Farm Science Review, which was held online last year because of the pandemic, will return this year to be live and in person for the 59th annual event.
The premier agricultural education and industry exposition is set for Sept. 21–23 at Ohio State’s Molly Caren Agricultural Center, 135 State Route 38, near London.
“While research, teaching, and serving communities throughout Ohio never stopped during the pandemic, we are grateful to once again be in person, working together, to advance our industry,” said Cathann A. Kress, Ohio State’s vice president for agricultural administration and dean of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).
CFAES is the host of Farm Science Review, which brings in more than 100,000 people annually.
Kress called the event a “critical component of our land-grant mission to provide research-based information and practical education to the people of Ohio and beyond.”
Jacqueline Kirby Wilkins, a CFAES associate dean and the director of the college’s Ohio State University Extension outreach arm, said Farm Science Review gives a “wonderful opportunity” to explore the latest CFAES research.
Featured at the event will be more than 100 educational sessions, including “Ask the Expert” talks; 600 exhibits; the most comprehensive field crop demonstrations in the United States; a career exploration fair; and immersive virtual reality videos of agricultural activities.
There will also be a new online component, said Nick Zachrich, Farm Science Review’s manager. Called “Farm Science Review Live,” it will “bring content from the Molly Caren Ag Center to wherever you are in the world with internet access,” he said.
It’s a next big step in ramping up the event’s digital tools, which in recent years have seen the addition of a mobile app and a digital directory, both designed to help people navigate the grounds.
“Our staff has strived to make it easier for visitors to find the exhibitors and information they need. But seeing the entire 100-acre exhibit area is a tall task, especially when stopping to discuss business with exhibitors or attend a session,” Zachrich said.
“Farm Science Review Live” will help people see what they might have missed, or will let them go back to watch and learn again, he said.
“It builds on our commitment to use the best tools available to make connections between farmers and other professionals in agriculture with our exhibitors and educators.”
Farm Science Review is back! OSU’s Farm Office Team will be there, and we’ll broadcast the next Farm Office Live from our farm office at the Review. We can’t promise we’ll be able to ignore biscuits and gravy, pork tenderloins, bahama mamas, or milkshakes during Farm Office Live, but we can promise you updates on recent developments in the world of farm management and agricultural law.
The broadcast will be on Thursday, September 23 beginning at 10 a.m. Here’s what’s on the agenda:
Who’s on the Farm Office Live Team? OSU experts ready to help farmers, landowners and agribusiness professionals navigate the issues we all deal with in the farm office. Our team includes:
OSU South Centers is an often overlooked resource for things like Soil and Water, Business Management, Specialty Crops, Co-ops, and Marketing. Click on this link to view their newsletter: South Centers Connections