'Top Ten' Ag Law & Tax Issues

Each January ISU ag law professor Roger McEowen publishes a list of the "Top 10" issues in ag law for the past year; and explains how they affect agriculture.

Published on: Jan 20, 2012

Every January, Iowa State University professor of agricultural law, Roger McEowen, publishes a list of "Top Ten" Ag Law and Tax Developments" on his website. Last week he released his list for 2011, which also explains each of these legal issues and how the court decisions on them will affect agriculture.

There were numerous developments in the ag law and tax area in 2011 that were significant, but only ten could make the list. You can read his list of the ten most significant ones at http://www.calt.iastate.edu/top10-2011.html

CALT welcomes its new staff attorney

In other news, the Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation at Iowa State University has a new staff attorney--Erika Eckley. She graduated Order of the Coif from Drake University Law School, where she was Articles Editor of the Agricultural Law Journal and participated in the ABA Client Counseling Competition.

Before joining CALT at ISU, Erika was the Agriculture Policy and Outreach Coordinator at Pioneer Hi-Bred working in the area of biotechnology affairs. She also has served as law clerk to the trial court judges of Iowa's Fifth Judicial District and practiced law as an associate with the law firm Wiedenfeld & McLaughlin, L.L.P. She has a Master of Public Administration degree from Iowa State University and worked for industry and governmental nonprofits prior to law school. More details will follow in the February newsletter. To contact Erika: phone: (515) 294-6365 or e-mail: ekeckley@iastate.edu

Overview of Top 10 Ag Law & Tax Developments for the past year

Here's Roger McEowen's summary of the Top 10 Legal issues pertaining to agriculture this past year:

He says, "We begin 2011 with our annual look at the most significant agricultural law developments of the previous year. Legal issues continue to be at the forefront of developments that are shaping the present and future of American agriculture, and it is very likely that the involvement of the legal system in agriculture will continue to grow."

He adds, "The following is my list of what I view as the top ten agricultural law developments of 2011 based on their impact (or potential impact) on U.S. agricultural producers and the ag sector as a whole.

The "Top Ten"

1. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Act) at the Supreme Court.

2. U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit Vacates Tax Court opinion on spousal reimbursement plan.

3. Pesticide drift may constitute a trespass.

4. Aerogenerator ban upheld against takings claim.

5. Multi-million dollar judgment award in GMO rice case.

6. Charitable lid estate planning technique validates use of defined value clauses for gift tax purposes.

7. EPA issues draft guidance on wetland jurisdiction.

8. Courts more clearly define the limits of the antitrust exemption for cooperatives.

9. U.S. Department of Labor proposed rules applicable to young farm workers.

10. Case illustrates importance of details in administrative appeals.

So, what about 2012? What can you expect this year?

The U.S. Supreme Court has three casesbpresently before it that involve various aspectsbof agricultural law and taxation. All three of these cases are expected to be decided in 2012 and will likely be in 2012's "Top Ten" list.

For farm management information and analysis, go to ISU's Ag Decision Maker site www.extension.iastate.edu/agdm and ISU Extension farm management specialist Steve Johnson's site www.extension.iastate.edu/polk/farmmanagement.htm.