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Keep Your Hands Off the Customers … and the Cows

A federal district court in Washington has confirmed that an employer’s relationship with the cows that its employees serviced is insufficient to establish a legitimate protectable interest to enforce a non-compete....more

FDA Publishes Four Key Supplemental Proposed Rules Under the Food Safety Modernization Act

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was signed into law on January 4, 2011. This groundbreaking piece of legislation is aimed at improving FDA’s capacity to prevent, detect, and respond...more

Groundwater Basin Boundaries and Priorities Will Impose New Management Challenges on Local Agencies

The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, which takes effect Jan. 1, requires that the Department of Water Resources categorize each of California’s 515 alluvial groundwater basins and subbasins as high, medium, low, or...more

“Why Biobased?” Report Released by USDA

On October 7, 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released "Why Biobased?," a report that comprehensively synthesizes findings from the existing government, academia, and non-governmental organizations on...more

Food and Beverage News and Trends - Food and Beverage Alert (US): October 2014

School Nutrition Association responds to critical article, sets forth its views on healthy lunches. The School Nutrition Association, which represents school cafeterias across the nation, responded on October 7 to a New York...more

Texas Supreme Court Declines to Address Recovery for Stigma Damages in the Absence of a Permanent Physical Injury to Property

In a closely watched case, the Texas Supreme Court recently declined to address the issue of a right to recover damages for “stigma” in the absence of a permanent physical injury to property. (Houston Unlimited, Inc. v. Mel...more

Biobased Mulch Added To USDA National Organic Program

USDA has amended the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances maintained by the National Organic Program (NOC) to allow biodegradable biobased mulch film to be used in organic production with restrictive...more

Wal-Mart And Target Host Beauty And Personal Care Products Sustainability Summit

Target and Wal-Mart hosted the first ever Beauty and Personal Care Products Sustainability Summit on September 4, 2014, in Chicago, Illinois. Target has seen sales of natural and organic products in the beauty and personal...more

USDA awards $68 million for energy projects

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced $68 million in grants and loan guarantees for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. The latest round of awards under the agency's Rural Development arm's Rural...more

Growing Michigan - Third Quarter 2014

In This Issue: - Food and Drug Administration Not Required to Ban Antibiotics Given to Food-Producing Animals - U.S. Department of Agriculture Expands Crop Insurance under 2014 Farm Bill -...more

FDA Announces More Changes to FSMA Implementation Rules

On September 19, 2014, FDA announced potential changes to four rules that the agency proposed in 2013 to implement the Food Safety and Modernization Act (“FSMA”). FSMA was signed into law in January 2011 in response to many...more

Bridging the Week - October 2014

NJ-Based Trader Previously Sanctioned by UK FCA, CFTC and CME Indicted in Chicago for Same Spoofing Offenses - New Jersey resident Michael Coscia, the prior manager and sole owner of Panther Energy Trading LLC, was...more

Food and Drug Administration Not Required to Ban Antibiotics Given to Food-Producing Animals

A federal appeals court recently ruled that the Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") does not have to ban the practice of feeding antibiotics to healthy, food-producing animals. This ruling is controversial because of public...more

U.S. Department of Agriculture Expands Crop Insurance under 2014 Farm Bill

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently implemented provisions of the 2014 Farm Bill to expand insurance coverage options for farmers and ranchers. The new Supplemental Coverage Option ("SCO") is designed to help protect...more

DOE Announces Funding Opportunity For Targeted Algal Biofuels And Bioproducts

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $25 million in funding to reduce the cost of algal biofuels to less than $5 per gasoline gallon equivalent (gge) by 2019. On behalf of the Bioenergy Technologies Office...more

Researchers Develop Technique For Turning Winery Waste Into Biofuels

Winery waste is composed of the skins, pulp, stalks, and seeds that are left over after grapes have been pressed. This waste cannot be used for animal feed or composted, so it typically ends up as toxic landfill. Researchers...more

Lawmakers Hold Hearing on Improving Broadband Access in Rural Areas

The U.S. House Agricultural Committee's subcommittee on Livestock, Rural Development, and Credit, recently held a hearing to examine ways to improve and expand broadband in rural areas and to coordinate future investments...more

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House provides a high-level overview of recent activity at the Maine State House. Maine Senate Confirms 50 of 51 Gubernatorial Nominees - On September 30th, the Maine...more

Northern District of California Grants Certification of Antitrust Class in 15 of 16 Jurisdictions Pursuant to Dukes and Comcast;...

In a recent case in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, plaintiffs brought a putative class action against various defendants involved in milk production, alleging they violated the...more

New Conservation Mandate Will Apply to Specialty Crops: Producers Must File by June 1, 2015

An overlooked provision in the new Farm Bill will soon be getting more attention from specialty crop farmers as they begin purchasing insurance for next year’s crops. Under “conservation compliance,” all producers must now...more

California Legislative Update: September 2014

In September 2014, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a number of bills that will impact the employer community. Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014—Paid Sick Leave (AB 1522) - On...more

Boyz In the Agrihood: Planned Communities Trade Golf Courses for Working Farms

I don't play golf. I like golf, I'll go out and hit around with friends or colleagues, but I don't "play golf". To me, playing golf means 18 holes on a weekend, maybe 36, and perhaps a round or two during the week. No, I...more

No Michigan Wolf Hunt for 2014

The Michigan Natural Resource Commission recently decided that it will not hold a wolf hunt this year, even if voters approve two referendums on the November 4 ballot permitting wolf hunting. The November 4 referendums ask...more

Legislative Update Report -- No. 2014-18 -- Sept 26, 2014

In This Article: ..Federal Government ..Alberta ..British Columbia ..Manitoba ..New Brunswick ..Newfoundland ..Northwest Territories ..Nova Scotia ..Nunavut ..Ontario ..Prince Edward...more

Proposed MAEAP Rules Narrow “Right to Farm” Protection

Proposed rule changes in the Michigan Agricultural Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) have excluded some farmers from MAEAP verification and protection....more

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