Janzen Agricultural Law LLC

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I logged onto my accounting software this morning and, instead of doing the task I wanted to do, I was immediately confronted with a pop-up window that informed me the terms of service and pricing scheme were changing. Again. What choice do I have but to accept the new terms? I could stop using the platform, download all of my data, and move to another platform. But the new platform provider will likely be no better.…
Why create a Model Ag Data Use Agreement? Because ag data contracts are, for the most part, a mess. Last year, over 2000 farmers were asked in a poll whether their ag data contracts addressed ownership and use of data. 9% answered an outright “no” and 65% answered “I am not sure.” Think about that from an industry perspective. That means 77% of farmers either did not understand their contracts, or their ag tech provider…
If you can remember way way back to February 2019, the internet and agricultural media were abuzz over the Bud Light Super Bowl commercial criticizing Miller Light and Coors Light for using corn syrup. Since the Super Bowl, Bud Light continued to run more corn syrup ads. Were the ads deceptive or did they just cater to consumer preferences? MillerCoors quickly responded to the advertisements: first, it sued Anheuser Busch and alleged the commercial intentionally…
Since big data arrived in agriculture a few years ago, I have watched companies struggle with how to address farmers’ concerns with ag data privacy, security, and control. Some companies have started with a clean sheet of paper and drafted agreements that reflect what they actually do. Others have taken a short cut by cutting and pasting agreements from other industries. The result is that contracts for ag data collection, use and sharing are…
Have you ever wondered whether clicking “I accept” on an online form was really as effective as signing your name on paper? What about digitally signing your name on a screen? Is that the same thing? For the most part, a digital signature is just as good as paper version. Since 2000, e-signatures have been the law of the land.  In that year, Congress passed the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (E-SIGN).…
Planning and zoning seems, at least at first, like a purely local issue. This idea is called Home Rule. But in most states, including here in Indiana, state (and federal) statutes limit a local government’s power. These are the numerous exceptions to Home Rule (and then of course there are exemptions to the exceptions). I recently gave a presentation to a group of certified planners and others involved in local government planning and zoning decisions.…
The automotive industry is undergoing the most radical transformation since people sold their horses and carriages and purchased automobiles. Almost every automaker is investing billions of dollars to develop and market all-electric vehicles (EVs). Consider this: Volkswagen, the world’s largest carmaker, announced that its last generation gasoline and diesel internal combustion engines will be released in 2026. The transformation is happening at lightning speed. Tesla, which barely existed 10 years ago, had the best-selling…
The ACLU recently challenged Iowa’s “ag gag” law in federal court. Iowa’s law makes it a crime to use deception to gain access to a private livestock or meatpacking facility with the intent to cause physical or economic harm or “other injury” to a facility’s operations, property or persons. The ACLU challenged that the Ag Gag law is unconstitutional, chills free speech, and criminalizes a free press. Indiana farms have been targeted by anti-agriculture activists…
One of the best books I’ve ever read was Joe Sutter’s history of development of the Boeing 747. Sutter was lead engineer of Boeing’s 747 project. His book tells the long and detailed story of how Boeing conceptualized, designed, built and marketed the 747. Part of the book describes development of Boeing’s original 737, a much smaller but equally important aircraft that came of age in the same era as the 747. Since reading the…
Do you pay any attention to what voters are deciding out in California? In the past, I think a lot of people have thought what happens in California stays in California. But, as egg, veal, and swine farmers are finding out, that idea isn’t so true anymore. California passed a ballot proposition a few years ago requiring laying hens, veal, and swine have enough room to lay down and turn around. More recently, in 2018,…