Janzen Agricultural Law LLC

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Tesla recently announced that the Model 3 would now be available as a “100% leather-free” model, meaning that no leather was used in the interior. When hearing this, at first I thought, “Well that’s interesting.” But later I realized, there was nothing really unique about this announcement. Let me explain the good, the bad, and the meaninglessness of this news. A Good Idea. Leather has been fashionable in cars for years. You can get leather…
We are starting to see some opportunities for farmers to get paid for sequestering carbon and reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs). Payment can come in different forms, grants for farmstead improvements, cash per acre where certain ways of farming are practiced, or premiums for products grown or raised a certain way. What I am most interested in are the opportunities for the farmer to get paid for raising livestock or growing crops a certain “climate-friendly”…
While animal agriculture is often a target in the climate change battle, recent research shows livestock could play an important role in reducing CO2 emissions. “Regenerative agriculture” or “carbon farming” is the practice of raising livestock or crops in a way that sequesters carbon and maximizes soil health. This can include no-till, cover crops, crop rotations, using fewer chemicals and fertilizers, and incorporating rotational livestock grazing. Soils are a natural carbon vacuum, since plants absorb…
Most farmers pay a third party platform to store their ag data. That does not make farmers unique—most companies using cloud-based platforms are paying for data storage. I pay Apple to store my data in the iCloud. But what makes farmers unique is that there has always been an expectation that their data would have value to third parties, and that value should flow (or at least trickle) back to the farmer. However, there are…
The United States Supreme Court has agreed to hear oral argument this fall regarding whether the discharge of pollutants through groundwater requires a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. In County of Maui, Hawaii v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund, a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals case, the court broadly construed the Clean Water Act (CWA) and held that discharges “fairly traceable from the point source to a navigable water” required a permit. This holding made waves because…
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).…