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Best of NAMA 2023

by Tiffany Dowell Lashmet, Ass't Professor & Extension Specialist in Agricultural Law, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension

Tiffany Lashment
I always enjoy the chance to look back over the year and recap the biggest agricultural law developments. There was certainly no shortage agricultural law happenings in 2022. Today, we'll look at the national agricultural law scene, and next Monday, we will focus specifically on Texas.

If you want to hear more about some of the biggest national ag law stories of the year here is a podcast episode I did with my friend, Paul Goeringer.

With that, let's get started!

#1. Carbon Contracts

The topic about which I have gotten the most questions and had the most presentation requests this year is carbon contracts.

2. Waters of the United States Definition

Having the WOTUS definition on our year in review list has become a holiday tradition at this point. You may recall that this issue concerns the scope of the federal Clean Water Act, which gives federal jurisdiction over "waters of the United States," known as "WOTUS." The Clean Water Act, however, does not define what is meant by WOTUS, and that omission has led to decades of litigation and uncertainty.

3. Proposition 12 at the US Supreme Court

Speaking of the United States Supreme Court, they also recently heard oral argument in National Pork Producers Council v. Ross, a case challenging the constitutionality of California's Proposition 12. Proposition 12 was a ballot initiative in California that bans the sale of pork in California unless it was raised in a manner meeting certain requirements related to spacing in barns.

4. ESG/Greenwashing Litigation

This is a topic new to our list, but one that has come up rather frequently when visiting with attorneys around the country who practice in the area of animal law. Lawsuits involving environmental, social and governance ("ESG") or "greenwashing" claims are lawsuits filed by plaintiffs related to the marketing or labeling claims made by certain producers about their products.

5. Endangered Species Act

Lastly, there have been several developments related to the Endangered Species Act. Brigit Rollins at the National Agricultural Law Center did a great year-end update on the Endangered Species Act here. This has included a number of regulatory changes that were passed by the Trump Administration that have been either rolled back or the subject of lawsuits.

To read on each issue click here.

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