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Copyright © 2015
Angus Journal

The Angus Journal Daily, formerly the Angus e-List, is a compilation of Angus industry news; information about hot topics in the beef industry; and updates about upcoming shows, sales and events. Click here to subscribe.

News Update

December 5, 2016

Legal Liability Issues
for Farms and Ranches

In a day and time when you can sue most anyone for anything, farmers and ranchers should be proactive before a problem occurs.

Brent Haden, a lawyer with the firm Haden and Haden, Columbia, Mo., said producers should perform a thorough walk-through evaluation of potential dangers on their property and take steps to either remedy them or prevent access.

In an Angus University session Nov. 6 at the 2016 Angus Convention in Indianapolis, Ind., Haden said a yearly walk to check fences and other conditions is also necessary.

When it comes to liability — in the farm or ranch context — three primary ways exist for ranchers to get sued, with premises liability the most common.

In general, to establish the liability of the possessor the invitee must show one of three instances:

  1. 1. A dangerous condition existed on the premises, which involved an unreasonable risk of harm;
  2. 2. The possessor of the premises knew or, through the use of ordinary care, should have known the condition; and
  3. 3. The possessor failed to use ordinary care to remove, remedy or warn of the danger.

Please view the full Angus Media news article online.

Proposed Tax Regulation Threatens
Multigenerational Cattle Operations

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) hosted a public hearing Dec. 1, on a Department of Treasury proposed rule that would eliminate or greatly reduce available valuation discounts for family-related entities. Kevin Kester, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) vice president, said the regulation would effectively discourage families from continuing to operate or grow their businesses and passing them on to future generations.

Many cattle operations are family-owned small businesses, facing the same concerns as other small businesses — making payroll, complying with numerous federal and state regulations, and paying bills, loans and taxes. However, cattle producers face a number of unique challenges specific to agriculture.

“Ranching is a debt-intensive business, making the U.S. livestock industry especially vulnerable to the estate tax,” said Kester. “Beef producers largely operate an asset-rich, cash-poor business model: a cattleman’s biggest asset is his land. In the event of the death of a principal family member, illiquid assets are often sold in order to meet the costs associated with the estate tax. As a result, many families are unable to keep their estates intact.”

For more information, please view the full NCBA news release online.

Department of Livestock Keeps Watchful Eye
on Canadian Tuberculosis Cases

The Montana Department of Livestock (MDOL) is actively monitoring the bovine tuberculosis (TB) investigation in Canada. In late September, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) initiated an epidemiological investigation after bovine TB was detected in a Canadian cow at a U.S. slaughter facility.

As of Dec. 2, 2016, there were six confirmed cases of bovine TB in Canada, including the index animal detected at slaughter in the United States. Of the roughly 40 premises currently under quarantine, most are located in Southeast Alberta with about five premises in Saskatchewan. The MDOL has long-standing requirements that cattle coming from Canada need to be tested for TB prior to import.

“Despite what feels like close proximity of this incident, Montana cattle producers remain safe,” said Montana State Veterinarian Marty Zaluski. “Canada’s vigorous response, combined with our requirement that Canadian cattle be TB tested before entering Montana, keeps the risk low for ranchers in the state.”

Zaluski is not planning to place additional requirements on Canadian cattle coming to Montana at this time.

“I am closely monitoring CFIA’s efforts and am ready to act aggressively if needed,” said Zaluski.

For more information, please view the full MDOL news release online.

New KLA Officers Come from
Multi-Generation Family Businesses

Clark County rancher and farmer David Clawson of Englewood has been elected the 100th president of the Kansas Livestock Association (KLA). Members chose Finney County cattleman Lee Reeve from Garden City as president elect. The new officers were elected during the group’s annual business meeting Dec. 2 at the KLA Convention in Wichita. Both are part of family businesses that have been involved in ranching and farming for multiple generations.

Clawson is a fourth-generation rancher and farmer with ownership interests in various family partnerships. The Clawson Ranch Partnership, with his brother, Dan, includes a cow-calf business and an irrigated and dryland farming operation. The stated purpose of this partnership is to “sow, nurture and grow” not only food for the world, but also people. Clawson is a part owner in High Plains Dairy at Plains and is a partner in Plains State Bank. His farm and ranch holdings are located in Kansas and the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles.

The list of Clawson’s leadership involvement is lengthy. He serves on the KLA executive committee and the KLA and NCBA boards of directors.

For more information, please view the full KLA news release online.

Driftless Region Beef Conference to
Feature Cattle and Corn Synergies

The upcoming Driftless Region Beef Conference will spotlight competitive advantages of Midwest beef producers, according to Denise Schwab, beef program specialist with Iowa State University (ISU) Extension and Outreach. The conference will be hosted Jan. 26-27, 2017, at the Grand River Conference Center in Dubuque.

“We hear a lot of discussion about the challenges of raising cattle on corn ground, yet that is one of our biggest competitive advantages over beef producers in other parts of the country,” Schwab said. “We are really excited to feature two of the leading researchers in the country to talk about the synergies between cattle and corn.”

One of the major concerns is that cattle trampling could negatively affect soil properties and crop yields. However, research at the University of Nebraska has shown that grazing corn residue at the recommended stocking rate does not reduce corn or soybean yields. In fact, a long-term study in Mead, Neb., showed slight improvements (2-3 bushels per acre) in soybean production following grazed corn residue when managed in a corn-soybean rotation. This result was the same regardless of whether cattle were grazed in the fall (November-January) or the spring (February-April).

For more information, visit the Angus Journal Virtual Library calendar of upcoming events.



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