ALEI Fact Sheets

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    Property Ownership and Transferring Are Important Features of Your Farm Succession Plan
    (2017-02) Goeringer, Paul
    Many people think an estate plan is just a will, but it is much more than that. Your estate plan will typically include documents and tools to distribute your property according to your wishes following your death. When it comes to transitioning your farm or any family business to the next generation, how property is owned and the property transfers prior to your death can be important features of your succession plan or estate plan. Titling property in a joint tenancy with rights of survivorship allows you to choose who inherits upon your death and to transfer the property outside the will. Transferring property, such as through gifting, allows property to go to the next generation prior to your death and provides control over who gets your property.
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    How to Lease Your Land With a Conservation Easement
    (2016-09) Suri, Mayhah; Goeringer, Paul
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    Agricultural Water Law in Maryland: The Water Appropriation Application Process and Use in a Time of Drought
    (2016-08) Ellixson, Ashley; Everhart, Sarah
    To conserve and protect the State's water resources the State of Maryland controls the appropriation or use of its surface waters and groundwater. State law requires all agricultural operations to comply with the water appropriation permitting process, including traditional forms of agriculture, livestock and poultry operations, nursery operations and aquaculture.
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    Protecting the Family Farm in Divorce
    (2016-06) Everhart, Sarah
    Nearly half of all U.S. marriages end in divorce, but how do divorces impact farmers? What can farmers do to protect their property and assets from the financial devastation of divorce? How can an extended family use estate planning to protect the family farm from divorce?
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    Maryland Farm Internships and Labor Laws
    (2016-05) Everhart, Sarah
    Many farms across Maryland use interns to lighten the overall farm workload and help young people gain practical farming knowledge. Although interns can be a welcome addition to a farm’s workforce, farm employers need to be aware of how to properly compensate interns and the legal consequences of adding them to the payroll.
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    Understanding Agricultural Liability: Premise’s Liability
    (2015-12) Goeringer, Paul
    You can take steps to limit your potential liability by understanding your legal obligation or duty to protect visitors and other third parties from foreseeable harm. You also will need to know to whom you owe the duty and what duty others may owe to you. Steps you can take to limit your liability include obtaining insurance, procuring releases, and providing warnings. You should work with a licensed attorney in your area and your insurance agent to identify the tools that will work best for you.
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    Privacy Issues and the Use of sUAS/Drones in Maryland
    (2015-11) Goeringer, Paul; Ellixson, Ashley; Moyle, Jon
    According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the lawful use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), also known as Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), or more commonly as drones, are currently limited to military, research, and recreational applications. Under the FAA’s view, commercial uses of drones are illegal unless approved by the Federal government. This will change in the future. Congress authorized the FAA to develop regulations for the use of drones by private parties in the U.S by September 30, 2015 (FAA Modernization Act of 2012). FAA missed this deadline, but expects comprehensive regulations for drones to be completed by June 2016 (Jansen, 2015). History shows that the law rarely keeps up with technology. Courts often struggle when applying existing laws and previous rulings to modern technology. State legislatures can help clearly define some of the rules to guide courts in how to handle new technology. Drones have the potential to benefit producers (through crop and livestock monitoring), but they present new challenges as other groups begin to use the technology.
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    Legal Responsibilities When Hiring Migrant, Seasonal and H2-A Visa Workers
    (2015-10) Everhart, Sarah
    When farmers need to harvest a large amount of crops in a short period of time, migrant, seasonal, and H-2A Visa workers can often be the best solution to complete the job quickly and affordably. However, there are specific Federal and state legal duties and responsibilities for farmers who employ these types of workers and substantial criminal and civil penalties for failing to adhere to the law.
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    Taking Biosecurity Measures to Limit Your Legal Liability for the Spread of Avian Influenza
    (2015-09-17) Goeringer, Paul; Moyle, Jon; Newhall, Ashley
    The possibility of an avian influenza (AI) outbreak on the Delmarva is a scary possibility. The recent AI outbreak in the Midwest has resulted in the infection of over 48 million birds on 223 farms. Infected birds are euthanized to help contain the disease, resulting in large economic loss to both the grower and integrator. With this in mind, poultry growers and companies often have questions about potential liability if AI breaks out on one farm (Grower A) and then on a neighboring farm (Grower B). Could Grower A be liable to Grower B for damages caused by the disease? Under the traditional view, Grower A would not be liable for the spread of the disease unless it was shown that Grower A was negligent. Growers, poultry companies, and contractors practicing biosecurity measures can demonstrate he/she was not negligent and is working to prevent the spread of AI
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    When Can the Government Enter Your Farm?
    (2015-02) Everhart, Sarah
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    Understanding Agricultural Liability: Livestock and Other Farm Animals
    (2014-11) Goeringer, Paul
    Animal agriculture carries certain potential legal risks for liability from injuries caused by livestock. A horse owned by a stable operator, for example, may throw or kick a rider. Cattle may injure a farm visitor. An ornery goat or ram might insist on giving anyone who enters the field a solid head butt, or an unfriendly goose might give chase. You get the point. As a livestock owner, you need to understand the laws concerning liability for personal injuries caused by livestock in order to develop a risk management plan for your operation. This fact sheet contains the information you will need to understand the possible legal risks and develop strategies to limit potential liability. Remember it is unlikely that you will be able to limit 100 percent of the legal risk you face in any facet of your agricultural operation. There are only tools available, such as insurance, hanging warning signs, or developing strategies for dealing with potentially dangerous livestock that can work to limit a portion of that liability.
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    Agricultural Leasing in Maryland
    (2013-01) Goeringer, Paul
    Maryland farmers understand the importance of leases in their operations. From land to equipment, Maryland farmers use varying forms of agreements in their business operations. With the leasing of land, leases for a period of less than one year can be oral and there is no requirement the lease be in writing. Even if the lease can be oral, the landlord and tenant should still consider putting the lease in writing to provide both with a written record of the terms agreed to. Any lease longer than one year will be required to be in writing and signed by the parties involved. The tenant will be the one to request a renewal and a landlord can never force a tenant to renew a lease. Termination will depend on either the termination process in the lease or when the lease is silent on termination on state law which requires either the landlord or tenant to give at least 6 months’ notice of the desire to terminate the lease. Unless specified in the lease, a landlord retains no right to reenter the property or to allow new tenants to enter the property to begin preparing fields for planting before the current lease terminates. The landlord can specifically request the right to reenter in the lease. Other issues to consider when negotiating a lease are how to split repair costs, which party will be responsible for noxious weed control, and when the tenant will be required to purchase crop insurance or how crop insurance costs will be split, depending on the type of lease the parties have. This publication will provide an overview of some issues to be considered by both landlords and tenants when negotiating lease agreements.