Environmental

Recent Posts

Even the past experienced building and development booms and busts
Posted on 17 Jul 2011 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

The problem with stereotypes is that a) they are often wrong, and b) they prevent appreciating that what we thought was true is, in fact, not. For example, that economic expansion leads to building booms seems to have been as true 6,000 years ago as it... Read More

Indiana Sets Rules for "Satellite" Manure Storage Structures
Posted on 16 Oct 2014 by Todd Janzen

A few years ago, concerned Indiana residents raised complaints with their elected officials about the storage of manure in remote ponds, or “lagoons” that were not sited next to existing livestock farms. There was also concern that poultry... Read More

Privacy and Security Principles for Farm Data
Posted on 3 Feb 2015 by Todd Janzen

A few people have asked me for a link to the farm data core principles document released by ag technology providers and industry trade organizations. Below is the entire document, which represents a collaboration of American Farm Bureau Federation, American... Read More

An articulate end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it view from Thomas Friedman
Posted on 10 Jun 2011 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

I am certainly old enough to remember a variety of doomsday scenarios, usually built around decreases in agriculture productivity or population growth (or both). There have also been some modern scholarly papers that posit that things are going to get... Read More

Five Agricultural Legal Issues to Watch in 2014
Posted on 30 Jan 2014 by Todd Janzen

What will be the hot topics in ag law for 2014? Here are some predictions for the coming year: 1. Clean Air Act Targets Farmers . Congress passed the Clean Air Act in 1970 to clean up the nation’s air. The low hanging fruit of air pollution—power... Read More

Ag Industry Releases Core Principles for Farm Data Privacy
Posted on 2 Feb 2015 by Todd Janzen

This past year some of America’s leaders in agricultural technology products worked together with American Farm Bureau Federation and industry trade organizations to come up with a set of core principles for data privacy. The principles identified... Read More

The Challenges Facing Liberian Agriculture
Posted on 11 Apr 2014 by Todd Janzen

The last leg of our Indiana Ag Leadership class was to Liberia, West Africa. What we saw was dramatically different than the highly structured and sophisticated agricultural systems of Northern Europe. Liberian agriculture struggles in every area where... Read More

Talking Big Data and Drones on Inside Indiana Business with Gerry Dick
Posted on 18 May 2015 by Todd Janzen

I was recently lucky enough to be interviewed by Gerry Dick for his television show Inside Indiana Business. I was joined by Beck's Hybrid's Jim Shertzer who leads FARMserver , a web-based farm data storage and analysis tool. These are exciting... Read More

Co-op and Custom Applicators: Are You Addressing Farm Data in Your Contracts?
Posted on 19 May 2015 by Todd Janzen

Farmers will call up their local co-ops this year to help them fertilize and spray their fields. These sprayers-for-hire will be recording what they do, but what happens to that data after that point? Does the co-op have an obligation to provide that... Read More

Big Data on the Farm: Presentation to Indiana Farm Bureau
Posted on 10 Mar 2015 by Todd Janzen

My January 20, 2015 presentation to Indiana Farm Bureau's District Meeting can be found by clicking on the following link: Big Data on the Farm Don't forget to also check out American Farm Bureau Federation's Privacy and Security Principles... Read More

The European Union's Common Agricultural Policy
Posted on 10 Apr 2014 by Todd Janzen

Our Indiana Ag Leadership trip to northern Europe included a visit to the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium. The European Commission is the executive branch of the European Union (EU). One of the main topics of discussion was the Common Agricultural... Read More

What You Need to Know about Farm Data Privacy
Posted on 11 Mar 2015 by Todd Janzen

Here is my presentation to the Indiana Horticultural Congress on January 21, 2015. You can follow along online by clicking below: Farm Data Privacy: What You Need to Know Please check out other articles about the agriculture and technology on this... Read More

Is Your Business Prepared for a Crisis?
Posted on 28 Jan 2015 by Todd Janzen

A crisis can destroy a business’s reputation and bottom line. A crisis can come from anywhere: a surprise EPA, OSHA, or other regulatory inspection, a natural disaster, or a man-made catastrophe like the West, Texas fertilizer plant explosion last... Read More

Defining "Big Data" in Agriculture
Posted on 12 May 2015 by Todd Janzen

A recent comment on one of my articles addressing big data concerns in farm leases asked why I used the term "big data" instead of just "data." This got me thinking about the definition of "big data" and what the term really... Read More

Silage vs. Curtilage: More on the EPA's Flyover Controversy
Posted on 28 Jul 2012 by Todd Janzen

By Todd J. Janzen, Partner, Plews Shadley Racher & Braun LLP The web has been abuzz the last few weeks with articles and editorials about the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) use of aerial flyovers to look for violations of the Clean... Read More

  • Blog Post: An articulate end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it view from Thomas Friedman

    I am certainly old enough to remember a variety of doomsday scenarios, usually built around decreases in agriculture productivity or population growth (or both). There have also been some modern scholarly papers that posit that things are going to get very very difficult indeed really soon. See, for...
  • Blog Post: Even the past experienced building and development booms and busts

    The problem with stereotypes is that a) they are often wrong, and b) they prevent appreciating that what we thought was true is, in fact, not. For example, that economic expansion leads to building booms seems to have been as true 6,000 years ago as it is now. Researchers have found that when agriculture...
  • Blog Post: Silage vs. Curtilage: More on the EPA's Flyover Controversy

    By Todd J. Janzen, Partner, Plews Shadley Racher & Braun LLP The web has been abuzz the last few weeks with articles and editorials about the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) use of aerial flyovers to look for violations of the Clean Water Act on Nebraska and Iowa feedlots. The issue...
  • Blog Post: Five Agricultural Legal Issues to Watch in 2014

    What will be the hot topics in ag law for 2014? Here are some predictions for the coming year: 1. Clean Air Act Targets Farmers . Congress passed the Clean Air Act in 1970 to clean up the nation’s air. The low hanging fruit of air pollution—power plants, industrial factories, trucks and automobiles...
  • Blog Post: The European Union's Common Agricultural Policy

    Our Indiana Ag Leadership trip to northern Europe included a visit to the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium. The European Commission is the executive branch of the European Union (EU). One of the main topics of discussion was the Common Agricultural Policy, or "CAP," the EU's version...
  • Blog Post: The Challenges Facing Liberian Agriculture

    The last leg of our Indiana Ag Leadership class was to Liberia, West Africa. What we saw was dramatically different than the highly structured and sophisticated agricultural systems of Northern Europe. Liberian agriculture struggles in every area where EU agriculture thrives. The root causes are many...
  • Blog Post: Indiana Ag Leadership Program Wrap Up

    The previous five posts chronicled my journey with the Indiana Agricultural Leadership program to The Netherlands, Belgium, and Liberia. From an agricultural standpoint, the contrast between northern Europe and West Africa could not be more extreme. Northern Europe has highly developed agricultural systems;...
  • Blog Post: Agricultural Leadership is Hard Work

    During our Indiana Ag Leadership class trip to Liberia, West Africa recently, I saw something that has stuck with me since I arrived back in Indiana. At a United Nation's peacekeeping outpost in Ganta, Liberia--manned completely by Bangladeshi troops and engineers--I noticed a large saying hand painted...
  • Blog Post: Top 10 CAFO Violations

    David Letterman has his Top 10 list. Now the Indiana Department of Environment Management (IDEM) has its Top 10 list for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs). These large livestock producers are primarily regulated through IDEM's confined feeding operation (CFO) regulations. Recently, IDEM...
  • Blog Post: Indiana Sets Rules for "Satellite" Manure Storage Structures

    A few years ago, concerned Indiana residents raised complaints with their elected officials about the storage of manure in remote ponds, or “lagoons” that were not sited next to existing livestock farms. There was also concern that poultry litter was being shipped across state lines from...
  • Blog Post: Is Your Business Prepared for a Crisis?

    A crisis can destroy a business’s reputation and bottom line. A crisis can come from anywhere: a surprise EPA, OSHA, or other regulatory inspection, a natural disaster, or a man-made catastrophe like the West, Texas fertilizer plant explosion last year. Though a business owner can never anticipate...
  • Blog Post: Farm Bureau Data Privacy Poll Produces Some Interesting Results

    The American Farm Bureau Federation (Farm Bureau) recently polled over 2500 farmers about their concerns with data privacy and technology. Over 1000 of those surveyed indicated that they already use “precision technologies” on their farm, including data analysis tools operated by off-farm...
  • Blog Post: Ag Industry Releases Core Principles for Farm Data Privacy

    This past year some of America’s leaders in agricultural technology products worked together with American Farm Bureau Federation and industry trade organizations to come up with a set of core principles for data privacy. The principles identified should help these agriculture technology providers...
  • Blog Post: Privacy and Security Principles for Farm Data

    A few people have asked me for a link to the farm data core principles document released by ag technology providers and industry trade organizations. Below is the entire document, which represents a collaboration of American Farm Bureau Federation, American Soybean Association, Beck’s Hybrids,...
  • Blog Post: A Closer Look at Farm Data Ownership

    A number of agriculture technology providers (ATPs) worked together recently to produce a document identifying core industry principles for data privacy and security on the farm. (Read the core principles document here: Privacy and Security Principles for Farm Data ). One principle addressed ownership...
  • Blog Post: Big Data on the Farm: Presentation to Indiana Farm Bureau

    My January 20, 2015 presentation to Indiana Farm Bureau's District Meeting can be found by clicking on the following link: Big Data on the Farm Don't forget to also check out American Farm Bureau Federation's Privacy and Security Principles for Farm Data . Read more at Janzen...
  • Blog Post: What You Need to Know about Farm Data Privacy

    Here is my presentation to the Indiana Horticultural Congress on January 21, 2015. You can follow along online by clicking below: Farm Data Privacy: What You Need to Know Please check out other articles about the agriculture and technology on this blog. Read more at Janzen Ag Law...
  • Blog Post: Defining "Big Data" in Agriculture

    A recent comment on one of my articles addressing big data concerns in farm leases asked why I used the term "big data" instead of just "data." This got me thinking about the definition of "big data" and what the term really means with respect to agriculture. Before looking...
  • Blog Post: Talking Big Data and Drones on Inside Indiana Business with Gerry Dick

    I was recently lucky enough to be interviewed by Gerry Dick for his television show Inside Indiana Business. I was joined by Beck's Hybrid's Jim Shertzer who leads FARMserver , a web-based farm data storage and analysis tool. These are exciting times for agriculture! You can watch the video by...
  • Blog Post: Co-op and Custom Applicators: Are You Addressing Farm Data in Your Contracts?

    Farmers will call up their local co-ops this year to help them fertilize and spray their fields. These sprayers-for-hire will be recording what they do, but what happens to that data after that point? Does the co-op have an obligation to provide that data to the farmer? Does the co-op own the data generated...
  • Blog Post: Does Your Co-Op Own Your Farm Data?

    Recently I was asked this question: When a farm cooperative (a “co-op”) does work for a farmer and in the process generates agronomic data, does the co-op own that data or does the farmer? Many in the ag industry like to say “the farmer owns the data,” but the co-op’s generation...