Texas Agriculture January 6, 2017 : Page 14

Lynn-Garza County Farm Bureau named ‘Most Outstanding’ By Jessica Domel News Editor Dedication to community, educa-tion and agriculture has earned the Lynn-Garza County Farm Bureau one of the most coveted awards pre-sented by Texas Farm Bureau (TFB). The organization was named the 2016 Most Outstanding County Farm Bureau (CFB) at TFB’s Annual Meet-ing in San Antonio. “We just believe in the message and the mission of Texas Farm Bureau,” Walt Hagood, president of Lynn-Gar-za CFB, said. “When you look at it, we were already doing about 75 percent of what qualifies you for the award.” Hosting community activities and engaging, educational events throughout the year earned the county points toward the award as did meetings with state and national lawmakers. The county is also active in the grassroots policy development pro-cess, which gave it a leg up in the competition. The resolution made it all the way to the American Farm Bureau Feder-ation’s annual meeting. The CFB also hosted an Ag Issues Summit this year. Organizers invited lawmakers and agribusiness repre-sentatives from across the area to meet and discuss issues important to both rural Texas and agriculture. “The proximity that we are to Lub-bock, we felt it is important to get some leaders from the larger cities involved with agriculture,” Hagood said. “We had a good, diverse group of people. We put all these people around the table and just had a conversation going back and forth discussing these issues that we’re involved with in ag-riculture. That went really well.” As the Most Outstanding CFB in the state, Lynn-Garza CFB leaders don’t plan to rest. They will continue to work on behalf of agriculture and their more than 1,300 members. “We will just continue to do what we do and hope for the best,” Hagood said. “We’ve got some key resolutions that were actually birthed in our county,” Hagood said. Lynn-Garza CFB members crafted and passed a resolution asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture Risk Management Agency to extend its be-ginning farmer and rancher discount from five years to 10, which is when the USDA Farm Service Agency ends its new farmer discount. The resolution was important, ac-cording to Hagood, because if it’s im-plemented, it would allow beginning farmers and ranchers more time to build a solid foundation in agriculture. Valuation of easements provision part of eminent domain reform By Julie Tomascik Associate Editor About 95 percent of the land in Texas is privately owned, leaving landowners facing a tough battle when eminent domain proceedings are brought to their front door. But a growing coalition of agri-cultural and landowner organiza-tions, Texans for Property Rights, is working for eminent domain reform in this legislative session. Part of those reform efforts in-cludes a provision on the valuation of easements. “The valuation of easements is an important component of our emi-nent domain reform package, be-cause it helps landowners receive fair market value for their land be-ing taken,” Marissa Patton, Texas Farm Bureau associate legislative director, said. The Texas courts have long de-fined market value as “the price the property will bring when offered for sale by one who desires to sell, but is not obligated to sell, and is bought by one who desires to buy, but is un-der no necessity of buying.” Under current law, however, evi-dence of sales of freely negotiated comparable easements are usually not admissible in condemnation proceedings. “Our valuation of easements pro-vision will fix this,” Patton said. “It changes the law to require the court to admit evidence on the price paid for pipeline or power line right-of-way in privately negotiated trans-actions made in the absence of con-demnation authority.” This is just one piece of the emi-nent domain reform Texas Farm Bureau and other organizations in the coalition are working toward for fairness for landowners. “Making this valuation of ease-ments change to the evidentiary process, coupled with our proposal of condemnors reimbursing landowner court costs and expenses, goes a long way to ensure landowners are fairly compensated for the property they’re being forced to sell,” Patton said. “Making these changes would hopefully incentivize condemnors to make more fair offers up front.” For more information on eminent domain reform, visit texansforprop-ertyrights.com. J ANUARY 6 , 2017 14 Photo courtesy of Brady & Hamilton, LLP

Lynn-Garza County Farm Bureau Named ‘Most Outstanding’

Jessica Domel

Dedication to community, education and agriculture has earned the Lynn-Garza County Farm Bureau one of the most coveted awards presented by Texas Farm Bureau (TFB).

The organization was named the 2016 Most Outstanding County Farm Bureau (CFB) at TFB’s Annual Meeting in San Antonio.

“We just believe in the message and the mission of Texas Farm Bureau,” Walt Hagood, president of Lynn-Garza CFB, said. “When you look at it, we were already doing about 75 percent of what qualifies you for the award.”

Hosting community activities and engaging, educational events throughout the year earned the county points toward the award as did meetings with state and national lawmakers.

The county is also active in the grassroots policy development process, which gave it a leg up in the competition.

“We’ve got some key resolutions that were actually birthed in our county,” Hagood said.

Lynn-Garza CFB members crafted and passed a resolution asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture Risk Management Agency to extend its beginning farmer and rancher discount from five years to 10, which is when the USDA Farm Service Agency ends its new farmer discount.

The resolution was important, according to Hagood, because if it’s implemented, it would allow beginning farmers and ranchers more time to build a solid foundation in agriculture.

The resolution made it all the way to the American Farm Bureau Federation’s annual meeting.

The CFB also hosted an Ag Issues Summit this year. Organizers invited lawmakers and agribusiness representatives from across the area to meet and discuss issues important to both rural Texas and agriculture.

“The proximity that we are to Lubbock, we felt it is important to get some leaders from the larger cities involved with agriculture,” Hagood said. “We had a good, diverse group of people. We put all these people around the table and just had a conversation going back and forth discussing these issues that we’re involved with in agriculture. That went really well.”

As the Most Outstanding CFB in the state, Lynn-Garza CFB leaders don’t plan to rest. They will continue to work on behalf of agriculture and their more than 1,300 members.

“We will just continue to do what we do and hope for the best,” Hagood said.

Read the full article at http://texasagriculture.texasfarmbureau.org/article/Lynn-Garza+County+Farm+Bureau+Named+%E2%80%98Most+Outstanding%E2%80%99+/2675758/372175/article.html.

Valuation of Easements Provision Part of Eminent Domain Reform

Julie Tomascik

About 95 percent of the land in Texas is privately owned, leaving landowners facing a tough battle when eminent domain proceedings are brought to their front door.

But a growing coalition of agricultural and landowner organizations, Texans for Property Rights, is working for eminent domain reform in this legislative session.

Part of those reform efforts includes a provision on the valuation of easements.

“The valuation of easements is an important component of our eminent domain reform package, because it helps landowners receive fair market value for their land being taken,” Marissa Patton, Texas Farm Bureau associate legislative director, said.

The Texas courts have long defined market value as “the price the property will bring when offered for sale by one who desires to sell, but is not obligated to sell, and is bought by one who desires to buy, but is under no necessity of buying.”

Under current law, however, evidence of sales of freely negotiated comparable easements are usually not admissible in condemnation proceedings.

“Our valuation of easements provision will fix this,” Patton said. “It changes the law to require the court to admit evidence on the price paid for pipeline or power line right-of-way in privately negotiated transactions made in the absence of condemnation authority.”

This is just one piece of the eminent domain reform Texas Farm Bureau and other organizations in the coalition are working toward for fairness for landowners.

“Making this valuation of easements change to the evidentiary process, coupled with our proposal of condemnors reimbursing landowner court costs and expenses, goes a long way to ensure landowners are fairly compensated for the property they’re being forced to sell,” Patton said. “Making these changes would hopefully incentivize condemnors to make more fair offers up front.”

For more information on eminent domain reform, visit texansforpropertyrights.com.

Read the full article at http://texasagriculture.texasfarmbureau.org/article/Valuation+of+Easements+Provision+Part+of+Eminent+Domain+Reform+/2675759/372175/article.html.

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