SAN ANTONIO – What is my liability if someone is injured while hunting on my property? How can I get a special tax use valuation? What are my legal responsibilities if my cattle escape and damage someone else’s property?
These and many other questions are addressed at the new “Owning Your Own Piece of Texas: Key Laws Texas Landowners Need to Know,” program presented by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.
The program is presented free of charge thanks to the collaboration of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, AgWorkers Insurance, Capital Farm Credit and the Southern Extension Risk Management Education organization.
Tiffany Dowell Lashmet, AgriLife Extension agricultural law specialist based in Amarillo, is the main presenter for the program, which has been held in Amarillo and San Antonio.
“The Owning Your Piece of Texas program was just unveiled it this year,” Lashmet said. “We recently did one in Lubbock that had about 40 people, then took the program to San Antonio, where more than 200 people attended. We’ll be headed next to Crockett on June 28, Cat Spring on August 26 and College Station on September 12.”
According Lashmet, while she has so far presented the “Owning Your Own Piece of Texas” program only twice, she has presented numerous agricultural law-related programs throughout Texas in her role as an ag law specialist with AgriLife Extension.
At the program, Lashmet speaks spoke to the audience on a variety of topics ranging from property ownership and access to leasing to liability issues and fence and water law. When practical, she also invites other agricultural law experts to the program to present on specific topics. Other topics addressed typically include oil and gas law, special use valuations and renewable energy leases.
“Many people involved in farming, ranching and agriculture are unaware of the type and number of legal issues that can arise from land ownership,” she said. “Often people are excited about starting an agricultural operation but overlook the potential legal ramifications, especially if they’re inviting other people onto their property for something like hunting, or possibly agricultural or nature tourism. This program is to help educate landowners on what legal issues might come up and some things they can do to protect themselves.”
The program also includes AgriLife Extension agents from the surrounding area who make themselves available to answer any additional questions attendees may have related to land ownership or management in their respective counties.
Program attendees also receive a free 131-page Owning Your Piece of Texas handbook, written by Lashmet.