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Agricultural News

Rancher Leasing Workshops Scheduled to Address Legal Risks

Tue, 17 May 2016 18:23:00 CDT

Rancher Leasing Workshops Scheduled to Address Legal Risks For many ranchers across Oklahoma and surrounding states, a person’s word and a handshake are as good as a written contract. However, this type of business agreement is full of risk for both the landowner and the tenant.

To help shed light on grazing, hunting and livestock leases, three Rancher Leasing Workshops are scheduled in both Oklahoma and Texas, said Shannon Ferrell, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension agricultural law specialist.

“The leasing of land for grazing and hunting is big business in Oklahoma and surrounding states,” Ferrell said. “What people need to realize is the landowner and the lessee both face risks.”

The workshops are free and open to the public. Hosted by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and funded by the Southern Extension Risk Management Extension Center, the workshops will take place June 1 in Stillwater at the Wes Watkins Center on the OSU campus from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The second workshop is slated June 3, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., at the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association headquarters, 1301 W. 7th St., Fort Worth, Texas. The last workshop will take place June 23 at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, 6500 W. Amarillo Blvd., Amarillo, Texas. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. and the program is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Lunch for the Amarillo workshop is sponsored by Plains Land Bank.

“Each workshop will address the legal risks associated with agricultural leases,” said Tiffany Dowell Lashmet, AgriLife Extension agricultural law specialist in Amarillo. “Our goal is to educate landowners and producers on the importance of utilizing written leases as a risk management tool.”

Ferrell said discussion will focus on the potential legal implications of failing to have a sufficient written lease, as well as cover the potential legal issues and litigation the development of written leases can help avoid.

“We also want to familiarize participants with key terms and provisions that should be considered in lease negotiations,” he said. “This innovative program is designed to answer broad and detailed questions in order to better educate both landlord and lessee. It’s important to remember the lease needs to meet the needs of both sides of the negotiation.”

Joining Ferrell and Dowell Lashmet on the program will be Austin Voyles and Fred Hall, AgriLife Extension agriculture and natural resources agents in Potter County and Tarrant County, Texas, respectively.

Participants will receive a leasing handbook that covers legal issues, designing lease payment structures and calculating payments, landowner liability, as well as checklists and sample lease forms for negotiating lease agreements.

Those planning to attend any of the workshops should RSVP by May 30 to Kim Garcia at 806-677-5626 or kim.garcia@ag.tamu.edu. Producers planning to attend the Fort Worth workshop may also RSVP online at http://agrilife.org/urbantarrantag/program-registration.



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