Supporting Ag's Legal Needs
Supporting Ag’s Legal Needs
I’m KayDee Gilkey with the Northwest Farm and Ranch Report.
At last week’s Oregon and Washington Cattlemen’s Mid-year Meeting, I had the opportunity to visit with Washington Ag Legal Foundation’s Executive Director Toni Meacham and learn more about her organization’s mission and purpose.
Meacham: “It’s a non-profit for education, promotion and research for property and water rights. So if someone who has an issue that they think that could impact state or national water or property rights they come to me and I look at their case. If I need to find a lawyer for them, I do that; if I need to advise them, I able do that. Basically I look at their case and see what the next step would be.”
Meacham says having a board of directors who are knowledgeable and represent diverse ag interests is a benefit.
Meacham: “There is lots of variety on my board, but they all come from agriculture and they are all very supportive of property and water rights. So we do what we can. For instance the Lowry case was a big case that went to the United States Supreme Court and we as a board were able to an Amicus brief written in support of them. So again, what we do is if there is a case that is going to impact us as an industry we make sure that it is taken to the next step and we evaluate those cases.”
Other ag legal foundations that support farmers and ranchers in private property and water legal issues are Western Resources Legal Center, the Pacific Legal Foundation, and Mountain States Legal Foundation.
I’m KayDee Gilkey with the Northwest Farm and Ranch Report on the Northwest Ag Information Network.