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Ag Law & You

Ag Law & You


The Alabama Farmers Federation is proud to offer you a revised electronic version of Ag Law and You. Previous editions proved to be a widely used and welcomed reference for Alabama farmers. The production of an agriculture law book was requested by many in farming as a guide to help prevent them, as users, from violating the laws of the State of Alabama as they went about their daily course as farmers. Please note that Ag Law & You is not comprehensive but is intended as a helpful guide.

Mr. John Allen Nichols served as an intern with the Alabama Farmers Federation from Jones School of Law and was the coordinator for the electronic publication, working in conjunction with the Federation’s Department of Governmental and Agricultural Programs. We hope the addition of charts and hyperlinks, as well as new information, will make this a source of quick reference to legal questions you may encounter on your farms.

We also join the farmers of Alabama in expressing a word of appreciation to the many state agencies, including the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries, Alabama Department of Conservation & Natural Resources, Alabama Department of Economics & Community Affairs, Alabama Department of Environmental Management, Alabama Department of Labor, Alabama Department of Public Safety, Alabama Department of Revenue, and the Office of Water Resources. It is the hope of everyone involved in this project that this resource can serve as an educational tool to help the agricultural community comply with the laws by referencing Ag Law and You.

Jimmy Parnell, President
Alabama Farmers Federation
January, 2018

Table of Contents

1Chapter One: Agricultural Labor Law
19Chapter Two: Animal Liability & Livestock
22Chapter Three: Environmental Law
32Chapter Four: Estate Planning
39Chapter Five: Licenses and Sales Taxes for Sales of Farm Products
42Chapter Six: Operation of Vehicles and Equipment
52Chapter Seven: Property
59Chapter Eight: Hunting and Wildlife

Important Notice

The information or materials in this handbook contain the opinions, interpretations, or applications of the authors and publisher (the Alabama Farmers Federation). It is being made available to you with the understanding that neither its publisher nor the authors are engaged in rendering legal or other professional advice or services. If the reader requires such specific advice or services, a legal or other professional should be consulted.

Although the authors and publisher have made a reasonable effort to ensure the accuracy, completeness, and relevance of the information and materials contained in the handbook, the authors and publisher, including its agents or assigns, cannot be responsible for errors and omissions or any party’s opinions, interpretations, or applications contained in the handbook. Neither the authors nor publisher make any warranties, guarantees, or representations about the fitness for any purpose of the information or material found in this handbook or the opinions, interpretations, or applications of its authors or publishers. In no event should the authors or publisher be liable for any damages, losses, or liabilities, including without limitation direct or indirect, special, incidental, or consequential damages, losses, or liabilities in connection with your use of this handbook or your reliance on or use or inability to use the information, materials, opinions, interpretations, or applications, or in connection with any failure of performance, error, omission, interruption, or defect thereof.

The information and materials in this handbook are subject to change. At various points in this handbook, references and citations are made to statutes, regulations, and governmental publications. All quotations of and references to these materials are believed to be current and reliable as of the date of publication, but these materials are also subject to change at any time. The Alabama Farmers Federation suggests that you periodically download an updated copy. The Alabama Farmers Federation owns all copyright in the pages of this handbook, and the Alabama Farmers Federation reserves all accompanying rights. No trademarks may be reproduced without the permission of the Alabama Farmers Federation.

Updated information concerning statues and regulations can be obtained at a number of public websites and resources in addition to those available at public libraries. Excellent basic sources for Alabama laws include Alabama.govAlabama Legislative Information System and Office of the Alabama Attorney General, Office of the Alabama Secretary of State, or the website of the respective agency or department to which your question pertains. A huge collection of links to legal materials of all types for all states, including Alabama, is contained in FindLaw.

Recompiled in 2018 by John Allen Nichols.

Ag Law and You:
Frequently Asked Questions

This book is compiled in chapters resulting from questionnaires and inquiries received from active members of the Alabama Farmers Federation. The chapter topics include agricultural labor, animal liability & livestock, environmental law, estate planning, licenses and sales taxes for sales of farm products, operation of vehicles and equipment, property, and hunting & wildlife.

This book was originally the product of an idea developed at the annual meeting of the Alabama Farmers Federation in Mobile in December 1999, when the membership approved the following resolution: “It is recommended that we publish a handbook to help farmers stay abreast of current laws and regulations…but not be limited to requirements for operating ‘slow moving vehicles’… a brief summary of livestock laws… regulations for hauling oversized loads… child labor pertaining to farmers.” This publication is an outgrowth of that resolution.

Selected agricultural law topics of greatest interest to farmers or legal questions that come up most often in the day-to-day operation of farms are listed herein. The questions are listed in eight chapters for a quick reference by general subject matter. Responses to these Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are contained within this handbook and are searchable within this electronic document.