New Grape Varieties, $50 million for 4-H, and Other Legal News

Grape Varieties

Two New Table Grape Varieties Developed in Plant Breeding Colloaboration

A plant breeding collaboration between Cornell AgriTech, the agricultural experiment arm of Cornell University, and Sun World International, a fruit genetics and licensing company, has developed two new grape varieties which “offer new flavors for consumers and better growing characteristics for farmers.” A new green seedless variety, Sugarfiftytwo, is an ultra-early ripening variety with a muscat flavor, and a new red variety, Sugrasixty, that ripens midseason with large berries and tropical aromas, were the first varieties to be released by joint breeding effort. The new varieties took advantage of Cornell’s unique grape germplasm collection, which dates to 1888 and contains varieties adapted to cooler climates and pest resistance. Sugarfiftytwo is protect by Plant Patent No. 30,644.
We always appreciate learning of improved plant varieties from plant breeding efforts, especially those developed through one of our land-grant universities like Cornell. Behind most modern agricultural and horticultural crops are many years of research and development by plant breeders, many of which were educated and trained at a land-grant university. Plant innovations such as these improve the quality and quantity of the food chain and provide an important source of funding to universities for continuing research and development.

National 4-H Council Receives Historic Donation

4-H, the 120-year-old youth development organization created through USDA’s Cooperative Extension Service, recently received a $50 million donation from MacKenzie Scott, the former wife of Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos. The historic gift is the largest single gift in the history of 4-H.
Nearly everyone that grew up in rural America is familiar with 4-H, which provides experiential learning programs for kids, especially agricultural education. The National 4-H organization formed when Congress passed the Smith-Lever Act of 1914, creating the Cooperative Extension Service to “extend” the research of the nation’s land-grant universities to the population. Although still a staple of agricultural communities, today’s 4-H reaches both urban and rural communities with education in health, science, citizenship, and technology through its philosophy of “learning by doing.”
Its a shame that some can find a way to criticize the generous gift, as some animal-rights activists have urged Scott to cancel the donation because of 4-H’s animal agriculture programs. If you’ve ever been to a county fair, you’ve almost certainly witnessed all sorts of “projects” by 4-H kids, from show animals, to robotics, to environmental conservation, and too many more to mention. Unfortunately, these folks seem to believe that county fairs are an abomination. The old adage remains true – no good deed goes unpunished.

Cape Law Firm’s Frequently (or Randomly) Asked Questions

Does the U.S. Constitution guarantee the right to a trial by jury?

Yes, although it may not be quite as broad as one might think. The answer varies depending on whether the case is in federal court or state court, and whether the case is civil or criminal. The right to a speedy jury trial in criminal cases is guaranteed in both federal and state cases (via the 6th and 14th Amendments). In contrast, the right to a jury in a federal civil case is guaranteed by the 7th Amendment only for “common law” claims, i.e., those recognized by the common law of England which would have required a jury. Further, the 7th Amendment does not apply to the States. Nearly all of the States have incorporated the right to a civil jury trial in their state constitutions, although they can be limited to certain types of cases. Also, there is no right to a speedy trial in a civil case, which is part of the reason that many civil cases linger for years before making it to trial.



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