A smile and a handshake may have served your grandfather well when he conducted business on his farm or ranch 30 or 40 years ago.
But when leasing grazing land, negotiating for use of breeding bulls or for other business activities, it’s now better to get it in writing.
Time was, folks trusted their neighbors to do what they said they would do, and most times they were right. But agricultural business has become much more complicated and may include entities that are not next-door, next county over or even in the same state. It makes sense, business sense, says a Texas AgriLife Extension specialist, to “get it in writing.”
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Tiffany Dowell, an assistant professor and agricultural law specialist with AgriLife Extension in College Station, told beef producers at the recent Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course, a written lease provides protection to both parties. Read more about the needs for documentation here. 
For additional information on agricultural law, Dowell has an agricultural law blog at http://agrilife.org/texasaglaw/  providing regular updates on various topics and weekly recaps on legal issues in the news.