Thursday, November 29, 2007

Nearing the End of a Very Busy Semester

As we complete our last week of fall classes, it is hard to believe that the semester is over. We packed so much into it - the time flew by.

Here are some of the highlights:

We started out the semester with a visit from Professor Neil Hamilton who taught a one week condensed course, Introduction to the Law of Food & Agriculture. Professor Hamilton's forward-looking and progressive view of our food system and the future of agriculture always spurs thoughtful discussion.

Our regular semester classes followed - with Professor Christopher Kelley teaching Government Regulation of Agriculture and me teaching Agricultural Finance & Credit, Advanced Agricultural Law Research, and Food Law & Policy.

We were pleased to add a new adjunct professor to our ranks - Vince Chadick, J.D., LL.M., University of Arkansas. Professor Chadick, who practices Agricultural Law with the Bassett Law Firm here in Fayetteville taught Livestock Marketing and Sales and was a great addition to our faculty.

James Baarda, J.D., Ph.D. visited in September, teaching his Agricultural Cooperatives course. Dr. Baarda works with the USDA in Washington, D.C., and is well known for his cooperative law expertise. The LL.M. candidates were not only attentive students, but great hosts, organizing a fantastic pot luck luncheon for him.

And, speaking of luncheon's, this year's class also hosted the first of what may have to become an annual tradition - a luncheon in honor of our law school Dean, Dean Cyndi Nance, and her Associate Deans, Professors Lonnie Beard and Judith Kilpatrick. We prepared home-cooked and local foods for the occasion. Dean Nance's administration has been so supportive of our agricultural law efforts - it was a pleasure to thank them with a "real food" meal.

Mid-semester, many of us attended the International Law conference at Drake Law School in Des Moines. And, right after that, a group of us flew to San Diego to attend the Annual Educational Symposium of the American Agricultural Law Association. Great networking opportunities were available at each conference, and the real-world information from the conferences was invaluable.

During the last month of classes, Professor Kelley taught a new course, Selected Issues in International Agriculture; the LL.M. candidates worked diligently to get started on their thesis research; and, we enjoyed particularly beautiful fall weather in the Ozarks. Great hiking weather, pretty fall colors, and that clear blue sky . . .

Tomorrow is the last day of fall classes. A week or so of finals, and then everyone takes a well deserved break. More next time about the exciting things happening during that "break"!

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