Thursday, April 17, 2008

Video Conferencing Expands "Agricultural Perspectives"

Each spring, the LL.M. candidates are enrolled in a course entitled Agricultural Perspectives. In this course, we consider the rich and varied history of American agriculture and debate today's issues in the context of this history. We examine a wide range of social and economic issues considering their origin and how history is reflected in today's policies. Topics considered include agrarianism, land tenancy issues, slavery, sharecropping, farm structure, early farm activism, and the Dust Bowl.

This week, we had an opportunity to consider state efforts to restrict corporate farming, and we were delighted to host a live guest lecture from Assistant Professor Anthony Schutz via video conference from the University of Nebraska College of Law. Professor Schutz has researched extensively in the area of anti-corporate farming statutes and worked closely with the Nebraska legislature in its efforts to craft a statute consistent with the dormant commerce clause. Professor Schutz did an excellent job of framing the issues and presenting the complexity of the state's varied interests. Appreciation is extended to Professor Schutz and the University of Nebraska - Lincoln College of Law.

The use of video conferenced discussions allows the LL.M. Program to easily connect and interact with agricultural law experts world wide. Next year, we anticipate our use of this technology to increase, as the School of Law will have a newly remodeled dedicated video conference classroom to host our discussions.

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