Sunday, October 5, 2008

Dr. Baarda: Agricultural Economics for Lawyers

The week of September 30, Visiting Professor Dr. James Baarda taught a condensed course in the LL.M. Program, Agricultural Economics for Lawyers. This excellent course arose out of the requests of last year's LL.M. Candidates to bring Dr. Baarda back for a second condensed course. His usual course is Agricultural Cooperatives which will be offered Spring semester 2009.

Agricultural economic principles underlie much of our federal farm policies and yet many attorneys do not have a good understanding of these principles or their application. Dr. Baarda's class, developed specifically for our program bridges this gap.

Dr. Baarda is uniquely qualified to provide this excellent course. He grew up on a small farm in Iowa. He attended Iowa State University (B.S., 1963, chemistry, physics, zoology), the University of Denver School of Law, Night Division (J.D., 1969), and the University of Florida (Ph.D., 1974, Food and Resource Economics). He is a member of the Colorado and Florida Bars (inactive), a recipient of the American Agricultural Law Association’s Distinguished Service Award and USDA’s Superior Service Award.

Dr. Baarda worked with USDA’s Farmer Cooperative Service in Washington, D.C., for more than 16 years, then spent four years as Vice President of Education at the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives. After domestic and international consulting in Eastern Europe and Former Soviet Union republics, he joined a law firm in Washington engaged in complex nationwide class action as well as other litigation.

In 2001, Dr. Baarda returned to USDA where he conducts research, writing, training, and speaking activities for Cooperative Services in the Rural Business-Cooperative Service agency. He has written and spoken extensively on topics related to cooperatives and other farmer and business associations and is widely recognized for his work, both in the U.S. and internationally.

Much of Dr. Baarda's current work focuses on the legal, economic, financial, and business characteristics of cooperatives that distinguish them from other forms of business in a dynamic, global economy. He is pictured here being interviewed on Russian television during a recent trip to work with farmers in rural Russia.

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