It is my hope that this casebook will encourage more law professors to teach, and more law students to enroll in, courses that explore our agricultural laws and the policies surrounding our food system. And, as it attempts to honestly address some of the conflicts between traditional agriculture and current food policy advocates, I hope that it educates both sides of the debate, leads to a better understanding, and helps to produce agricultural lawyers prepared to confront issues of sustainability.
Here is the description of the book, as provided on the back cover:
Agricultural law is the study of the unique network of laws that apply to the production, marketing, and sale of agricultural products—the food we eat, the natural fibers we wear, and increasingly, the bio-fuels that run our vehicles.The book is "[d]edicated to my grandparents and my parents, for affording me the great opportunity to be raised on a family farm; to my sister and her family for the care that they provide in preserving that farm; to my husband and colleague, Christopher Kelley for his inspiration and dedication to excellence; and to all of our past and future students in the LL.M. Program in Agricultural & Food Law at the University of Arkansas School of Law."
Traditionally, agriculture has been favored with exemptions, exceptions, and special rules that reflect the uniqueness and the political power of the industry. In recent years, the study of agricultural law has expanded beyond its traditional scope to include issues of food safety and sustainability. Popular interest in agriculture has increased as consumers seek to know more about their food and where it comes from.
This book provides an issues-based study of these complex topics. It is divided into units designed to introduce some of the critical legal issues facing the industry and consumers today including: federal farm programs, the structure of farms and industrialized agriculture, environmental concerns, migrant labor issues, farm animal welfare, agricultural commercial law, and other topics. The book provides a mix of readings in law and policy. From its initial discussion of “agricultural exceptionalism” to its concluding remarks on the future of our food system, the book is certain to spark thoughtful dialogue.
Particular thanks is extended to this year's and last year's class of LL.M. candidates for their patience and support while I worked on the book. Their energy and their interest in agricultural and food law was very inspiring!