Saturday, March 26, 2011

Maureen Kelly Moseman to Speak on Biofuels Issues

I am pleased to announce that Maureen Kelly Moseman will be coming to Fayetteville this week to address the LL.M. class on biofuels issues.

Maureen brings a wealth of experience in agricultural law & policy to the classroom.  She currently runs Moseman & Associates, LLC, representing clients before federal agencies on legislative and regulatory issues.  She has successfully assisted her clients in obtaining funding from the USDA, the U.S. AID, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the U.S. Geological Survey.

Her clients in this position and in her past work have included major universities, a major dairy trade association, a major fruit and vegetable association, the United Soybean Board, and a consortium of historically black agricultural colleges.

During the Clinton administration, Maureen held several key agricultural policy posts  -  Special Assistant to the Under Secretary for Food Safety, Special Assistant to the Administrator of the Cooperative Research, Education, and Extension Service, Legislative Director for the Under Secretary for Research, Education, Economics, and Chief of Staff to the Under Secretary for Marketing an Regulatory Programs.

Maureen is a past member of the Board of Directors of the American Agricultural Law Association (AALA), and she served as AALA President from 2008-09.  She organized and presided over the very successful AALA conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 2008.  She is a graduate of Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota with a degree in Economics and a magna cum laude graduate of William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Maureen will be our featured speaker in Food, Farming, & Sustainability on Tuesday, March 28 and will also meet with the class to discuss and provide advice regarding career decisions.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Alumni Update: Alison Peck

As a blogger on the Agricultural Law blog, part of the Jurisdynamics Network of legal blogs, I have been reporting on agricultural and food law initiatives at law schools.

The first post described the ongoing work at Harvard, Food and Agriculture Work at Law Schools: Harvard Law, and future posts will highlight UCLA, Stanford, and others.

Today, I posted on the exciting work that one of our alumni is doing at the University of West Virginia College of Law, West Virginia College of Law: Agricultural Initiatives.  I would like to repost some of that information here, along with some special alumni news.

Alison Peck teaches courses related to the question of how the law can guide sustainable development, particularly with relation to global food production and distribution.  Her courses include Agriculture & Rural Land Use, Natural Resources, International Environmental Law, International Trade Law, Property, and a seminar in Sustainable Development.  These courses will eventually be part of the WVU College of Law's new Energy and Sustainability Law Program and Center.

Before Alison joined the West Virginia faculty, she developed and taught an excellent seminar in Sustainable Agriculture in our LL.M. Program.

Working together with West Virginia's Future Farmers of America (FFA), Alison and her colleague, Professor Grace Wigal have established the first annual Agricultural Law Moot Court Competition for West Virginia high schools students. Through the program, FFA students will have an opportunity to practice their advocacy skills with the help of law faculty and students in Alison's Agriculture & Rural Land Use class.  They will argue before state court judges. This year's problem focuses on the prospect of greenhouse gas regulation of agriculture.

Alison is recognized for her scholarship on the issue of agricultural biotechnology. She has published a number of scholarly articles and legal updates relating to international trade in agricultural products, especially agricultural plant biotechnology.  She was a featured guest relating to these issues on Chicago Public Radio's "Worldview," and have commented on these issues for publications such as New York Times/Greenwire and Science magazine.

Alison's current research focuses on a recent trend in contemporary political rhetoric about regulation of food consumer choices to reduce obesity costs.  Opponents to such measure evoke founding principles of U.S. constitutional democracy, the founding fathers, and events such as the Boston Tea party.  The article reviews the history of the non-importation and non-consumption agreements of the pre-Revolutionary era and argues that this movement was motivated by many of the same concerns that animate modern food policy: rising shared social costs resulting from ostensiby "private" consumption choices.

This summer, Alison will teach in WVU College of Law's Brazil Study Abroad program.  She plans to lead students in discussion relating to issues affecting Brazil and the Amazon River, including deforestation, climate change, biodiversity conservation, bioprospecting/biopiracy, benefit sharing, and compulsory licensing of pharmaceuticals.  At Centro Universitario Vila Velha, she will lecture to Brazilian and U.S. law students about the Brazil-U.S. trade wars over cotton and ethanol subsidies.

Alison's upcoming trip to Brazil has a delightful personal twist.  Centro Universitario Vila Velha is the alma mater of another of our alumni, Regina Leal de Oliveira, who was a classmate of Alison's.  The two will reunite in Vittoria, and Alison will also be visiting her and her husband James, an Arkansas native in Sao Paolo before returning to the U.S.

Thanks for keeping us up to date on your work, Alison.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Nationally Recognized Water Law Professor James Corbridge Visits LL.M. Program

We had a special guest lecturing in the LL.M. Program yesterday as part of our Food, Farming, & Sustainability class.  Professor of Law Emeritus and Chancellor Emeritus at the University of Colorado Boulder, James Corbridge, Jr. presented on issues of Water Law and Agricultural Water Use.

Professor Corbridge is a widely recognized scholar in water law and natural resources law, with numerous publications including Vranesh's Colorado Water Law, 2001, 2003, and 2005 Supplements, Univ. of Colorado Press (with T. Rice and S. Corbridge); and, Water Resources Management: A Casebook in Law and Public Policy (Fifth ed.) (with A.d. Tarlock and D. Getches) (2002).

Professor Corbridge serves on the Advisory Board of the Journal of International Law; the Advisory Board of the Denver University Water Law Review; and serves on the Board of Directors of the Natural Resources Law Center at the University of Colorado at Boulder.  In addition, he is a Member of the Board of Directors and Chairman of the Stakeholder Advisory Committee of the Grand Lake Watershed Alliance Foundation.  

Professor Corbridge received his A.B. degree from Brown University and his L.L. B. degree from Yale Law School. He is now retired from full time teaching and lives in Oklahoma where he continues to be active with water law issues.

The LL.M. class had the opportunity to learn basic principles of water law in the context of current and critical water resource issues.  Topics of discussion included conflicts between municipal and agricultural water use, the sale of water rights, unsustainable use of aquifer resources, and conservation efforts.

After class, I had the opportunity to have lunch with Professor Corbridge and discuss our LL.M. curriculum with him.  We hope to add him to our list of distinguished visitors with a full credit Water Law & Agriculture course next year.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

New Journal of Arkansas Foodways

This just in from the University of Arkansas Newswire -  great to hear that our interest in food culture is shared with many others on campus!

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Arkansas Libraries’ special collections department is launching a new journal, titled Arkansauce: The Journal of Arkansas Foodways. John G. and Dora J. Ragsdale of Little Rock, long-time supporters of Special Collections and Arkansas history, are endowing this project. The journal explores food history, customs and traditions in the Natural State. Rex Nelson, veteran journalist and author of Rex Nelson’s Southern Fried blog (“Ruminations on barbeque, politicking, football, frog gigging, trotlining, blues playing, horse racing, boxing, bird hunting, movie watching, crappie eating and other major issues of the day”) is guest editor for the inaugural issue.

Arkansauce is a mix of popular and semi-scholarly articles, heavily illustrated with original documents, drawings and photographs. It focuses on topics such as food history, nutrition, cooking, customs, table manners, chefs, food producers and production, restaurants, cookbooks, recipes, menus for both ordinary and special occasions, the culinary heritage of minority groups, immigrants, and specific geographic regions of Arkansas, as well as food-related poetry, mythology, and literature. Diane Worrell is managing editor, assisted by editorial board members Tom W. Dillard and Timothy G. Nutt.

Dillard, head of the University of Arkansas Libraries’ special collections department, said, “Arkansas offers a fertile field for inquiry into food — its history, traditions, folklore, and its current culinary scene too. I hope Arkansauce will serve to focus that inquiry.”

Contents of the first issue include an essay by Rex Nelson defining Arkansas cuisine; John J. Ragsdale’s description of foods his family ate during the Great Depression; an article by Michael B. Dougan about beans in Arkansas history; and Kane Webb’s discourse on Arkansas barbecue. Additionally, Tom DeBlack describes his favorite Arkansas Delta eateries; Trey Berry writes about the social role of small town mom and pop hamburger joints; Kat Robinson explores the cooking of fried green tomatoes; Louise Terzia discusses blackberry cobbler; and Ray Wittenberg describes his favorite pie shop in DeValls Bluff.

The journal also contains food-related pieces from manuscript collections and cookbooks held by the special collections department, such as a description of the oldest cookbook (1924) in special collections; a menu from a 1948 Hot Springs victory dinner celebrating Sid McMath’s gubernatorial victory; and a recipe for cooking steak by Charles J. Finger, a Fayetteville author and adventurer who died in 1941. The department is expanding its collection of foodways materials by seeking donations of Arkansas menus and other food-related items.

The journal will initially be distributed free of charge and published annually. To request a copy, send an email to To donate materials or obtain further information, call the special collections department at 479-575-5577.