Thursday, July 25, 2013

LL.M. Program and Indigenous Initiative in the News

The University of Arkansas School of Law and the LL.M. Program in Ag & Food Law had a great week in the news -

I assisted Rebecca Jeffrey, a reporter for one of the local television stations, as she tried to figure out what was going on with the Farm Bill.  While that's a tough task, she followed my "walk through" of the 2012 extension, the 2013 Senate Bill, and the recently passed House Bill. She decided to focus on the House decision to split off the nutrition programs and the impact of future cuts proposed to the food assistance programs. For the televised segment, she visited the Fayetteville Farmers' Market to talk to farmers and the market manager. She asked me to meet her there for a short interview. You can see the segment at What the Farm Bill Means to You.

I blogged on this issue earlier this week, expressing my personal thoughts on the issue, with posts on the agricultural law professor's blog, Agricultural Law and also on the Rodale Institute Dig Deeper blog.

The Law School's ground-breaking Indigenous Food & Agriculture Initiative received some fantastic shout-outs in the press this week.  Director of the Program (and LL.M. Alumnus) Janie Hipp has been doing a great job, and generating a lot of good publicity.

This month's cover story in the magazine Diversity and the Bar was Return of the Farmer: Native Law Educators Growing Agriculture Policy in Indian Country. The article highlights the history of accomplishments credited to Dean Stacy Leeds and Initiative Director, Janie Hipp, who have done much to address Native American legal issues, particularly in the area of agricultural and rural development. The article highlights the Initiative as filling a "void in legal education" and discusses some of its goals looking forward.

USDA photo courtesy of Bob Nichols
The USDA recognized one of the recent Initiative projects in a blog post this week, Native American FFA Members Discuss the Future of Agriculture with USDA Officials.  Two Native American Future Farmers of America (FFA) members had the opportunity to visit Washington to discuss agricultural policy with officials at the USDA. Pictured to the left is Acting Deputy Secretary Michael Scuse (center) with Native American FFA Students: Hannah Nichols (left), Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana and Jessica Wahnee (Muscogee (Creek) Nation, Okla.) (right).  The Initiative worked with Farm Credit Counsel in sponsoring this trip.

Lots of good news featuring the Law School as well -  Dean Leeds was interviewed by reporters for NW Arkansas Online who produced the video, Profile of Stacy Leeds as a teaser to the full, complementary profile that appeared in Sunday's Democrat Gazette (sorry - no link, subscriber only).

And, our law faculty are in the news commenting on current legal issues and providing expert analysis on a regular basis.  For example, just this week, Professor Laurent Sacharoff published an editorial in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette analyzing the conflicting interpretations of Arkansas' new "open carry" gun law, The Discussion Isn’t Over On Openly Carrying Guns.

Good times at the law school as we prepare to welcome the Class of 2014 to the LL.M. Program. I will be posting about our excellent group of incoming LL.M. Candidates in a couple weeks.  Stay tuned. And, alums out there -  let us know what you are doing so we can spread the word.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Our Blog Tops 100,000 in Page Views

Thanks to all of you who are interested in what's going on in agricultural and food law.  I am pleased to report that we recently topped the 100,000 mark for our page views on this blog. That's inspiring us to keep up the frequency of our posts.  I admit that when it gets busy there are a lot of good potential stories that go by the wayside - but, we'll keep at it!

And, a sincere "thank you" to our alumni who continue to amaze us with their accomplishments, their dedication, and their continued connection to the LL.M. Program. We have a great network of friends and colleagues.  Our best wishes to you all -

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Alumni News-Uche Nwude

We are pleased to report that recent LL.M. Graduate Uche Nwude (LL.M. 2013) has accepted an internship position with the Arkansas World Trade Center, working as an African Trade Development Specialist.

Uche received her Barrister at Law Degree from the Nigerian Law School in Enugu, Nigeria and her LL.B. (Bachelor of Laws) degree, with Honors from the University of Lagos, Nigeria. She received her Diploma in Educational Management from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. Uche came to us with a rich background of professional experience. She has professional certifications from the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators, United Kingdom, the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management Nigeria, and the chartered Institute of Arbitrators Nigeria. She served as an Associate Attorney with Ossai and Co. and with Hill City Associates. She also served as a Court Attache with the Magistrate Court and a Chamber Attache. She is a member of the Nigerian Bar Association. 

Uche reports that her work will focus on identifying appropriate market research and developing research databases of various industries including, but not limited to Agriculture, Manufacturing, and Mining, in support of Arkansas’ business export strategies. In addition, she will assist with development and implementation of ad hoc projects to include trade missions, trade shows, expos, webinars and other trade related activities between the State of Arkansas and potential African countries.

Congratulations Uche!


UA Law Professor to teach part-time at Kyiv Taras Schevchenko National University

Professor Christopher Kelley has been honored by an appointment as a part-time, non-resident Professor at Kyiv Taras Shevchenko National University in Kyiv, Ukraine.  He will assist the Law Faculty's new LL.M. program in Land and Agricultural Law. 

Kyiv Taras Shevchenko National University is one of Ukraine's best universities. Professor Kelley has been teaching Legal Writing in English to students there by distance each semester for the past three years. He has also taught negotiation at Shevchenko, and, this fall, he will take his Transnational Negotiation class to Kyiv to negotiate with Shevchenko law students.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Top 10 Crusaders in the Food Movement recognizes LL.M. Alums

Recently the Huffington Post Business blog posted an article by Michele Simon describing her Top 10 Crusaders in the Food Movement -- Lawyer Edition. Michele is the outspoken public health advocate and attorney who writes the blog, Eat Drink Politics. She is a regular Huffington Post contributor, a frequent speaker on public health issues and our food system, and vocal critic of "big food." Her first book, Appetite for Profit: How the Food Industry Undermines Our Health and How to Fight Back, was published by Nation Books in 2006.

Whether you agree with Michele's critique of our food system or not, there is no question that she is out there shaking things up.  We were pleased to see that she recognized the work of three of our recent LL.M. alums in her "Top Ten Crusaders" list.

The Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic was recognized for its excellent work. "[T]he clinic offers free legal advice to individuals as well as communities seeking to make policy change."  We are proud that LL.M. alumnus Alli Condra is now in her second year as a Clinical Fellow at the Food Law and Policy Clinic.  We are also pleased to report that the Director of the Clinic, Emily Broad Lieb will be presenting to the LL.M. class this Fall -  more later on that new development.

Another LL.M. Alum, Jason Foscolo received recognition for his work at The Food Law Firm -
Jason Foscolo is a food law attorney based in New York, providing "legal counsel for farmers and food entrepreneurs." Jason is on the cutting edge of a burgeoning legal specialty. His blog, co-authored by other up-and-coming food lawyers, is always informative and provocative. @FoodLawAttorney
Recent graduate Lauren Handel has joined the Food Law Firm as Of Counsel.

And, Baylen Linnekin rounded out the list for his work as founder and Executive Director of Keep Food Legal, "[t]he first and only nationwide membership organization devoted to food freedom."

Baylen also serves as an adjunct professor in the Anthropology Department in the College of Arts & Sciences of American University in Washington, D.C.

The diversity of the work of our graduates -  from all of those at USDA, to those assisting agribusiness, to those working as advocates for change -  is always an inspiration.  It is great to realize that we are the common denominator.  Knowledge of agricultural and food law is the basis for whatever path our candidates pursue. We wish them the best and are very proud of their accomplishments.

LL.M. Alumni Publications

I was delighted to see so many LL.M. Alumni authors with articles published this Spring.  I offer the following citations with our congratulations. These are the articles published in the Journals that I subscribe to personally; I am sure that there are others published as well. Alumni can notify me or Sarah whenever an article is published or another professional achievement noted, and we will be happy to post -  we are proud of the work you do.

From the Spring 2013 issue of the Journal of Food Law & Policy:
L. Paul Goeringer & Dr. H.L. Goodwin, An Overview of Arkansas' Right-to-Farm-Law, 9 J. Food L. & Pol'y 1 (2013).

From the Spring 2013 issue of the Drake Journal of Agricultural Law:
Nicole M. Civita, 2012 Developments in Food Law and Policy, Drake J. Agric. L. 39 (2013).
From the LSN Food Law & Policy eJournal, Vol. 1 No. 27, 07/10/2013
Pamela Vesiland, Preempting Humanity: Why National Meat Ass'n v. Harris Answered the Wrong Question, 65 Me. L. Rev. 685 (2013).

Monday, July 8, 2013

LL.M. Participation in Farm to Table Symposium in New Orleans, August 2-4

LL.M. Alumni will be participating in the upcoming Farm to Table International Symposium to be held in New Orleans August 2-4, 2013.  The symposium includes a general conference on a variety of food and agricultural issues, plus a full day of CLE sessions.

LL.M. Alum Baylen Linnekin, Executive Director of Keep Food Legal will speak on the Role of Government in Farm to Table and again on Government:  Policy, Subsidies, Future Role?

Lauren Handel, LL.M. Class of 2013, graduating in August 2013, will be speaking on two panels -- one during the CLE and one during the general conference. Lauren is Of Counsel with The Food Law Firm.

Here's the description from the symposium's website:
The inaugural Farm to Table International Symposium (F2T) features the brightest thought leaders and leading practitioners in the burgeoning farm-to-table movement. F2T explores the cultivation, distribution, and consumption of food and drink sourced locally to globally. Topics include farming and aquaculture, fisheries, sustainability, social and digital interactive media, food security and safety, food law and policy, food science and GMO, artisanal and slow food and drink, and fair trade. 
The Symposium takes place in tandem with the Louisiana Restaurant Association’s Annual Foodservice & Hospitality EXPO, an event featuring related exhibits and attracting food and beverage professionals from throughout the country.
Thanks to Lauren for helping to spread the word about this conference.  A shout out to all our other alumni -  let us know what you are doing, and we are happy to post about your work.