Sunday, June 15, 2014

LL.M. Professor Explains Farm Bill Provisions

Since the 2014 Farm Bill passed last winter, our visiting professor, Allen Olson has been very busy. When Allen is not teaching his condensed course in Federal Farm Programs and Crop Insurance for the LL.M. Program, he has an active full time regional agricultural law practice based in Georgia.  His farm clients as well as farm suppliers and lenders have all been looking to him to help figure out how the complex new provisions in the farm bill will apply to their operations.

Allen has delivered about 30 presentations to various groups and was recently interviewed by Chris Adams with the McClatchy News Service's Washington Bureau. The article focused on the peanut program -  a program that has received little attention in the media, but that is very important in several southern states.  It's also important to consumers.  The article was widely circulated to McClatchy news subscribers and emphasizes how complex the farm programs and farm policy can be.

Allen enjoying an outing w/students after class 
We are fortunate to have Allen as one of our visiting professors and look forward to his class next October 2014.

Here's an excerpt from the article, Peanut growers worry about unintended impact of farm bill, as printed in the Miami Herald.
In the heart of the nation’s peanut zone, farmers are putting substantially more runners into the ground than they did last year. And in the eyes of some industry experts, that boom might spell doom. 
“Runner peanuts” are used to make peanut butter _ not the bigger nuts you’ll find at the ballpark – and they’re the most prevalent of the types of peanuts grown in the United States. Overall peanut acreage is expected to be up substantially this year, around 30 percent more than last year throughout the nation’s 10 peanut-growing states. 
“I gave a speech to the Georgia Bankers Association a few weeks ago in which I described the possible problem as the ‘peanut apocalypse,’ ” said Allen Olson, a lawyer who specializes in farm issues in southern Georgia. 
His concern is that incentives in the recently enacted farm bill – the massive piece of legislation passed by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama amid much fanfare in February – could lead to over-planting and depressed prices, and ultimately might lead to farmers not receiving the benefits they expected.
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