Thursday, November 20, 2014

LL.M. Alumni develop Agricultural & Food Law Program

LLM Alumni Take Lead in Developing New Ag and Food Law Program in Maryland



       
We are pleased to report on the work of our LL.M. alumni in developing the excellent new agricultural and food law programs in Maryland. Since January of 2013, alumni Paul Goeringer has been a partner on the University of Maryland Agriculture Law Education Initiative (ALEI). Paul has taken the lead on developing an Extension outreach program focused on the legal issues important to Maryland agriculture. Paul was recently joined on the Extension side by another LL.M. alum, Ashley Newhall.


ALEI was born out of the aftermath of a lawsuit involving the University of Maryland Carey School of Law and a Maryland poultry farmer. Three state institutions, University of Maryland College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Maryland-Eastern Shore School of Agricultural and Natural Sciences, and the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, joined forces to identify the diverse legal needs of Maryland’s agriculture community. The initiative is working to fill the ag law void in the state of Maryland by publishing publications and research focused on land leasing, agricultural labor, estate planning, and the state’s unique right-to-farm law. ALEI also operates an Infoline where producers can call in, ask questions, and be directed to legal resources or an attorney if necessary.  

Paul brought Ashley on board last summer, and their team focuses on developing outreach tools that help the state’s agricultural community understand an ever-changing set of laws and regulations. “We do a little bit of everything from developing traditional Extension publications, speaking at a host of Extension and ag producer meetings, and running a blog focused developing and current legal issues in agriculture,” said Paul, “we also work on developing programs and materials to aid attorneys working on ag issues.” 

Since its creation, ALEI has helped to spur the formation of an agriculture law section of the Maryland State Bar and hosted the first AALA regional conference. “We had a really great regional conference,” said Ashley, “some of the major issues such as the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act and the TMDL updates, drones flying over agriculture land, and the Farm Bill were all discussed in great detail...I couldn’t be more excited to be working on the initiative here in Maryland helping producers.”

To learn more about ALEI or just see what Ashley and Paul are working on or speaking at, check out the ALEI homepage at www.umaglaw.org. If you are curious about current legal issues impacting Maryland agriculture check out their blog at aglaw.umd.edu.

We wish Ashley and Paul continued success as they continue to work to build this distinctive agricultural and food law program serving the state of Maryland.

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