Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Media Alert: State Agencies to Unveil Farmer-Veteran Initiative

MEDIA ALERT                                                                 

June 29, 2015

Primary Contact: Melissa Lambert
Arkansas Agriculture Department

Additional Contact:Sarah Jones
Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs
Director of Public Affairs

State Agencies to Unveil Farmer-Veteran Initiative
~Homegrown by Heroes to highlight service and Arkansas agriculture

WHO:   The Arkansas Agriculture Department and Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs

WHAT: will hold a joint press conference in the capitol rotunda.

WHEN: July 2, at 2:30 p.m.

WHY:   The purpose of the press conference is to announce a Farmer-Veteran initiative called the Arkansas Homegrown by Heroes program. The program is designed to give Veterans in the agricultural industry an additional marketing tool. The goal of the program is to encourage Veterans to pursue careers in agriculture, and to recruit more Veterans to Arkansas.

The program will help brand the value of Veterans to Arkansas’ workforce and economy, while highlighting Governor Asa Hutchinson’s commitment to both agriculture and Veterans.

Governor Hutchinson will provide remarks at the ceremony. Several Arkansas Veterans will be in attendance showcasing their agricultural products and businesses.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Alumni News: Alli Condra

Congratulations to LL.M. Alum Allison Condra, who recently accepted a position with the Portland office of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP. Alli concentrates her practice on legal, regulatory, and policy issues facing the food, beverage, and restaurant industries. Alli recently completed a fellowship at Harvard Law School’s Food Law and Policy Clinic, where she provided legal and policy counsel to nonprofits and government agencies seeking to increase access to healthy foods and assist producers in accessing local and regional markets. In that capacity, she advised on a wide range of issues, including the Food Safety Modernization Act, cottage food laws, agricultural labor laws, local procurement, urban agriculture, mobile food vending, and food policy advocacy. As a Candidate within the LL.M. Program, Alli was awarded the Marler Clark Graduate Assistantship, serving as a contributor to FoodSafetyNews.com. Congratulations Alli!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Introduction to Chapter 12 Agricultural Bankruptcy

It seems that Spring semester 2015 was particularly busy and went by too quickly. Doesn't it always? I am grateful for the wonderful attorneys we attract to the LL.M. Program, and it is bittersweet to send them on their way.  This year's class was a joy to teach, and I wish them all the successful careers that they surely deserve.
In the flurry of the semester, graduation, and writing projects, I neglected to blog about one particularly satisfying opportunity that arose in March and April. Better late than never . . . 
In mid-March, I was contacted by California attorney, George Hollister, a board member of the Sacramento Valley Bankruptcy Forum, a nonprofit organization in Sacramento, California.  Given the financial pressures facing California farmers, they wanted to include an introduction to Chapter 12 bankruptcy in their upcoming Continuing Legal Education seminar.  Mr. Hollister told me that he had assembled a small panel of speakers, but that they were searching for a suitable outline that summarized Chapter 12 effectively.  He had come across an old article of mine and wished to reprint it. I recalled the article, and I knew it was out of date.  But, what a perfect opportunity to update it.  I offered to do so.

I have always believed that too few attorneys knew the power within Chapter 12 bankruptcy for farmers - as a negotiation tool as well as a reorganization strategy.  With high crop prices and a strong national farm economy, Chapter 12 is sometimes forgotten as an important farm financial tool. But, farm finances are cyclical, and the pressures of climate change and drought are likely to raise bankruptcy's profile once again.  It's important for attorneys to be prepared. So, I viewed this request as an opportunity to update an article that could, once again, be important to a farmer and his or her attorney when confronting farm financial distress.

On April 24, the program was held in Judge Robert Bardwil’s courtroom in the Sacramento Federal Courthouse.  Mr. Hollister reported back to me that it was very well attended and presented, and all expressed appreciation for the materials provided.

I distributed the new article to my Agricultural Business Issues class when I presented on Agricultural Bankruptcy. And, the article has now been published in Arkansas Law Notes, our faculty online publication in service to the bar.

For anyone who is interested in this topic, here is a link to the Arkansas Law Notes publication - Please feel free to pass the word.

Friday, June 5, 2015

LL.M. Alumni: UCLA Resnick Program for Food Law & Policy

Resnick Program for Food Law & Policy
This week, the UCLA Resnick Program for Food Law & Policy released its Winter/Spring Program newsletter.  We are always pleased to see updates from the exciting work that the Resnick Program is doing, as the Executive Director is our alumnus, Michael Roberts.

This newsletter issue also featured  another alumna -  Lauren Bernadett.  Lauren is a UCLA Law graduate, and she is featured in the newsletter's Alumni Spotlight.  She credits Professor Roberts with introducing her to food law & policy and encouraging her to come to our Program to earn her LL.M. in Agricultural and Food law.  After graduating, Lauren returned to California for a fellowship with California Sea Grant, where she focused on California Environmental Quality Act issues, sea level rise policy, and aquaculture.

While a fellow, Lauren proposed, received funding for, and began to develop plans for a symposium on aquaculture law and regulation in California. She notes that "[i]t was an honor to return to UCLA . . . . to host the California Aquaculture Law Symposium, which I planned with the co-sponsorship of the Resnick Program for Food Law and Policy, the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, California Sea Grant, and the National Sea Grant Law Center.  The symposium was held on March 13, and was it was a great success.  It is also featured in the newsletter.

Lauren now works as an attorney with Somach Simmons & Dunn, a Sacramento-based law firm that does environmental and agricultural law work with a focus on water law.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Community Design Center's 'Food City Scenario' Wins Two National Awards

Community Design Center's 'Food City Scenario' Wins Two National Awards

This waste-to-energy facility is part of the award winning Fayetteville 2030: Food City Scenario
By U of A Community Design Center
This waste-to-energy facility is part of the award winning Fayetteville 2030: Food City Scenario
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Arkansas Community Design Center received two new awards for a project that seeks to build food sustainability by promoting local urban agriculture.

The project, Fayetteville 2030: Food City Scenario, won a 2015 Great Places Award in the Planning Category from the Environmental Design Research Association.

It also received a 2015 Green Good Design Award from The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies, and The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design.
The Community Design Center led an interdisciplinary team at the University of Arkansas for Food City Scenario, which speculates on what Fayetteville might look like if the city’s growth integrated local urban food production sustainable enough to create self-sufficiency. Fayetteville’s population of 75,000 is expected to double over the next 20 years. In addition, although the region is the most prosperous in the state, it also has one of the state’s highest child hunger rates.

Food City Scenario is an urban agricultural project that aims to weave agricultural urbanism back into the city environment, with the prospect of helping Fayetteville achieve greater food security and resiliency, said Steve Luoni, director of the Community Design Center and a Distinguished Professor.

Read the full article posted on the UA Newswire.