Tuesday, December 1, 2015

LL.M. Candidate Lauren Manning interviewed by Modern Farmer

Modern Farmer recently caught up with LL.M. Candidate Lauren Manning for a Q&A session on what makes Lauren a "modern farmer." An excerpt of that interview is included below. Check out the full interview at modernfarmer.com

It was a layoff that led Lauren Manning to agriculture. The 29-year-old lawyer, who was born and raised in Sacramento, California, had come to a fork in the road. And it was that fork that turned out to be the key. She'd become interested in the legal, political, and social aspects of food and agriculture but believed her path in life had already been set; agriculture would only be a side interest.

But after losing her job at the law firm she made the decision to pursue an LL.M. in Agricultural & Food Law at the University of Arkansas School of Law, where she’s an adjunct professor. She also began writing for AgFunderNews, a website about technology in the agricultural sector, and became an apprentice at Ozark Pasture Beef (OPB). Now, she’s days away from finishing her first semester in the program and very happy with the choices she’s made.

“I can’t say I’m a farmer, but I’m certainly a new student of the trade. I’m like the newborn calf wandering around the pasture experiencing the world for the first time,” she tells Modern Farmer in an email.

As an apprentice at OPB, Manning is getting hands-on training at a grass-fed beef operation. She says she felt that if she was going to “talk the talk” about policy, advise farmers, or make recommendations on ag issues she needed to “walk the walk” first. She went on a farm tour of OPB, met one of the operation’s partners, and was soon working there. “The joke is that I came out to the farm and never left,” she says.


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