Wednesday, March 30, 2016

A New Course in Agricultural Land Tenure

Professor Hamilton returns to teach Agricultural Land Tenure

This week the LL.M. Program was joined by Professor Neil Hamilton who directs the Agricultural Law Center at Drake Law School and serves as the Dwight D. Opperman Chair of Law. Professor Hamilton was on hand to teach an intensive 3 day class in a newly created course in Agricultural Land Tenure.

This new course focuses on the role landownership and land use plays in the American agriculture. The course examined the history of federal land policy in the U.S. such as the Homestead Act and other land grants in forming our land ownership structure and the current reality of land tenure in the U.S., looking at who owns farmland and in what legal structures. Other topics covered included: the financing of farmland acquisition through mortgages and installment land contracts; farm leasing methods and issues of sustainability; family farm succession planning and the potential for intra-family conflicts over land transfers; the role of land ethics in farmland conservation; the role of land tenure in the operation of USDA programs; and issues relating to land access for new farmers. The history of how our land tenure system was created was examined including issues of how original occupants of the land were dispossessed and the resulting problems. This excellent course promises to be counted amongst our most popular classes. Our thanks to Professor Hamilton.

Friday, March 25, 2016

School of the New American Farmstead

Our Affiliated Professor, Nicole Civita serves as the assistant director of the Rian Fried Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems at Sterling College in Vermont.  This summer, Nicole has helped to develop the School of the New American Farmstead, "designed to help students not only deepen their focus on artisan food and organic agriculture, but also turn [their farms] into viable businesses." 

This week, the popular blog, did a very complementary post on the new summer program.
Since it was founded in 1958, Sterling College has been a hub for sustainability education. It has long offered bachelor degree programs in farming and food systems. But the goal is to appeal to students who aren’t looking for a four-year degree. Students can instead take just one class or several, ranging from a summer-long practicum in sustainable agriculture to two-day single subject workshops. Students who finish six or more food-focused courses take home a Value-Added Sustainable Food Certificate. . .
Classes are taught by working farmers and food crafters, including Pete Colman, the founder of Vermont Salumi; master cheesemaker, Ivan Larcher; and sauerkraut guru, Sandor Katz. Former Gourmet editor, Ruth Reichl, and Atlantic food journalist, Corby Kummer are teaching “Food Writing from the Farm” this summer. Harvest preservation, foraging, draft horse farming, and wildcrafting are also on the class list.
Nicole will be joining us this month to speak at the Campus Kitchen's Food Waste and Hunger Summit, April 16-17 at the University of Arkansas.

She also be teaching Food Justice: Law & Policy in the LL.M Program this summer via distance.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Fayetteville named 3rd best place to live in the U.S.

Fayetteville tops the list of "Best Places to Live" in U.S. News & World Report.

The secret is out. What was once a quiet college town hidden away in the hills is now the fastest growing city in the state.

And because growth brings attention, Fayetteville has found itself near the top of several recent lists.

The latest comes from U.S. News & World Report, who named Fayetteville the third best place to live in the entire nation in its inaugural “Best Places to Live” rankings.

“Nestled in the Ozark Mountains, Fayetteville attracts outdoorsy types with its abundance of state parks, acres of community green space, playgrounds, parks and walking trails,” the report says. “The city also boasts a first-class performing arts center, an active local food movement, live music venues and a dynamic festival scene.”

Visit the full story available via the Fayetteville Flyer.