Monday, August 29, 2016

LL.M. Welcome Party at Amy White's

We enjoyed a great welcome party for our incoming LL.M. class, hosted at the home of Amy White. Amy is one of our alumni, graduating from the Program in 1999. She now works as Food Safety and Health Manager for Labeling Compliance at Walmart and is active in the Fayetteville community.

The party included members of our incoming class - both our face-to-face students and distance candidates  that were able to be in Fayetteville with us - LL.M alumni on hand to welcome the new students, friends and family, and law school faculty. It was a lovely evening for all.

We thank Amy for her gracious hospitality and thank Dean Stacy Leeds and the University of Arkansas School of Law for sponsoring the event. A special shout out to Michele Payne who handled all of the catering and helped to host.

As a special note, we were pleased to initiate Amy's newly  renovated "she-shed" as a cocktail lounge.  Thanks to all for a great start to the year!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Our Year Begins:

Earlier this week, we introduced our new candidates to the LL.M. Program in Agricultural & Food Law.  We began with a short orientation session where we discussed our course of study, LL.M. Program degree requirements, and our approach to creating an innovative learning environment that nurtures and encourages our candidates to succeed.

Professor Neil Hamilton
After orientation, we were delighted to once again welcome Professor Neil Hamilton back to Arkansas to teach our first Fall semester course - one of our favorite traditions in the LL.M. Program. An Introduction to the Law of Food & Agriculture provides a thought-provoking overview of many of the issues that we will be exploring throughout the year.

Professor Hamilton serves as the Dwight D. Opperman Chair of Law and Professor of Law at Drake University Law School and as the Director of the Drake Agricultural Law Center. His 30-plus years of leadership in agricultural law in the U.S. and abroad allow him to bring unique perspectives to his teaching. We are always delighted to have him with us.

As usual, the class took a field trip to the Fayetteville Farmer's Market, and once again had an opportunity to meet and talk with Market Vendor Manager, Teresa Mauer.  Teresa took time out of her very busy morning to provide information to our class and to answer questions.  She was very helpful, and it put our studies into good context. A shout out "thank you" to Teresa!

Special thanks to our own Perry Brown for sharing some lovely shots from the market. And of course, our thanks to Professor Hamilton.

Professor Hamilton enjoying an evening out in Fayetteville

Monday, August 22, 2016

Welcome New LL.M. Candidates

Dean Stacy Leeds and LL.M. Director Susan Schneider
We are delighted to once again welcome an accomplished group of attorney's to the LL.M. Program.

Dean Stacy Leeds joined us during our orientation program this week, and in her welcome message, Dean Leeds emphasized the longstanding role that the LL.M. Program has played in preparing future leaders in agricultural and food law, and its current role as a pioneer of legal distance education.

Included in our LL.M class are 18 candidates composed of new and returning students, enrolled full and part time, participating both by distance and face-to-face in Fayetteville. They are a fantastic group, and we are delighted to have them with us.  Their enthusiasm for agricultural and food law studies is inspiring.

LL.M. Candidates
Our 6 new face-to-face LL.M. candidates come from Arkansas, Iowa, Texas and Saudi Arabia. Our 12 distance candidates join us from Arkansas, Alabama, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Washington. Ten are experienced attorneys, and two are recent graduates.

In addition to our degree candidates, we have two practicing attorney's and one law student from another law school enrolled in our regular semester classes for transfer credit, and we have ten University of Arkansas JD Candidates taking classes as well.

Our degree candidates include:

Face to Face Candidates

Saad Alotaibi (Saudi Arabia)
LL.B. Majmaah University

Kaelin Bowling (Fayetteville, AR)
J.D., University of Arkansas School of Law

Dinah Brothers (Paducah, TX)
J.D., University of Tulsa

Jessica Fritts (Huntsville, AR)
J.D., University of Arkansas School of Law

Jacob Kerksieck (Fayetteville, AR)
J.D., University of Arkansas School of Law

Kelly Nuckolls (Des Moines, IA)
J.D., Drake Law School

Newly Admitted Distance Candidates

Catherine Baker (Fayetteville, AR)
J.D., University of Arkansas School of Law

Brenda Hall-Busch (Philadelphia, PA)
J.D, New York Law School
Contract Counsel

Kelsey Unruh Davis (Tuscaloosa, AL)
J.D., University of Alabama School of Law
Judicial Clerk

Katherine Zewas Graham (Minneapolis, MN)
J.D., William Mitchell College of Law
Associate Attorney, Maser, Amundson, Boggio & Hendricks, PA

Alexia Kulwiec (Madison, WI)
J.D., Chicago Kent College of Law
Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin Extension

Brandy McAllister (Little Rock, AR)
J.D., UALR Bowen Law
Risk Management Services Counsel, Association of Arkansas Counties
Attorney, Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund

Toni Stanger-McLaughlin (Spokane, WA)
J.D., University of North Dakota School of Law
Director of Business & Infrastructure Development, Sovereign Development Corporation
Tribal Policy & Land Use Consultant, Indigenous Food & Agriculture Initiative

Returning Distance Candidates

Michael Hoffman (Aspen, Colorado)
J.D., University of Denver
Attorney, E. Michael Hoffman P.C.

Brian Mathison (West Point, NY)
J.D., Maurer School of Law, Indiana University – Bloomington
Instructor, United States Military Academy, West Point

Dave Nezzie (Albuquerque, New Mexico)
J.D., The University of New Mexico

Edward Peterson (Warner Robins, Georgia)
J.D., Capitol University Law School
Solo Practitioner, Warner Robins, GA

Monday, August 8, 2016

New Food Recovery Publication: Leftovers for Livestock: A Legal Guide

In the United States, approximately 63 million tons of food is wasted every year. The natural resources used to produce that food, including water, fertilizer, and land, are also lost as a consequence of this alarming amount of waste.

This wasted food typically ends up in landfills where, as it breaks down, it leads to significant emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas with 56 times the atmospheric warming power of carbon dioxide.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in its Food Recovery Hierarchy, prioritizes recovery opportunities for reducing food waste. According to the hierarchy, wholesome, edible food should be kept in the human food supply if possible. When that is not possible, it may be used as a sustainable feed or feed supplement for animals. Given the significant environmental impact of food in landfills, many businesses, nonprofit organizations, and policymakers have seen a renewed interest in the use of food scraps as animal feed.

A new publication from the University of Arkansas School of Law Food Recovery Project and the Harvard Food Law & Policy Clinic is now available to assist: 


Leftovers for Livestock: A Legal Guide for Using Excess Food as Animal Feed

In “Leftovers for Livestock: A Legal Guide for Using Excess Food as Animal Feed,” the University of Arkansas Food Recovery Project and Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic provide the first-ever catalogue of the different state regulations and requirements for feeding food scraps to animals. Leftovers for Livestock serves as an important resource for businesses with food scraps that could go to animals, livestock farmers, and other interested stakeholders.

Leftovers for Livestock also describes the federal and state laws and regulations regarding the practice of feeding food scraps to animals, and offers useful suggestions for both generators of food scraps and animal feeding operations. The federal government creates a floor, or base level of regulations for the feeding of food scraps to animals; however, states can apply more strict regulations than the federal baseline.  Indeed, forty-eight states plus Puerto Rico more tightly regulate the feeding of food scraps to animals; some even have outright bans on the use of certain types of food scraps as animal feed.For example, under federal law food scraps can generally be fed to swine, so long as any food scraps containing meat or animal products are heat-treated (heated at a boiling temperature of 212 degrees Fahrenheit/100 degrees Celsius). However, fifteen states ban the feeding of swine with food scraps that contain any animal parts or material, and nine of these states even ban the feeding of any vegetable waste to swine. States also have different license and heat-treatment requirements, with twelve states going above the federal rules and requiring heat-treating of vegetable-based food scraps before they are fed to swine.

The patchwork of state and federal law can appear daunting to those hoping to feed food scraps to animals. Leftovers for Livestock will help both businesses with food scraps to donate or sell, and livestock farms hoping to feed their animals more sustainably, to navigate this complex framework by providing a guide to both federal laws and the detailed regulations in every state.

Using food scraps for animal feed can help reduce the amount of food scraps being sent to landfills while also helping businesses save money on garbage disposal costs, helping farmers save money on feed costs, and decreasing the amount of land and natural resources used to grow the grains, soy and corn currently used for animal feed. This is a win for humans, animals, and the planet.

The LL.M. Program is proud of those associated with our Program for their work researching the law and drafting this excellent new publication along with our partners at Harvard:

Nicole Civita, Affiliated Faculty and Director of the Food Recovery Project
Christina Rice, LL.M. anticipated (2016)
Tiffany Alvoid, LL.M. anticipated (2016)

Visit the Food Recovery Project website for links to other resources on food recovery and the law, including the widely cited Food Recovery: A Legal Guide.