Thursday, September 1, 2016

Acting USDA Deputy Secretary Michael Scuse visits LL.M. Program

Earlier this month, U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the department’s Fall Forum series to highlight the progress made on the top issues facing the future of agriculture and set the stage for the next administration to continue to support a strong future for American agriculture.

On Monday, Acting Deputy Secretary Michael Scuse delivered keynote remarks to kick off the USDA New Farmers and Land Tenure Fall Forum at the School of Law.

The visit included a day of panel discussions, remarks and audience feedback on the next generation of agriculture and land tenure issues. This was the first in the USDA series, which will each be hosted in partnership with leading universities across the country and focus on a range of current agricultural issues.

Three of our LL.M. alumni were selected by USDA to address the forum as panel members.  Janie Hipp, Director of the Indigenous Food & Agriculture Initiative at the School of Law; Allen Olson, practicing attorney and adjunct professor in the LL.M. Program; and Monica Rainge, Director of Land Retention and Advocacy for the Federation of Southern Cooperatives / Land Assistance Fund

We were particularly pleased that Secretary Scuse was able to meet personally with LL.M. Candidates during his visit at a private Q&A session held in our LL.M. Study. 

A number of our Alumni currently serve in positions throughout USDA, and Deputy Secretary Scuse thanked us for our work in preparing attorneys for specialized service in agricultural and food law. We were especially pleased to hear Secretary Scuse recognize the excellent work of two particular alumni that he has worked directly with -  Ben Thomas, now Acting Deputy Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs at USDA and Brandon Willis, Administrator for USDA Risk Management Agency.

Appreciation is expressed to staff at The University of Arkansas School of Law and Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences who partnered to host the USDA New Farmers and Land Tenure Fall Forum.

And, a special shout out to our UA alumna and Arkansas native, Ashlee Nicole Johnson, who serves as Deputy Scuse's Chief of Staff in Washington, D.C.

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