Saturday, October 29, 2016

LL.M. Visiting Prof Receives Highest Honor at the AALA Annual Conference; Alumni Lead the Association

Congratulations to our dear friend and visiting professor, David Grahn.  Earlier this month, David received the Distinguished Service Award at the American Agricultural Law Association's 2016 Annual Symposium in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

The distinguished service award is given to a member of the AALA that demonstrates “sustained excellence” and a consistent "demonstration of dedication to furthering the development of agricultural law, strengthening the legal profession, increasing the size and influence of AALA, and fulfilling the law-related information needs of lawyers and citizens alike." It is the highest award to be bestowed on a member.

David teaches our Farm Policy & the Federal Budget course, a fast-paced condensed class that explains the impact of the budget on policy decisions.  He will be teaching this course for us next month.

David serves as the Associate General Counsel for International Affairs, Food Assistance, and Farm and Rural Programs in the Office of the General Counsel of the USDA. In 2011, he was awarded the Meritorious Presidential Rank Award for his service to the U.S. Government. He is a prior recipient of the AALA Excellence in Agriculture Award, a frequent presenter at the AALA Annual Educational Symposium and dedicated AALA member He is a Graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School and Carleton College in Minnesota.

LL.M. Alumni continue to play an important role in the leadership of the AALA.  Our Alumna, Beth Crocker is the out-going Past President of the AALA. She is pictured above, giving David his award.

Beth did an outstanding job as President-elect, planning the AALA conference in South Carolina last year and this year, running the AALA organization as its President.  Thank you, Beth.

The incoming President-Elect is another of our alumni, Jennifer Zwaggerman. We are delighted to also congratulate Jennie for her selection for this important role. We are confident that she will provide positive leadership to the association as she plans the next conference and then ascends to the position of President.

Alumnus Jeff Peterson continues to serve on the AALA Board of Directors, as does Beth Crocker who will serve on the Board as Past-President. Alumna Beth Rumley will join them, as she was appointed to serve out the remainder of Jennie Zwaggerman's term on the Board.  Congratulations to Beth Rumley, and our appreciation is extended to Jennie, Jeff, Beth, and Beth for their service.

A number of our alumni presented at the conference:

  • Susan Schneider: 2016 Food Law Update
  • Janie Hipp and Erin Shirl: American Indian Legal Issues in Food & Agriculture;
  • Alli Condra: Recent Changes in Food Law: Regulation, Litigation, and Legislative Update;
  • Alison Peck:  The Science and Law of Genetic Engineering; and, 
  • Andy Frame: Advising Food and Farm Start-ups.

And, our Visiting Professors David Grahn and Neil Hamilton each spoke. David delivered his 2016 Farm Policy Update.  Neil spoke on How Private Conservation and Sustainability Initiatives Impact Farmers.

We were once again proud of the leadership and professionalism shown by our alumni and professors. We are proud to play a significant role in the AALA.

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