Thursday, June 29, 2017

Alumni News: Jennie Zwaggerman Publication

I was delighted to discover the following thought-provoking article written by our alumna, Jennie ZwaggermanAgriculture, Intellectual Property, and Feeding the World in the 21st Century is an essay is based on the remarks that Jennie provided for the Morning Keynote Address at the 2016 Texas A&M Law Review Fall Symposium.

Jennie serves as the Director of the Career Development Center and Associate Director of the Agricultural Law Center at Drake University Law School. She also teaches a variety of food and agricultural law classes at the law school and serves as the President-Elect of the American Agricultural Law Association.  The abstract and citation to the article are embedded below.

Agriculture, Intellectual Property, and Feeding the World in the 21st Century
4 Tex. A&M L. Rev. 315 (2017)
Food. Agriculture. Technology. There is no doubt that when it comes to these areas of law, regulation, policy, and practice, there is much that binds them, and yet they are also very divisive. A quick scan of almost any major and reputable news source will provide articles on a daily basis that pertain to not just one, but often all three of these topics. They are independent industries — science, agricultural production, and food manufacturing, but the truth is that in today’s world, they intersect more than ever. Consumer understanding of each of these industries is far from complete, and that can lead to many issues when it comes to the adoption of technology, agricultural production, and consumer food choices. When you incorporate government regulation, international relations, and infrastructure challenges, it becomes clear that technology alone will not feed the world. Feeding the world requires looking at issues beyond production and manufacturing, and into the challenges and issues that limit access to food and inputs. This article provides the author’s perspective on a more holistic overview of the issues involving agriculture and technology that can both impede and support attempts to successfully feed the world. We cannot simply rely on technology to reach our goal of feeding the world.
Congratulations, Jennie. We are always proud of your work.

Susan Schneider
William H. Enfield Professor of Law
Director, LL.M. Program in Agricultural & Food Law

Friday, June 23, 2017

Alumni News: Blake Rollins named Director of the Office of External and Intergovernmental Affairs, USDA

Alumni Update: Blake Rollins names Director of the Office of External and Intergovernmental Affairs, USDA

Blake was recently appointed by USDA Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to serve as Director of the Office of External and Intergovernmental Affairs. In this new position, Blake is the Department's liaison to state and local officials, including Governors and State Agriculture Commissioners, and external stakeholders.

Prior to this position, Blake served as Legislative Assistant/Counsel to Senator John Boozman, advising the senator on agriculture and tax policies and as Counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.

Congratulations Blake!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Alumni News: Secretary Perdue Names Anne Hazlett to Lead Rural Development at USDA

Secretary Perdue Names Anne Hazlett to Lead Rural Development at USDA

We are pleased to share news that LL.M. Alumna Anne Hazlett (2001) has been named Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development at USDA. The press release announcing her position is included below. Congratulations Anne!

LL.M. Alumna Anne Hazlett
(Washington, DC, June 12, 2017) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has named Anne Hazlett, Chief Counsel to the Majority on the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, to lead the Rural Development agencies at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).  Hazlett, whose title will be Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development, will oversee the Rural Utilities Service, the Rural Business Service, and the Rural Housing Service within USDA and report directly to the secretary.  The announcement is in keeping with a realignment of USDA announced by Perdue in May and represents an elevation of Rural Development, which had previously been in the portfolio of an undersecretary, who in turn reported to the deputy secretary of agriculture.
“With this addition to USDA Rural Development, rural America will have a seat at the main table and have walk-in privileges with the secretary on day one,” Perdue said.  “With her background of advising the Senate committee overseeing agricultural and rural development issues, Anne Hazlett comes with a depth of knowledge and experience perfectly suited to her role in helping to restore prosperity to rural America.  We are excited to have her aboard.”
“Small towns and the people who call them home have been my life’s passion,” Hazlett said.  “It is with great enthusiasm and a deep commitment to rural America that I am eager to get to work at USDA and be a partner in crafting solutions to the significant challenges these communities face from economic opportunity to infrastructure, quality housing, and addiction.”
An Indiana native, Hazlett has worked on agriculture and rural issues for over fifteen years.  Working in both the U.S. House and Senate, Hazlett has most recently served as Republican Chief Counsel for the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry where she was an advisor on many issues impacting rural America from Farm Bill programs to broadband and child nutrition.  In addition to her public service in Washington, Hazlett was the Director of Agriculture for her home state where she managed the Indiana State Department of Agriculture and was an advisor to Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels on agriculture and rural issues.  Further, she served as Chief of Staff to Indiana Lt. Governor Becky Skillman where she assisted in the creation of the state’s first Office of Community and Rural Affairs, an agency devoted to providing financial and technical assistance to rural communities, and supervised management of the state’s housing finance, energy, and tourism agencies.  Outside of public service, Hazlett was in private law practice where she advised clients on agriculture and environmental regulatory matters.
Hazlett is a graduate of Kansas State University, graduating Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural communications.  In addition, she holds a law degree from Indiana University and a masters degree in agricultural law from the University of Arkansas.
The increased emphasis on Rural Development at USDA is in recognition of the economic difficulties facing rural communities, which have lagged behind other parts of the country in prosperity.  Fighting poverty wherever it exists is a challenge facing this country, as nearly 85 percent of America's persistently impoverished counties are in rural areas.  Rural childhood poverty rates are at their highest point since 1986, affecting one in four rural children, with deep poverty among children being more prevalent in rural areas (12.2 percent) than in urban areas (9.2 percent).
It is important to note that the systems, functions, and internal structure of the Rural Development agencies will not be changing.  Removing the additional bureaucratic layer of an undersecretary will allow Hazlett as Assistant to the Secretary to obtain “go” or “no go” decisions directly from Perdue without having to have ideas or suggestions passed through channels in the office.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Alumni News: Kael Bowling joins Friday Eldredge & Clark LLP

Alumni Update: Kaelin Bowling

Congratulations to LL.M. Candidate Kael Bowling who joins Friday, Eldredge, & Clark as an associate in the firm’s Commercial Litigation and Regulation Practice Group. Kael's experience and background are highlighted on the firms website.

Kael completed his LL.M coursework in May of 2017. As a Candidate in the program, Kael served as a Graduate Assistant, teaching courses in Legal Research & Writing as part of the JD curriculum. He was also selected to participate as a Walmart Food Safety & Health extern during the fall semester serving under Senior Manager of Food Labeling, Amy White, also an alumna of the program as noted in an earlier blog post.

Congratulations Kael!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Professor Kelley teaches at Sytkyvkar State University in Syktyvkar in Russia's Komi Republic

Professor Christopher Kelley taught a two-day negotiation skills course on May 29 and 30, 2017, at Sytkyvkar State University in Syktyvkar in Russia's Komi Republic.  His students were fourth- and fifth-year language students, variously studying English, German, and French.

Professor Kelley was hosted at Sytkyvkar State University by Professor Yury Dubro.  Professor Dubro was at the University of Arkansas in the fall 2016 semester on Fulbright faculty development grant.

Professor Kelley's negotiation skills course is designed to introduce its participants to basic negotiation principles, including pre-negotiation planning using the concepts of best alternative to a negotiated agreement (BATNA), reservation point (RP), and zone of possible agreement (ZOPA).  During most of the course, however, the participants negotiate hypothetical negotiation exercises, thus giving the course a "learning by doing" quality. 
Professor Kelley has taught negotiations variously at universities, law firms, and NGOs in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Lithuania, and Kazakhstan.  He also has taught Transnational Negotiation and Interviewing, Counseling, and Negotiation at the University of Arkansas School of Law.