Saturday, September 9, 2017

Disasters, Resilience, and the Importance of the Law

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of our friends and alumni who have experienced, and who are now experiencing, the tremendous challenges of the hurricanes and the fires. The Texas cattle ranchers dealing with flooded pastures and lost livestock and the thousands of acres of ranch land and forests burning in the west are examples of the devastation. While the American spirit is resilient, no industry is more vulnerable to natural disaster than agriculture. And, agriculture is the core of our food system.

In the face of these challenges, I am heartened that we have dedicated agricultural and food law alumni throughout the U.S. and the world that are helping to keep our food system stable and strong, sometimes one client at a time. For example, our alumnus, Ben Thomas is Director of Agriculture in Montana. I know that he will do everything humanly possible to assist farmers dealing with fire damage in his state. Alumna Anne Hazlett was recently appointed Assistant to the Secretary of Agriculture for Rural Development. Anne will advocate fiercely for rural America, particularly when challenges are presented. Our alumni in private practice will represent their clients with disaster assistance, insurance claims, debt restructuring, supply chain disruption, food safety concerns and a host of other legal issues that arise from natural disasters. 

These are challenging times, and we are all moved by the tremendous needs that so many experience. Donate to the relief funds, volunteer if you are able, and be grateful for your good fortune if you are not affected. But, in the end, also remember that the work we do in agricultural and food law is the framework that underlies our entire food system. Please donate even a small sum to our campaign and give us a signal that you agree - the work we do is really important.

A very sincere "thank you" to those of you that have donated.

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