2009-2010 Annual Report
Table of Contents
2009-10 Strategic Plan
Website Additions and Updates
State Law Clearinghouse
Ag & Food Law Blog
National Advisory Board
Collaborations & Partnerships
From the Director
The Center is proud and honored to serve the nation's agricultural community, and the report below shares accomplishments spanning from June 1, 2009 through May 31, 2010.
During the past year, the Center continued to expand its research, information, and outreach activities in numerous ways. We audited and updated existing Reading Rooms and added several new Reading Rooms such as Nutrition Programs, Forestry, Aquaculture, and Agricultural Leases. In partnership with the American Agricultural Law Association, the Center continued to expand The United States Agricultural & Food Law and Policy Blog, which continues to expand its readership.
Another major development that will continue from last year is the eXtension Community of Practice for Agricultural Law. This is a long-term activity area for the Center and one that will strengthen our coordination with the Cooperative Extension Service at the local, state, regional, and national levels in providing research, information, and outreach to the nation's agricultural community. We are proud to report that the Center's application for eXtension Enhancement Funds was awarded, which will allow completion and public launching of the Agricultural Law Community of Practice.
We will continue to work with stakeholders and others throughout the nation to address challenges and opportunities impacting the nation's agricultural community. To help with this, the Center's National Advisory Board will meet twice this year with the first meeting occurring in July of 2010.
Finally, I would like to recognize, thank, and congratulate the Center's staff for their dedication, relentless work ethic, and determination to enhance the Center's mission as the nation's leading source of agricultural and food law research and information. We are grateful for the opportunity to serve the nation's diverse agricultural community and look forward to doing so in new and exciting ways in the years to come.
As always, please feel free to contact us anytime we can be of any assistance.
Harrison M. Pittman
The Center's Mission
The Nationís Leading Source for Agricultural and
Food Law Research and Information
2009 Strategic Plan
The initiatives for 2009 are a refined version of those set forth in the Master Strategic Plan established in 2004 and set to operate through May 31, 2010. The new 5-year grant cycle commenced June 1, 2009 and runs through May 31, 2014. Consequently, the 2009 Strategic Plan was an evolution from the 2008 and pre-2008 Strategic Plans but remained based on the Master Strategic Plan established in 2004.
Each initiative represents a broad component of the Center's national research and information mission and is designed to develop and disseminate a comprehensive body of agricultural and food law research and information.
Initiative One: Develop a diverse and relevant body of agricultural and food law research and information pertinent to various aspects of the nationís agricultural community, including attorneys, producers, policymakers, extension personnel, academics, consumers, and others.
Initiative Two: Develop an efficient and streamlined process by which the website contents are audited and modified on an ongoing basis in order to better implement the Centerís national research and information mission.
Initiative Three: Promote the Center and its website as the leading national resource and provider of agricultural and food law research and information to the nation and the world.
Initiative Four: Build key alliances with government, private industry, university, and other stakeholders to insure that the Center's research and information is easily accessible, relevant, and responsive to emerging issues.
To accomplish the goals mandated by these initiatives, the Center performed a comprehensive and ongoing audit of its extensive and expanding web site resources. In addition, the Center updated and expanded many resources on its web site. The Center also strengthened its commitment to coordinate with the Cooperative Extension Service at the state, regional, national, and international levels. For example, the Center became the national lead institution for the eXtension Community of Practice for Agricultural Law. The Center also developed and enhanced key relationships with members of Congress and their staffs, the agribusiness and legal communities, and agriculture producers and associations. The Center also enhanced its service to the nationís agricultural law community, in part by partnering in key ways with the American Agricultural Law Association, the only national professional organization focusing on the legal needs of the agricultural community, in the development of The United States Agricultural & Food Law and Policy Blog and the administering of the Agricultural Law ListServ for members of the AALA.
Website Additions and Updates
As the nation's leading source for agricultural and food law research and information, the Center serves the nation's vast agricultural community, including attorneys, farmers, academics, consumers, extension personnel, and policymakers, and many others. The Center's website is the primary means by which the Center's mission and the nation's agricultural community are served. The website is a clearinghouse for legal information that spans nearly four dozen agricultural and food law topics both in the United States and around the world. As such, this website incorporates unique components that cannot be found elsewhere and provides an invaluable resource to those needing information on legal issues surrounding food and agriculture.
One of the most important services provided by the National Agricultural Law Center is the construction and maintenance of its Reading Rooms. A Reading Room is a compilation of electronic resources that provides readers with an excellent place to begin researching a particular area of agricultural law. At the beginning of each Reading Room is a general overview to familiarize the reader with the topic, followed by a listing of all major federal statutes affecting the area, links to any federal regulations on point, and a case law index of citations to recent common-law authority. Secondary sources relevant to the room, including Center research publications, Congressional Research Service reports, governmental and non-governmental reference resources, and publications are included in each Reading Room. For example, the Agritourism Reading Room defines the term "agritourism" and briefly outlines some potential legal issues inherent in the topic, lists the relevant state and federal statutes that affect this area of the law, provides a case law index of precedential cases, and supplies links to various publications from the federal government, state governments, interested organizations, and experts in the field.
A total of 46 reading rooms are now housed on the website, with the following rooms being posted during this reporting period:
Over the past year and a half, a concerted effort has been made by Center staff to thoroughly review, revise, enhance, and update all of the extant 46 reading rooms. This activity entailed checking all existing links for viability and timeliness, searching for and adding new links, and reorganization of many of the rooms' resources.
The AgLaw Reporter
Case Law Indexes and Case Summaries - The case law indexes provide comprehensive, though not necessarily exhaustive, subject-based compilations of reported and unreported federal and state court decisions that were decided on or after January 1, 2002. For those cases that have been summarized by the National Agricultural Law Center, links are provided to the summaries. The indexes are also included in their respective reading rooms. A total of 1111 summaries have now been linked to the indexes.
Agricultural Law Update - The Center is honored to have been chosen by the American Agricultural Law Association (AALA), to publish archive issues of its professional newsletter, Agricultural Law Update. The website now contains issues for January 1998 through June 2009.
USDA Judicial Officer Decisions - The Office of the USDA Judicial Officer provides all its decisions to the Center for exclusive publication on the Center's Web site. A link on the JO home page directs visitors to the Center's web site for access to their decisions. There are a total of 290 decisions currently posted on the web site.
Federal Register Digest - The Federal Register is searched daily by a staff attorney for rules and notices that are relevant to and impact on agriculture. Summaries of those rules and notices are published weekly.
The Center's research articles and presentations are a vital part of its mission to conduct objective, timely, and non-partisan research into agricultural and food law issues and to provide that scholarship to the agricultural and food law communities. The articles and presentations are researched and written by Center staff, leading agricultural and food law scholars and qualified practicing attorneys throughout the country and the world.
Aquaculture and the Lacey Act - Research Article (Elizabeth [Springsteen] Rumley)
Farm Transition Planning - PowerPoint Presentation (Elizabeth [Springsteen] Rumley)
Business Organizations Series (Rusty Rumley)
Aquaculture and the Lacey Act - PowerPoint Presentation (Elizabeth [Springsteen] Rumley)
Tennessee Agritourism Factsheet: Liability and Agritourism: Implications of Tennessee's 2009 Legislation, Publication No. PB 1787 (Shannon Mirus), available online at http://www.utextension.utk.edu/publications/pbfiles/PB1787.pdf
Handbook of Laws and Regulations Affecting Arkansas Farm Employers and Employees (John D. Copeland and J. W. Looney) -- Original published in print form June 15, 1993; digitized edition posted 1/13/10)
States' Farm Animal Welfare Statutes (Elizabeth [Springsteen] Rumley)
Right-To-Farm Statutes and Corporate Farming Laws - PowerPoint Presentation (Rusty Rumley)
Confidentiality and Liability Under the National Animal Identification System - PowerPoint Presentation (Elizabeth [Springsteen] Rumley)
The Clean Water Authority Restoration Act: A Primer of Background Material (L. Paul Goeringer and Rusty W. Rumley)
The Farm Bills Page continues to be one of the website's most often visited sections. New resources are added as they become known and available, including addition of 2008 Farm Bill provisions to the Summary and Evolution of the U.S. Farm Bills Commodity Title.
State Law Clearinghouse
State laws, even when the overall issue is the same, vary widely from one state to the next. An ongoing project of the Center is the compilation of all state statutes that exist in specific topics of agricultural law. These compilations range from animal cruelty statutes to laws affecting the recreational use of land to statutory provisions targeted at agritourism operations and provide a brief snapshot of the wide variety of laws enacted across the nation. At the same time, it allows a researcher to obtain targeted, state-specific information on the issue by providing a complete statutory text along with the date of possible expiration. While the individual topics and accompanying maps are located in relevant reading rooms, the Clearinghouse contains all of the statutes that have been compiled to date: Agricultural Liens, Agritourism, Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), Animal Cruelty, Biofuels, Climate Change, Recreational Use, Right-To-Farm, and Farm Animal Welfare.
The Center completed its ongoing project with USDA's Office of the Chief Economist, Office of Energy Policy -New Uses, to digitize all federal and state biofuel and climate change statutes. To the compilations of state statutes in climate change and biofuels previously published have now been added links for each citation to a copy of its statutory language. Providing links for the federal compilations has likewise been completed. These compilations are linked from the State Compilationsbutton on the Center homepage and can also be found under the Major Statutes sections of the Renewable Energy and Climate Change reading rooms.
Agricultural Law Bibliography
Professor Drew L. Kershen's Agricultural Law Bibliography, landmark scholarship to agricultural law practitioners and researchers for decades, is a comprehensive, fully searchable compilation of scholarly articles and books on 48 agricultural and food law topics that has been updated quarterly and now houses nearly 8,000 entries. The Center has embarked upon the ambitious task of digitizing those nearly 8,000 articles. Once digitized, those current and historical publications will be linked from the Bibliography on the Center website. A report on the digitization project follows below.
Numerous new and updated terms were added to Chuck Culver's detailed compilation of agricultural terms, programs, and policies.
The Congressional Research Service is the public policy research arm of the United States Congress and solely serves Congress as a source of nonpartisan, objective analysis and research on all legislative issues. The Center is pleased and honored to be given the opportunity, through the Congress, to periodically receive and publish to its website new and updated reports related to agriculture and food issues.
The Congressional Research Service Reports section of the Center website has been dramatically expanded during this reporting period with the addition of numerous new CRS reports and the creation of two new sections (Forestry and Climate Change) to better represent recent changes in the agricultural industry. There are now a total of 715 agriculture-related reports on our website. Other changes to the CRS section include significant additions to Budget and Appropriations, Energy, and Environmental Issues. For historical purposes, we have added older reports not previously included, especially to the Budget and Appropriations section.
Agricultural Law Bibliography
The Center continues the ambitious task of digitizing the 8,000 entries in Professor Drew Kershen's Agricultural Law Bibliography, a landmark scholarship to agricultural law practitioners and researchers for decades. Most of the entries in the bibliography are articles published in scholarly journals and newsletters.
Digitization is a multi-step process that begins with contacting the publications and asking for permission to republish the listed works. Following journal permission, each author is contacted for permission to republish his/her article(s). To date, the Center has received permission to republish nearly 1,400 articles.
After receiving the proper permissions, each article is scanned from the original publication and linked to the Center's website. By doing so, visitors to the Center's website have access to a database of current and historical agricultural and food law publications. Currently, there are over 2300 articles linked in the bibliography. This project helps further the Center's missions to be the nation's leading source of agricultural and food law research and information. It also operates in conjunction with the USDA National Agricultural Library's mission of "advancing access to global information for agriculture." The Center has a long-standing formal relationship with the National Agricultural Library.
Center Networking Tools
Recognizing the importance of keeping the agricultural and food law communities informed of new research and information, apprising them of important events occurring in the nation and the world, and to foster dialogues between the Center and its readers, three networking tools have been successfully implemented:
While it has only been in existence for a year, United States Agricultural & Food Law and Policy Blog has made great strides in providing its readers and followers with the most up-to-date information, from statutory law to case law, on agricultural and food law and policy.
Since its launching in January 2009, the Blog has been cited by FarmPolicy, Huffington Post, Delta Farm Press and CNN and now hosts over 2500 visitors per month in addition to over 200 RSS subscribers. With over a thousand posts in its first year, the Blog aims to provide its readers with a comprehensive news, research, and information resource for the nation's agricultural and food communities. Although agriculture and food law is the driving theme of the Blog, posts have followed topics and issues from international negotiations on climate change to local and state statutes involving animal welfare. If it affects agriculture and food law and policy, then it is within the scope of the Blog.
The blog is provided as a partnership of the National Agricultural Law Center and the American Agricultural Law Association (AALA). The AALA is the only national professional organization focusing on the legal needs of the agricultural community. Crossing traditional barriers, AALA offers an independent forum for investigation of innovative and workable solutions to complex agricultural law problems.
With the growing importance of social networking, the National Agricultural Law Center launched its own Twitter page @NatAgLaw. Twitter is a social networking site that allows users to send and read updates on a variety of topics and is often used to update readers about news and events. The new Twitter page allows the Center to keep its followers apprised of new additions to the Center's website, blog postings, Center activities, and news items of particular interest to the agricultural and food law community. This social networking has paid dividends for the Center and the Blog by bringing in new users to each of these sites. The page is accessible to the general public, even those without Twitter accounts.
VOLUME 3, NUMBER 4 (June 2010)
Center Bi-Monthly eNewsletter
Critical issues and challenges continue to face the agricultural and food law communities of this nation and the world, and for two decades it has been an integral part of the Center's mission to make researching and understanding those issues and challenges as effortless as possible. The purpose of the Center e-Newsletter is to inform its subscribers of new research and information posted on our website, apprise them of important events occurring within the agricultural and food law communities, keep them informed of agricultural and food law developments in the nation and the world, and to foster a dialogue between our subscribers and the Center on needed areas for research and information.
Each issue begins with a letter of welcome from the Director that outlines research and information areas slated for special attention in the weeks and months to come. Several short articles follow that introduce new material added to the website such as reading rooms, case law indexes, and recent publications, inform the readers of new partnerships and projects in which the Center is a participant, and report on news and issues we feel to be of interest to the community. Fifteen newsletters have now been distributed to our subscribers, and the response has been most gratifying, with the number of subscribers well over the 2,000 mark.
National Advisory Board for the Center
The National Agricultural Law Center's National Advisory Board plays an integral role in developing the short and long-term research and information priorities for the Center. In particular, the Board helps determine how best the Center can serve the nation's diverse agricultural community and how best it can fulfill its mission as the nation's leading source of agricultural and food law research and information. Our special thanks and best wishes to Julie Anna Potts, the fifth member of the advisory board who was compelled to withdraw from participation on the Board when she was selected to serve as Chief Counsel for the U.S. Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry.
Nancy Bryson is the Chair of the Agriculture and Food practice at Holland & Hart, LLP. She served as General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) from 2002-2005 and was subsequently a founder and principal of The Bryson Group, PLLC. As USDA General Counsel, Ms. Bryson was responsible for USDA legal policy and served as the principal legal advisor to Secretaries Veneman and Johanns. She directed department litigation and mediation. Client agencies include: the Food Safety and Inspection Service; the Farm and Foreign Agricultural Service; the Food and Nutrition Service; the Agricultural Marketing Service; the Forest Service; the Natural Resources Conservation; and Rural Development. Prior to joining USDA, Ms. Bryson was an environmental and natural resources partner with the law firm of Crowell & Moring, LLP. In that capacity, she handled litigation, policy initiatives, hydro-electric relicensing proceedings, rulemaking and legislative representations. Ms. Bryson also served in the U.S. Department of Justice as Assistant Chief of the Environmental Defense Section and in the U.S. Department of Labor as Assistant Counsel for Appellate Litigation. Ms. Bryson has received the highest AV rating by Martindale-Hubbell and is listed in Best Lawyers in America for her work in Environmental Law.
Daniel M. Dooley is Vice-President for the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR), a systemwide position he has held since 2008. He also serves as Senior Vice President for External Relations for the UC System. As VP for ANR, Mr. Dooley leads a statewide research and public service organization responsible for activities in agriculture, natural resources, environmental sciences, family and consumer sciences, forestry, human and community development, 4-H/ youth development and related areas. Prior to serving as Vice-President of ANR, Mr. Dooley has had a long relationship with UC and the agricultural community. Throughout his career, he has held leadership positions in local, state and national agricultural organizations, as well as with the University of California. Dooley previously served as chief deputy director of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (1977-80) and member and chair of the California Water Commission (1982-86). He has chaired both the UC President's Advisory Commission on Agriculture and Natural Resources and the UC Agricultural Issues Center's advisory board, as well as serving as UC representative to and Chair of the Council for Agriculture Research, Extension, and Teaching (CARET), a national grassroots organization of the land-grant universities and colleges. From 1993 to 2007 Mr. Dooley was a partner at Dooley, Herr and Peltzer, LLP, a Visalia-based law firm emphasizing agricultural, environmental, business and water rights law.
Peggy Kirk Hall is Senior Research-Policy Associate and Director of the Agricultural and Rural Law Program at the Ohio State University Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Developmental Economics. As director of the Agricultural and Rural Law Program, Ms. Hall provides legal research and outreach on agricultural and rural issues for OSU Extension through newsletters, training and workshops. Her primary areas of focus are civil liability, property law, animal law, land use law and environmental law. Other responsibilities at OSU include teaching the department's Agricultural Law course and serving as Legal Director for the Center for Farmland Policy Innovation.
Michael T. Roberts is Associate General Counsel, Global Regulation and Government Relations, for Roll International Corporation, a private holding company headquartered in Los Angeles that includes leading agri-food companies that are vertically-integrated, global leaders in their respective product lines and employ in excess of 4,000 people worldwide. Mr. Roberts has taught law and lectured in the global agriculture and food sector in a variety of venues. He is a former Research Law Professor at the University of Arkansas School of Law, where he was the Director of the National Agricultural Law Center and taught classes in the J.D. and LL.M. programs. He taught a summer law course on international trade at Cambridge University (UK) and lectured at Georgetown Law Center, University Tennessee College of Law, University of Gent (Belgium), University of Cluj Napoca (Romania) and various conferences in the U.S., China, Europe and Italy. He is a visiting professor at the East China University of Science and Technology Law School in Shanghai, China, where he teaches comparative law, lectures on international food law topics and advises on the development of a new food safety center in the law school. He has been a visiting scholar and consultant for the U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Rome and is the lead instructor of Asia Food Law at Michigan State University. Mr. Roberts has also practiced law in firms, including Venable LLP in Washington DC.
Collaborations and Partnerships
Drake University Agricultural Law Center
In early 2003, pursuant to Congressional directive, the National Agricultural Law Center established a close cooperative relationship with the Agricultural Law Center at Drake University School of Law in Des Moines, Iowa. The blend of the Center's national agricultural and food law focus and Drake's concentration on state and local food policy issues formed a creative environment of sharing that generates many mutual projects designed to reach all members of the agricultural and food law communities.
Southern Risk Management Education Center
The Center, in partnership with the Natural Resource Enterprises Program at Mississippi State University, submitted a grant application to the Southern Risk Management Education Center. The project, Using Alternative Enterprises and Recreational Development to Bolster Farm Income, was successfully funded. The project will provide curriculum and resources to landowners across five southern states via video conferencing, focusing on alternative ways to increase farm income by capitalizing on natural resources. Work on the project will begin in July 2010.
Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies (CAST)
The Center has been working with the Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies (CAST) at the University of Arkansas to develop a legal resource guide for landowners in Arkansas and Louisiana. The purpose of the project is to provide landowners, many of which are farmers or forest land owners, with the legal materials that govern the production of natural gas from western Arkansas and northern Louisiana.
The Center has been working with professors from over fifteen separate universities from around the country to create a minor or certificate in agricultural law at an undergraduate level. The goal of the project is to share resources by providing approved courses from the various member universities through distance education technology to provide a core unit of classes to make up the new minor or certificate.
eXtension Ag Law Community of Practice
The Center was successful in its application to serve as the national leader on Agricultural Law Community of Practice within the eXtension system. eXtension is the latest evolution in the way information from land-grant universities is provided to the public and serves as an interactive learning environment delivering the most researched knowledge from experts throughout the national land-grant system. Rather than grouping professionals based on location, such as county or state, eXtension brings together professionals with similar areas of expertise, such as agricultural law, to provide the best-of-the-best in research and information. The eXtension website serves as a portal to the public, providing information in an online format that can be accessed by anyone in the world at any time. The public is invited to participate in a variety of ways from on-line seminars to submitting a question to the "Ask an Expert" feature.
Arkansas Agritourism Initiative
The Center is part of the Arkansas Agritourism Initiative, a new partnership formed to serve as an advocate for agritourism in Arkansas, promote individual agritourism ventures, and provide viable solutions to obstacles affecting industry growth and development. Legal training sessions and workshops developed by the Center in conjunction with the Initiative operate as a pilot program for legal risk management education around the nation. Participation in the partnership is also laying the foundation for the Center to coordinate with operators and other government entities around the country. The Arkansas Agritourism Initiative is a member of the Southeast Agritourism Association, a regional association of agritourism organizations from Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina and other states in the southeast that collaborate on national agritourism issues. Additional partners of the Arkansas Agritourism Initiative are the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, the University of Arkansas Winthrop Rockefeller Institute, Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, Arkansas Agriculture Department and Arkansas Farm Bureau.
"Agricultural Contracts and the Leasing of Land," 6th Annual Arkansas Women in Agriculture Conference, North Little Rock, AR.
"Farm Transition Planning," 6th Annual Arkansas Women in Agriculture Conference, North Little Rock, AR.
"Aquaculture and the Lacey Act," Arkansas Bait, Ornamental, and Sportfish Industries annual meeting, Lonoke, AR.
"Right to Farm Laws and Corporate Farming Statutes," American Agricultural Law Association Annual Symposium, Williamsburg, VA.
"Legal Liability Concerns of Agritourism Operations," Natural Resources Education Workshop, Mississippi State Extension, Grand Junction, TN.
"Legal Issues in Animal Agriculture: Medication, Identification and Accommodations," Practical Animal Law CLE sponsored by the Humane Society of Pulaski County and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law Student Animal Lewgal Defense Fund, Little Rock, AR.
"Legal Issues in Animal Agriculture: Medication, Identification and Accommodations," 19th Annual Agricultural & Rural Law Institute sponsored by the Agricultural Law Section of the Minnesota State Bar Association, Mankato, MN.
"Legal Issues in Animal Agriculture: Medication, Identification and Accommodations," Kansas and World Agriculture: Current Crises and Future Opportunities Conference at the Kansas School of Law, Lawrence.
"Estate Planning and Farm Succession," Annie's Project Arkansas Workshop, Little Rock, AR.
"Farm Animal Welfare Statutes," Minnesota State Bar Association's Agricultural and Rural Law and Animal Law Sections, St. Paul, MN.
"Recent Updates in Agricultural Law," Annual Iowa Bar Association Meeting, Des Moines, IA.
"Legal Issues with Bioeconomy Development at the Transition to a Bioeconomy," Role of Extension in Energy concerence, sponsored by USDA's Office of Energy Policy and New Uses, Farm Foundation. CSREES, and the University of Arkansas, Little Rock, AR.
"Impacts of Globalization on the Food System and Intersection of Global Legal Systems," U.S. Origin Conference, Fayetteville, AR.
"Agritourism Legislative Update," Value Added Agriculture Conference, Quad Cities, IA.
"Landowner Liability in the Context of Agritourism," Miss-Lou Regional Tourism Conference, Marksville, LA.
"Labor Laws Affecting Agritourism Operators," Tennessee Agritourism Cultivating Farm Revenue Conference, Nashville, TN.
"Agritourism Legislation Update: Tennessee's New Agritourism Liability Law," Tennessee Agritourism Cultivating Farm Revenue Conference, Nashville, TN.
"Issues in Agricultural Law," Mississippi Women in Agriculture Conference, Starkville, MS.
Webinar: "Farm Scale Biodiesel Production: Taxes and Financial Incentives - A Curriculum for Agricultural Producers, in partnership with NCAT, presented on April 8, 2010, available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8s5KJoUseQ
"Legal Issues and Liability Concerns for Farmers' Markets," Mississippi Farmers' Market Manager Workshop, Raymond, MS.
"Landowner LIability and Agritourism: Legal Concerns for Agritourism Operators," 4th Annual John Huffaker Agricultural Law Course, Texas Bar Association, Lubbock, TX.
"An Overview of the National Organic Program," 4th Annual John Huffaker Agricultural Law Course, Texas Bar Association, Lubbock, TX.
Arkansas Annie's Project: Instructors and Presenters:
Annie's Project Retreat, Heifer Ranch, Perryville, AR.
Southwest Research and Experiment Station, Hope, AR.
Conferences and Meetings
30th Annual Agricultural Law Symposium of the American Agricultural Law Association, Williamsburg, VA
Transition to a Bioeconomy: The Role of Extension in Energy, Little Rock, AR
U.S. Origin Conference, Fayetteville, AR
National eXtension Conference, St. Louis, MO
Arkansas Women in Agriculture Conference, North Little Rock, AR
Animal Disease Traceability Public Industry Forum sponsored by USDA APHIS in Kansas City, MO
6th Annual Arkansas Women in Agriculture Conference, Little Rock, AR
National eXtension Conference, St. Louis, MO, representing the Center and the Agricultural Law Community of Practice
The USDA National Agricultural Library - The Center receives its federal grant funding through the National Agricultural Library (NAL), which is one of four national federal libraries and an institution within the USDA Agricultural Research Service. The Center participates in two programs supported by NAL: AgNIC and AGRICOLA.
Cooperative Agreements to Digitize Farm Bills - In 2008, the Center completed digitization of historical farm commodity legislation and legislative history under a cooperative agreement awarded by NAL and the Agricultural Research Service. The legislative history included Congressional reports accompanying the historical farms bills digitized under an earlier 2005 cooperative agreement with NAL. All documents digitized under both agreements are available on the Center's website at the Farm Bills page and receive heavy use. The purpose of both cooperative agreements was to enhance content for the AgNIC Alliance cooperative reference service and, in so doing, add valuable content to the Center website.
Reference Services and AgNIC - Center staff provides reference assistance to Center staff attorneys, agricultural and regular law faculty, and students in the Graduate Program in Agricultural Law and on the editorial board of the Journal of Food Law and Policy. Reference assistance is also available to the public by phone and e-mail. AgNIC (Agriculture Network Information Center at http://www.agnic.org) is an Internet-based cooperative reference service coordinated by the NAL. AgNIC participants, most of which are land-grant universities, develop Web sites and provide reference assistance in their area of specialization. The Center's librarian coordinates Center participation in AgNIC, serves on the AgNIC Coordinating Committee, and does metadata cataloging of Center resources to make them accessible through the AgNIC search engine.
AGRICOLA (AGRICultural OnLine Access) - NAL maintains a database of resources related to agriculture known as AGRICOLA, to which the Center adds cataloging through the National Agricultural Cooperative Cataloging Program. The Center's contribution provides this database with well-rounded coverage of agricultural law materials and facilitates the availability of Center materials through interlibrary loan.
Agricultural and Food Law Library Collection - The Agricultural and Food Law Collection of the Young Law Library contains books, journals, loose-leaf services, and government publications on many aspects of agricultural and food law. Since its inception in 1988, the Center has largely funded the Collection.
The Center librarian served as Chair of the Legislative and Government Relations Committee of the United States Agriculture Information Network, gave presentations at the Mid-America Association of Law Libraries Annual Meeting in November and the AgNIC Coordinating Committee Meeting in April, and updated Federal Legislative History: A Guide to Resources.
The National Agricultural Law Center will continue to serve as the nation's leading source of agricultural and food law research and information. The information set out below is a representation of the Center's upcoming activities.
The Center will continue to regularly update and maintain the substantive content of its comprehensive website, especially the nearly four dozen Reading Rooms. The Center will also work throughout the year to expand the subject areas and other research and information content that will be published on its website.
The Center will continue to strengthen its coordination with the state, regional, and national cooperative extension service community. This will include developing and publishing factsheets and other extension publications and delivering presentations on a number of topics to extension audiences throughout the country. In addition, the coming year will be landmark year for several reasons, not the least of which is that the eXtension Community of Practice will be publicly launched and expanded. The Center will also continue its emphasis on networking with policy makers and the nation's vast agricultural community through speaking engagements, conferences and meetings in an effort to determine the primary issues of concern and developing basic and applied research and information.
Expanding and Enhancing Partnerships
In 2009, the Center will continue to expand and develop its partnerships with individuals, organizations, institutions, and others throughout the nation. The following are among these partnerships:
Drake Agricultural Law Center - The Center enjoys a collaborative partnership with Drake University Agricultural Law Center. This partnership will continue, with joint projects being planned and implemented by the two centers.
Cooperative Extension Service - The Center will continue its efforts to coordinate with the Cooperative Extension Service at the local, state, and national levels. This includes delivering presentations and other outreach activities to extension audiences throughout the nation. In addition, the Center will publicly launch and begin to leverage the newly established eXtension Community of Practice for Agricultural Law. The Center's efforts to coordinate with the Cooperative Extension Service are a long-term component of the Center's mission and strategic development.
University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture - The Center will continue to integrate with multiple components of the Division of Agriculture in order to perform applied, interdisciplinary research and information to the nation's agricultural community. The Division's primary mission is helping producers and processors of food, fiber, and bioenergy access and use appropriate technologies. The Division serves people in all walks of life by helping to ensure the safety and security of our food and fiber system; improving the health and nutrition of citizens; conserving and sustaining natural resources; and expanding horizons for youth, families and communities. The National Agricultural Law Center will work with Division and its many components to advance its mission as the nation's leading source of agricultural and food law research and information.
University of Arkansas Sam M. Walton College of Business, Applied Sustainability Center - Over the past two years, the Center has collaborated with the Applied Sustainability Center at the University of Arkansas, particularly with respect to agriculture and sustainability issues. As this work and subject area evolves, so too will the Centers' ongoing relationship.
Center for Agricultural & Rural Sustainability, University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture - The Center will work with the Center for Agricultural & Rural Sustainability in a number of areas, including collaborative research and developing model policy approaches on areas such as local food procurement and development of measurable outcomes for sustainable agriculture at the specifically focused at the production level.
Women in Agriculture - The Center will work with and support activities of Women in Agriculture at the state, regional, and national levels. This includes continuing efforts with Arkansas's Annie's Project and similar efforts throughout the nation.
Southern Risk Management Education Center - The Center, in partnership with the Natural Resource Enterprises Program at Mississippi State University, submitted a grant application to the Southern Risk Management Education Center. The project, Using Alternative Enterprises and Recreational Development to Bolster Farm Income, was successfully funded. The project will provide curriculum and resources to landowners across five southern states via video conferencing, focusing on alternative ways to increase farm income by capitalizing on natural resources. Work on the project will begin in July 2010.
Ag*Idea Program - The Center will continue its ongoing relationship with professors from over fifteen separate universities from around the country working to create a minor or certificate in agricultural law at an undergraduate level. The project will share resources by providing approved courses from the various member universities through distance education technology to provide a core unit of classes to make up the new minor or certificate.
Planned Additions to the Website
Digitization - The Center will continue its digitization activities by compiling, digitizing, and publishing other state laws covering various topics in agricultural and food law. Among those projects will be the compilation of all the State Bar Associations with Agricultural and/or Food Law sections. The AgLaw Bibliography Digitization Initiative will continue to digitize and link articles as permission is granted by authors and journals.
Reading Rooms Under Construction or Reconstruction - The Crop Insurance Reading Room will be expanded to also cover federal disaster assistance because of their close relationship and the lack of coverage on the subject. Other Reading Rooms will be added throughout the year
Webinar and Distance Education Programs - The Center has many activities planned under this topic, including launching a webinar series on various titles of the 2008 Farm Bill, finalizing a distance education program in agricultural law with online classes to begin in Spring 2011, developing and assembling online classes to create a minor in aricultural law within the state of Arkansas, and developing a program to offer webinars on a regular basis throughout the calendar year.
Upcoming Publications - The Center will publish many new publications throughout the year. The following is a representative list that reflects the diversity in subject area coverage, as well as the type of publication that will be developed to the serve the nation's vast agricultural community.
Center director John D. Copeland, originally published in print form in 1992.