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Introduction to Agricultural Law

As a lawyer focusing on agriculture law, you will engage in one of the most diverse areas of law, addressing: crop and livestock production issues, food safety concerns, land use, resource management challenges, and sustainability and environmental protection. The practice focuses on traditional areas like property law, water law, and oil and gas, but also encompasses administrative law, intellectual property, food law, clean energy law, and environmental law.

Here are a few examples of the type of work you might expect as a lawyer practicing agriculture law:
  • Work with farmers and ranchers, environmental groups, and regulatory agencies to manage water pollution and endangered species concerns, as well as manage liability resulting from land ownership and livestock operations.
  • Assist corporations, farmers, and other entities to address issues concerning genetically modified crops and seeds, including matters pertaining to patents.
  • Aid the private sector and governmental agencies in matters of data ownership and privacy issues related to customers, employees, and drones.
  • Engage with regulatory agencies to ensure compliance with existing agriculture or food safety standards, or work to develop new ones.

Core Courses

To achieve an adequate foundation in key areas of agriculture law, you should at a minimum take these courses and develop a thorough understanding of the subject matter as it relates to agriculture.
  • Agriculture Law
  • Texas Real Property or Land Use Law
  • Water Law

Recommended Courses

The Ag and Life Sciences industry may be one of the most diverse in the United States economy. Its fast-emerging legal controversies are often the subject of national press coverage.
  • Energy Law
  • Climate Change Law
  • Energy Law Seminar
  • Environmental Law
  • International Water Law
  • Land Use Law
  • Law and Science Seminar
  • Natural Resources Law and Policy
  • Business Associations
  • Wills and Estates
  • LARW III: Contract Drafting
  • Intellectual Property Overview
  • Oil and Gas
  • Secured Transactions
  • LARW III: Real Estate Drafting

Related Courses

You may also consider taking one or more of the following courses to enhance your professional skills.
  • Administrative Law
  • ADR Survey: Negotiation, Mediation & Arbitration

Agriculture Law Articles

  • All Environmental and Natural Resources Law Articles
    Articles are written by attorneys and experts worldwide discussing legal aspects related to Environmental and Natural Resources including agricultural law, animal law, energy, environmental law, equine law, forestry and fisheries, natural resources, oil, and gas.

Agriculture Law - US

  • ABA - Environment, Energy, and Resources Section
    The Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources is the premier forum for lawyers working in areas related to environmental law, natural resources law, and energy law. The Section is committed to providing members with opportunities to enhance professional skills, stay on top of current developments, and dialogue in these substantive areas. Section membership will add to your professional skillset and broaden your knowledge.
  • Agriculture Law - Title 7 - US Code
    Agriculture includes soil preparation, seed planting, crop harvesting, gardening, horticulture, viticulture, apiculture (bee-raising), dairying, poultry, and ranching. Generally, laws grouped under the heading "agricultural law" relate to the production of the fruits of these activities as they are carried out in a commercial setting.
  • Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act
    The Federal Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act provides protection for migrant and seasonal agricultural workers
  • Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry
    Agriculture is at the heart of so many issues that impact our lives each day - from producing food and fiber and the fuel that supplies our vehicles to the conservation of our natural resources and the economic growth and jobs in rural areas. The responsibilities and goals of the Senate Agriculture Committee are as diverse as the needs of American agriculture. The policies developed by this committee will support efforts to move our country forward, help rural communities grow and succeed and help boost the rural economy to preserve opportunities for the next generation for states like Iowa.
  • Slum Clearance, Urban Renewal, and Farm Housing - Chapter 8A
    This chapter provides for financial assistance to farmers and others for the construction or improvement of farm housing and other agriculturally related purposes.
  • US Department of Agriculture (USDA)
    The United States Department of Agriculture (informally the Agriculture Department or USDA) is the United States federal executive department responsible for developing and executing U.S. federal government policy on farming, agriculture, and food. It aims to meet the needs of farmers and ranchers, promote agricultural trade and production, work to assure food safety, protect natural resources, foster rural communities and end hunger in the United States and abroad.

Agriculture Law - Europe

  • EU Agricultural Law - Simplifying the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)
    The 2009 Communication highlights the activities that have been carried out since 2005, and provides indications of the resulting reduction in administrative burden for farmers and administrations. Special attention is given to the activities carried out in the context of the rolling Simplification Action Plan as well as the single CMO, the 2007 study on administrative burden for farms and the results of the Health Check process. To conclude, communication explores paths to further simplification of actions in the future.
  • The European Council for Agricultural Law (CEDR)
    Welcome to the European Council for Agricultural Law, more usually known as the "CEDR" from its French name "Comité Européen de Droit Rural". The CEDR is the only pan-European organization which represents lawyers interested in agricultural and rural law, in all its aspects.

Agriculture Law - International

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC)
    Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) provides information, research and technology, and policies and programs to achieve security of the food system, health of the environment and innovation for growth. AAFC, along with its portfolio partners, reports to Parliament and Canadians through the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board.
  • Association for International Agriculture and Rural Development (AIARD)
    The Association for International Agriculture and Rural Development (AIARD) is an association of professionals and practitioners in international development with experience and intellectual and institutional capabilities to articulate and address broad-based as well as more focused development issues in agriculture and rural development.
  • Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR)
    The CGIAR mission is to achieve sustainable food security and reduce poverty in developing countries through scientific research and research-related activities in the fields of agriculture, forestry, fisheries, policy, and environment. Its vision is to reduce poverty and hunger, improve human health and nutrition, and enhance ecosystem resilience through high-quality international agricultural research, partnership and leadership.
  • International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
    IFAD is dedicated to eradicating rural poverty in developing countries. Seventy-five per cent of the world's poorest people - 1.05 billion women, children, and men - live in rural areas and depend on agriculture and related activities for their livelihoods.
  • United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization
    The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations leads international efforts to defeat hunger. Serving both developed and developing countries, FAO acts as a neutral forum where all nations meet as equals to negotiate agreements and debate policy. FAO is also a source of knowledge and information. We help developing countries and countries in transition modernize and improve agriculture, forestry and fisheries practices and ensure good nutrition for all. Since our founding in 1945, we have focused special attention on developing rural areas, home to 70 percent of the world's poor and hungry people.

Agriculture Law Organizations

  • American Agricultural Law Association (AALA)
    The American Agricultural Law Association (AALA) is the only national professional organization focusing on the legal needs of the agricultural community. Crossing traditional barriers, it offers an independent forum for investigation of innovative and workable solutions to complex agricultural law problems. This role has taken on greater importance in the midst of the current international and environmental issues reshaping agriculture and the impending technological advances which promise equally dramatic changes.
  • Farm Service Agency (FSA)
    Farm Service Agency is equitably serving all farmers, ranchers, and agricultural partners through the delivery of effective, efficient agricultural programs for all Americans.
  • Farmers' Legal Action Group, Inc. (FLAG)
    Farmers' Legal Action Group, Inc. (FLAG) is a nonprofit law center dedicated to providing legal services to family farmers and their rural communities in order to help keep family farmers on the land.
  • Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
    The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy works locally and globally at the intersection of policy and practice to ensure fair and sustainable food, farm and trade systems.
  • National Agricultural Law Center
    The National Agricultural Law Center is the only agricultural law research and information facility that is independent, national and international in scope, and directly connected to the national agricultural information network. The Center has expanded the scope of its coverage to include food law as it recognizes the expanding scope of agricultural law and its convergence with food law topics. The Center is staffed by a team of law and research professors, lawyers, other specialists, and graduate assistants from the University of Arkansas School of Law Graduate Program in Agricultural Law.
  • National Agricultural Library (NAL)
    The National Agricultural Library is one of four national libraries of the United States, with locations in Beltsville, Maryland and Washington, D.C. It houses one of the world's largest and most accessible agricultural information collections and serves as the nexus for a national network of state land-grant and U.S. Department of Agriculture field libraries.
  • US Department of Agriculture - Agricultural Marketing Service
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Service administers programs that facilitate the efficient, fair marketing of U.S. agricultural products, including food, fiber, and specialty crops. AMS has about 5,500 employees who are located throughout the United States.
  • USDA - Risk Management Agency (RMA)
    The role of USDA's Risk Management Agency (RMA) is to help producers manage their business risks through effective, market-based risk management solutions. RMA's mission is to promote, support, and regulate sound risk management solutions to preserve and strengthen the economic stability of America's agricultural producers.

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