Saturday, October 21, 2006

Lynn A. Hayes Named Program Director of Farmers’ Legal Action Group

Farmers' Legal Action Group, Inc. (FLAG), recently announced that Lynn A. Hayes has become FLAG's Program Director. FLAG—a nonprofit law center that works on behalf of family farmers and rural communities—was founded in 1986 in response to the farm crisis then sweeping the country. Hayes was one of FLAG's founding attorneys.

During her tenure at FLAG, Hayes was lead or co-counsel in several nationally significant lawsuits, including Coleman v. Lyng, a national class action lawsuit against the Farmers Home Administration that resulted in an order that protected more than 80,000 farmers from foreclosures for 18 months; the Minnesota Milk Producers Association's challenge to federal milk marketing order provisions that discriminated against Midwest dairies; and the challenge of federal commodity checkoffs that was ultimately decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. Hayes has presented at hundreds of workshops for farmers and their advocates on agricultural credit, contract farming, environmental issues related to farming, commodity pricing, and antitrust issues.

"We are thrilled to have Lynn, one of the first and most tireless legal advocates for family farmers, back at FLAG and leading our legal work," said Susan Stokes, FLAG's Executive Director.

Hayes left FLAG in the spring of 2002 to move to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After working remotely for three years for the Office of the Monitor reviewing African-American farmers' claims in the race discrimination case against USDA, Pigford v. Veneman, and acting as "Of Counsel" for FLAG, Hayes rejoined the organization as a Senior Staff Attorney for FLAG in February 2006. She resumed her previous position of Program Director on September 1.

Hayes received her B.A. in English from Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and her J.D. from Columbus School of Law, Catholic University of America, in Washington, D.C.

FLAG works to support a strong agricultural economy that supports vibrant rural communities, protects the environment, and promotes a safe, diverse, and stable food supply. The American Agricultural Law Association (AALA) recently presented FLAG with a special award acknowledging their twenty years of service to the agricultural community.