Monday, December 31, 2007

Reminder - Upcoming Panel Discussion at the AALS

The Section on Agricultural Law will have a panel discussion on the following topic at the 2008 Annual Meeting of the AALS:Energy, Food, and the Environment: Agriculture's Future

The panelists will discuss the challenges facing agriculture as an energy source. For years, we have considered the environmental impacts of agricultural production, the relative lack of regulatory controls, and policy justifications for treating farming and farmers differently. In so doing, the political goodwill that farmers enjoy with the urban electorate and the primary function of agriculture—food production—have been paramount. As energy agriculture takes root, we must reconsider the historical justifications for farm policy, integrate energy policy, and further examine the need for environmental controls to reign in the harms associated with intensive production agriculture.

J.B. Ruhl of Florida State University College of Law will discuss the evolution and current state of environmental controls placed on agricultural production. Mr. Ruhl's paper places primary emphasis on the need for recognizing the role and value of ecosystem services as we implement environmental controls in agriculture. He uses Florida's transferable-development-rights legislation as an example.

Christopher Kelley will discuss one of the paramount challenges facing agriculture's future--water. From a global perspective, Mr. Kelley will discuss agriculture's consumption of water resources and the need for increased regulation in many countries.

Finally, Neil Hamilton of Drake University Law School will discuss the food policy implications of the biofuels boom.

Each speaker will bring a unique approach to addressing these aspects of agriculture's future.

The meeting is Saturday, January 5, at the Hilton. We will meet from 3:30 to 5:15 PM in Nassau B, on the second floor. The section will have its business meeting after the program concludes.

Hope to see you in New York.