Friday, October 24, 2008

The 29th Annual American Agricultural Law Association

Today and tomorrow, practitioners, academics, and many interested in agricultural law and policy are gathering in Minneapolis for the 29th annual agricultural law conference. This is my third conference, and I am beginning to fully appreciate the breadth of agricultural law and the diversity of interests at stake in this important sector. For instance, the "updates" plenary session have covered the following topics: the UCC, taxation, bankruptcy, environmental law, food law, the farm bill, and a marquee lecture on global commodity prices (which is interestingly discussing the increased exposure of the ag sector to the volatility of energy markets). From there, the program expands into breakout sessions on precaution, business entity regulation, problems associated with high commodity prices, producer-initiated vertical integration, and cooperatives. And that is just the first day.

On day two, the program includes sessions on ethics and law office management, immigration law, siting livestock production facilities, water allocation, biofuel's carbon footprint, organics, estate planning, livestock economics, and whatever is left of the 2008 farm bill.

This marvelous spread speaks volumes to the legal and policy demands of the agricultural sector. And it only scratches the surface.

The conference materials will be available on the AALA's website: A membership is required.