Susan A. Schneider
The University of Arkansas School of Law has been a leader in agricultural law education for over forty years through its innovative LL.M. Program in Agricultural and Food Law. This essay memorializes the history of this signature Program and charts its progress through the decades as agricultural law issues evolved and the discipline expanded.
Carbon is certainly a hot topic in agriculture. Across the countryside, farmers, landowners, agricultural service providers, and many others are trying to understand what carbon is about and what it may mean to them. One of the more interesting topics around agricultural carbon concerns the relationship between the landowner and tenant farmers on absentee-owned land (i.e., land that is farmed by someone other than the person who owns it). This article provides a brief background on the agricultural carbon opportunity and explores some ideas about how to pursue the opportunity on absentee-owned farmland.
While there is growing interest in Black cowboys, the narrative is largely tethered to parades and urban and suburban saddle clubs, much like the fictional movie on Netflix, Concrete Cowboy. Missing from the narrative are today’s real Black cowboys: rural ranchers and farmers raising cattle for beef production and consumption.
Hayden L. Ballard
While the Kansas City Stockyards themselves are gone, just like in the early 20th Century, a beef monopoly has once again found its way into the industry, and a way around the Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921 and is again suffocating the industry. While at the time of the act’s passage in 1921 five companies controlled the market, today the market is even more consolidated in the “Big Four,” as the four biggest meat packing companies in America are commonly known (Cargill, Tyson, JBS and National Beef/Marfrig), and are again arguably stifling the free-market. If Americans do not act quickly to address this extreme consolidation, then the free-market, independent cattle rancher will soon face the same fate as the Kansas City Stockyards, and soon, like the Stockyards, will simply be history and a distant memory. This is not only bad news for the American rancher, but is even worse news for the American consumer, as the consolidation creates food security and food safety issues, as highlighted by the recent events of 2020-2021 surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.
Javier A. Rivera-Aquino
If justice is to provide each person what they deserve, it seems plantain producers in Puerto Rico did not relish a just compensation for their farm losses after Hurricane Maria in 2017. The main culprit? Stale data. Farm Service Agency’s (FSA) Wildfire and Hurricanes Indemnity Program (WHIP) utilized plantain production data under the National Crop Table (NCT) 2017, which seemingly did not reflect up-to-date yield averages of Puerto Rico’s plantain farmers at the time of Hurricane Maria.