Agricultural law

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Agricultural law, sometimes referred to as Ag Law, deals with such legal issues as agricultural infrastructure, seed, water, fertilizer, pesticide use, agricultural finance, agricultural labour, agricultural marketing, agricultural insurance, farming rights, land tenure and tenancy system and law on Agricultural processing and rural industry. With implementation of modern technologies, issues including credit, intellectual property, trade and commerce related to agricultural products are dealt within the sphere of this law.

Fertilizer Substance added to soils to supply plant nutrients for a better growth

A fertilizer or fertiliser is any material of natural or synthetic origin that is applied to soil or to plant tissues to supply one or more plant nutrients essential to the growth of plants. Many sources of fertilizer exist, both natural and industrially produced.

Pesticide substance used to destroy pests

Pesticides are substances that are meant to control pests, including weeds. The term pesticide includes all of the following: herbicide, insecticides nematicide, molluscicide, piscicide, avicide, rodenticide, bactericide, insect repellent, animal repellent, antimicrobial, and fungicide. The most common of these are herbicides which account for approximately 80% of all pesticide use. Most pesticides are intended to serve as plant protection products, which in general, protect plants from weeds, fungi, or insects.

Agricultural marketing

Agricultural marketing covers the services involved in moving an agricultural product from the farm to the consumer. These services involve the planning, organizing, directing and handling of agricultural produce in such a way as to satisfy farmers, intermediaries and consumers. Numerous interconnected activities are involved in doing this, such as planning production, growing and harvesting, grading, packing and packaging, transport, storage, agro- and food processing, provision of market information, distribution, advertising and sale. Effectively, the term encompasses the entire range of supply chain operations for agricultural products, whether conducted through ad hoc sales or through a more integrated chain, such as one involving contract farming.


Simply put, agricultural law is the study of the special laws and regulations that apply to the production and sale of agricultural products. [1] "Agricultural exceptionalism," i.e., the use of legal exceptions to protect the agricultural industry, is pervasive, worldwide. [2] American law schools and legal scholars first recognized agricultural law as a discipline in the 1940s when law schools at Yale, Harvard, Texas, and Iowa explored and initiated agricultural law courses. [3] These early efforts were short-lived, however, and agricultural law as a distinct discipline did not resurface for three decades. In 1979, a scholarly journal, The Agricultural Law Journal was initiated. [4] In 1980, the American Agricultural Law Association was formed [5] and an advanced law degree program, the LL.M. Program in Agricultural Law was founded at the University of Arkansas School of Law. [6] In 1981, a fifteen volume Agricultural Law Treatise was published [7] and in 1985, the first law school casebook, Agricultural Law: Cases and Materials was published by West Publishing. [8]

In recent years, agricultural law studies have expanded to incorporate a wider consideration of the impact of agricultural production, including issues of environmental law, sustainability, animal welfare, and food law and policy. [9] Reflecting this expanded perspective, in 2009, the LL.M. Program in Agricultural Law at Arkansas changed its name to the LL.M Program in Agricultural and Food Law. In 2010, the second law school textbook was published with the title, Food, Farming & Sustainability: Readings in Agricultural Law. [10] And, in 2012, the American Association of Law Schools changed the name of its Agricultural Law section to Agricultural and Food Law. The emerging discipline of food law & policy traces its roots to the discipline of agricultural law as well as tradition food and drug law. [11]

See also

Adjusted Gross Revenue Insurance is a term used in United States federal agricultural law referring to a revenue insurance program implemented in 1999 as a pilot program by the USDA, which continues on a limited basis. It allows some farmers to receive a guarantee of a percentage of their revenue for multiple commodities, including some livestock revenue, rather than just the revenue from an individual commodity.

Agricultural Act of 1949

The Agricultural Act of 1949 is a United States federal law that is known as the "permanent legislation" of U.S. agricultural policy and is, in its amended form, still in effect. The Act was enacted on October 31, 1949. The purpose of the act is "To provide assistance to the States in the establishment, maintenance, operation, and expansion of school-lunch programs, and for other purposes."

Agricultural Act of 1954

The Agricultural Act of 1954 is a United States federal law that, among other provisions, authorized a Commodity Credit Corporation reserve for foreign and domestic relief.

Related Research Articles

Agronomy Science and technology of producing and using plants for food, fuel, fiber, and reclamation

Agronomy is the science and technology of producing and using plants for food, fuel, fiber, and land restoration. Agronomy has come to encompass work in the areas of plant genetics, plant physiology, meteorology, and soil science. It is the application of a combination of sciences like biology, chemistry, economics, ecology, earth science, and genetics. Agronomists of today are involved with many issues, including producing food, creating healthier food, managing the environmental impact of agriculture, and extracting energy from plants. Agronomists often specialise in areas such as crop rotation, irrigation and drainage, plant breeding, plant physiology, soil classification, soil fertility, weed control, and insect and pest control.

Agroecology The study of ecological processes in agriculture

Agroecology is the study of ecological processes applied to agricultural production systems. Bringing ecological principles to bear in agroecosystems can suggest novel management approaches that would not otherwise be considered. The term is often used imprecisely and may refer to "a science, a movement, [or] a practice". Agroecologists study a variety of agroecosystems. The field of agroecology is not associated with any one particular method of farming, whether it be organic, integrated, or conventional, intensive or extensive. However, it has much more in common with organic and integrated farming.

Urban agriculture The practice of cultivating, processing and distributing food in or around urban areas

Urban agriculture,urban farming, or urban gardening is the practice of cultivating, processing and distributing food in or around urban areas. Urban agriculture can also involve animal husbandry, aquaculture, agroforestry, urban beekeeping, and horticulture. These activities occur in peri-urban areas as well, and peri-urban agriculture may have different characteristics.

Vermont Law School

Vermont Law School (VLS) is a private, American Bar Association‑accredited law school located in South Royalton, Vermont. The school has one of the United States' leading programs in environmental law, and has maintained consistently high ranking in Environmental Law by U.S. News and World Report. The Law School offers several degrees, including Juris Doctor (JD), Master of Laws (LLM) in Environmental Law, Master of Environmental Law and Policy (MELP), Master of Food and Agriculture Law and Policy (MFALP), Master of Energy Regulation and Law (MERL), and dual degrees with a diverse range of institutions. According to Vermont Law School's 2013 ABA-required disclosures, 54.5% of the Class of 2013 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation.

Agribusiness agriculture-related industry

Agribusiness is the business of agricultural production. The term is a portmanteau of agriculture and business and was coined in 1957 by John Davis and Ray Goldberg. It includes agrichemicals, breeding, crop production, distribution, farm machinery, processing, and seed supply, as well as marketing and retail sales. All agents of the food and fiber value chain and those institutions that influence it are part of the agribusiness system.

Drake University Law School is a fully accredited law school of Drake University, located in Des Moines, Iowa. The school has over 330 full-time students. The school is led by Dean Jerry Anderson. Drake Law School's curriculum includes the nation's only First-Year Trial Practicum. In 2016, the U.S. News and World Report ranked Drake Law School as the 111th best law school in the nation.

McGeorge School of Law private law school in Sacramento, California, United States

University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law is a private, American Bar Association (ABA) approved law school in the Oak Park neighborhood of the city of Sacramento, California. It is part of the University of the Pacific and is located on the University's Sacramento campus.

Food policy

Food policy is the area of public policy concerning how food is produced, processed, distributed, and purchased. Food policies are designed to influence the operation of the food and agriculture system. This often includes decision-making around production and processing techniques, marketing, availability, utilization and consumption of food, in the interest of meeting or furthering social objectives. Food policy can be promulgated on any level, from local to global, and by a government agency, business, or organization. Food policymakers engage in activities such as regulation of food-related industries, establishing eligibility standards for food assistance programs for the poor, ensuring safety of the food supply, food labeling, and even the qualifications of a product to be considered organic.

The United States Marine Corps' Judge Advocate Division serves both to advise the Commandant of the Marine Corps (CMC) and other officials in Headquarters, Marine Corps on legal matters, and to oversee the Marine Corps legal community. The head of the Judge Advocate Division (JAD) is the Staff Judge Advocate to the Commandant.

University of Arkansas School of Law

The University of Arkansas School of Law is the law school of the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Arkansas, a state university. It has around 445 students enrolled in its Juris Doctor (J.D.) and Master of Law (LL.M) programs and is home to the nation's first LL.M in agricultural and food law program. The School of Law is one of two law schools in the state of Arkansas; the other is the William H. Bowen School of Law.

A Master of Studies in Law (M.S.L.), also Master of Science of Law or Master of Legal Studies (M.L.S.) or Juris Master (J.M.) or Masters of Jurisprudence (M.J.), is a master's degree offered by some law schools to students who wish to study the law but do not want to become attorneys. M.S.L. programs typically last one academic year and put students through a similar regimen as first-year Juris Doctor (J.D.) students. M.S.L. students may study such staples as constitutional law, torts, contracts, civil procedure, and other requirements alongside regular law students, writing the same papers and taking the same exams. But they graduate after accumulating two semesters of credit instead of six. Some M.S.L. programs are designed for academics who hold Ph.D.s in a discipline related to the law, and who want to add a legal dimension to scholarship. Other programs aim to provide fundamental legal education to professionals who are not lawyers, but whose careers involve legal or regulatory issues. Responding to this need, M.L.S. degrees are increasingly offered to working professionals on an online or part-time basis, and allow professionals to tailor elective law courses to their particular career fields. Currently, there are approximately 15 online programs available from accredited universities.

Sustainability science emerged in the 21st century as a new academic discipline. This new field of science was officially introduced with a "Birth Statement" at the World Congress "Challenges of a Changing Earth 2001" in Amsterdam organized by the International Council for Science (ICSU), the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP), the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change and the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP). The field reflects a desire to give the generalities and broad-based approach of “sustainability” a stronger analytic and scientific underpinning as it "brings together scholarship and practice, global and local perspectives from north and south, and disciplines across the natural and social sciences, engineering, and medicine". Ecologist William C. Clark proposes that it can be usefully thought of as "neither 'basic' nor 'applied' research but as a field defined by the problems it addresses rather than by the disciplines it employs" and that it "serves the need for advancing both knowledge and action by creating a dynamic bridge between the two".

University of Missouri School of Law

The University of Missouri School of Law is the law school of the University of Missouri. It is located on the university's main campus in Columbia, forty minutes from the Missouri State Capitol in Jefferson City. The school was founded in 1872 by the Curators of the University of Missouri. Its alumni include governors, legislators, judges, attorneys general, and law professors across the country. According to Mizzou Law's 2016 ABA-required disclosures, 82 percent of the 2016 class obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation.

The National Agricultural Law Center at the University of Arkansas is a federally funded, nonpartisan research and information center that serves as the nation's leading source of agricultural and food law research and information. The Center is the only institution of its kind in the United States and serves the nation's vast agricultural community, which includes attorneys, farmers, federal and state policymakers, extension personnel, academics, students, consumers, and others.

The American Agricultural Law Association (AALA) is a professional organization focusing on the legal needs of the agricultural community in the United States. The association was founded in 1980.

Neil D. Hamilton is an American lawyer and agricultural economics writer. Hamilton currently holds the Dwight D. Opperman Chair of Law at Drake Law School in Des Moines, Iowa, where he is also the Director of the Agricultural Law Center. He is a former chairman of the Agriculture Law Section of the Association of American Law Schools. He was also mentioned as a possible Secretary of Agriculture in the Obama Administration.

The IATP Food and Society Fellows Program provides two-year, part-time fellowships to professionals working to address health, social justice, economic viability, environmental, and other issues in food and farming systems. The program started in 2001 as a collaboration between the Jefferson Institute and the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP), with the guidance and support of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The program is currently administered by IATP and funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Woodcock Foundation. Generally, 8-12 fellows are selected each year; 72 fellows have been selected through 2009.

Cyndi Nance is Dean Emeritus and the Nathan G. Gordon Professor of Law at the University of Arkansas School of Law. She has taught at Arkansas since 1994 and served as the dean of the law school from 2006 to 2011. Her scholarship focuses on labor and employment law.

Adam Soliman is the director of The Fisheries Law Centre. He is a researcher focused on legal and economic issues in Fisheries. He teaches fisheries law in several countries and advocates for further access to justice in small-scale fisheries. He researches and conducts analysis to issues in fisheries management with special focus on small-scale fisheries. He specializes in fisheries management scheme and property rights particularly in catch shares and other management schemes.

Penn State Law Law school in University Park, Pa.

Penn State Law, located in University Park, Pennsylvania, is one of two separately accredited law schools of the Pennsylvania State University. Penn State Law offers J.D., LL.M., and S.J.D. degrees. The school also offers a joint J.D./M.B.A. with the Smeal College of Business, a joint JD-MIA degree with the School of International Affairs, which is also located in the Lewis Katz Building, as well as joint degrees with other graduate programs at Penn State.


  1. Schneider, Susan (2010). "A Reconsideration of Agricultural Law". William & Mary Environmental Law and Policy Review. V. 34, Issue 3: 935–963.
  2. Skogstad, Grace (1998). "Ideas, Paradigms, and Institutions: Agricultural Exceptionalism in the European Union and the United States". Governance. 11: 463–468.
  3. Hannah, Harold (1946). "Law and Agriculture". Virginia Law Review. 32: 781–784.
  4. Hamilton, Neil (1990). "The Study of Agricultural Law in the United States". Arkansas Law Review. 43: 503–515.
  5. Schneider, Susan (2005). "Thoughts on Agricultural Law and the Role of the American Agricultural Law Association". Drake Journal of Agricultural Law. 10: 2–10.
  6. "LL.M. Program in Agricultural & Food Law".
  7. Harl, Neil (1985). Agricultural Law. Matthew Bender.
  8. Pedersen, Donald (1985). Agricultural Law: Cases and Materials. West.
  9. Schneider, Susan (2016). Food, Farming, & Sustainability: Readings in Agricultural Law. Carolina Press.
  10. Schneider, Susan (2010). Food, Farming, and Sustainability: Readings in Agricultural Law (2nd ed. 2016). Carolina Press.
  11. Emily Broad Leib and, Baylen Linnekin (2014). "Food Law & Policy: The Fertile Field's Origins & First Decade". Wisconsin Law Review. 2014: 557.