Professional Staff

Center Director
(479) 575-7640
[email protected]

Harrison M. Pittman, B.S., J.D., LL.M.

Harrison received his Juris Doctor from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law, after attending Mississippi State University and graduating from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He then earned an LL.M. in Agricultural Law from the University of Arkansas School of Law’s Graduate Program in Agricultural Law. Harrison has worked at the Center since 2001.  During that time, his title and job duties have spanned the range of graduate assistant, staff attorney, co-director, interim director and currently, director; in which capacity he has served since 2007.

He has taught at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law as part of the Ben J. Altheimer Distinguished Professorship for Agricultural Law, and has also served as a visiting professor at the Drake University Law School.  In addition, he has taught Environmental and Natural Resources Law and Introduction to Agricultural Law in the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food, & Life Sciences, Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness.  In that role, he was awarded the 2011-2012 Agricultural Business Club Teaching Award.

He is an active member of the American Agricultural Law Association (AALA), the nation’s only professional organization focused on the legal needs of the agricultural community, and was the first recipient of the AALA’s Excellence in Agricultural Law award in 2010.  Additionally, he is an active member of the Arkansas Bar Association, where he helped found the Agricultural Law Section, later served as interim chair and chair, and currently serves as vice-chair.  He is a frequent presenter on a range of topics and issues, including the farm bill, water law, and environmental law. He has authored articles on numerous subjects, including the National Organic Program, the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act, the constitutionality of corporate farming laws, pesticide regulation and litigation, agritourism, states’ recreational use statutes, the Packers and Stockyards Act, agricultural bankruptcy issues, and environmental laws impacting agriculture.

Senior Staff Attorney
(479) 387-2331
[email protected] | C.V.

Elizabeth Rumley, B.A., J.D., LL.M.

Beth was raised on a small family farm in Ida, Michigan. She attended Michigan State University, where she was an active competitor, president, and captain of the Mock Trial team that participated in competitions across the Midwest. She also interned in the chambers of Magistrate Judge Virginia M. Morgan, United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan. After graduating from MSU in 2004, Beth returned home and commuted to law school at the University of Toledo, where she graduated cum laude in May of 2007. While in law school, she volunteered as a coach of the Ida High School Mock Trial Team and continued to assist with the MSU team. In addition, she interned at the Michigan prosecutor’s offices of Monroe and Lenawee counties, with the United States Attorney’s Office in Toledo, and for the Honorable David A. Katz of the Northern District of Ohio. From 2005-2008, she was also employed by the Toledo law firm of Cosme, D’Angelo and Szollosi.  She is licensed to practice law in Michigan, Ohio and Oklahoma.

At the Center, her primary focus is on legal issues in animal agriculture. Her article A Proposal to Regulate Farm Animal Confinement in the United States and an  Overview of Current and Proposed Laws appeared in the Drake Journal of  Agricultural Law (14 Drake J. Agric. L. 437 (Fall, 2009)) and she co-wrote an article titled Enforcing Animal Welfare Statutes: In Many States, It’s Still the Wild West, which appeared in the San Joaquin Agricultural Law Review (21 San Joaquin Agric. L. Rev. 21 (2012).  She is an adjunct faculty member in the  University of Arkansas’ Center of  Excellence for Poultry Science, Animal  Science Department,  and the Agricultural  Economics and Agribusiness Department.  Further, Mrs. Rumley works closely with and is on the advisory board of the University  of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s Center for Food Animal Well-Being.

Additionally, she has co-taught a course titled “Animals and Agricultural Production, Law and Policy”  several times at the University of Oklahoma College of Law and most recently at the University of Nebraska College of Law, has developed and teaches a course on legal issues in animal agriculture through the Dale Bumpers College of  Agricultural, Food, & Life Sciences at the University of Arkansas, and teaches a course on agriculture and the environment, also through the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food, & Life Sciences at the University of Arkansas.

Senior Staff Attorney
(479) 575-2636
[email protected] | C.V.

Rusty W. Rumley, B.S., J.D., LL.M.

Rusty was born and raised on a family farm in Cogar, Oklahoma. He graduated magna cum laude from Oklahoma State University in 2004 with a B.S. in AgriBusiness and in 2007 earned his juris doctor from the University of Oklahoma. While attending the University of Oklahoma he was a member of the American Indian Law Review and worked part-time for Oklahoma Farm Bureau Legal Foundation.  After law school, Rusty earned his LL.M in Agricultural Law at the University of Arkansas.  He is licensed to practice law in the states of Oklahoma and Michigan.

Rusty has published law review articles discussing the future application of special use valuation for inherited farmland, “right to farm” statutes, and the enforcement of animal cruelty statutes by private organizations. He has also written on landowner liability, agritourism, food labeling, local food production, business organizations, crop insurance, estate planning, leasing, and other land use topics in his work at the Center. Further, Rusty presents around the country to producer, consumer, extension, industry and legal groups on an array of topics.

Additionally, he has  co-taught a course titled “Animals and Agricultural Production, Law and Policy”  several times at the University of Oklahoma College of Law and most recently at the University of Nebraska College of Law and teaches an introduction to agricultural law course through the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food, & Life Sciences at the University of Arkansas.  He is also an adjunct faculty member in the  University of Arkansas’ Animal  Science Department  and the Agricultural  Economics and Agribusiness Department.

His primary areas of interest are in estate planning, taxation, business organizations, landowner liability, leasing and agritourism.

Research Fellow

Amie Alexander, B.S.

Amie Alexander is a student at William H. Bowen School of Law of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.  She is also pursuing a Master of Public Service degree through the Clinton School of Public Service, focusing in agriculture policy and rural development.  She expects to graduate with a joint degree in December 2018.  She grew up on a small cattle farm in Waldron, Arkansas. Amie was involved with the National FFA Organization, serving as a state officer in Arkansas and later spending a year facilitating youth leadership conferences across the country. Amie graduated from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville in 2015 with a degree in Agricultural Education, Communications and Technology with an emphasis in education. During her undergraduate program, Amie was involved in the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences, serving as a college ambassador and conducting research with her faculty advisors. She was also involved in planning, developing curriculum, and conducting several on-campus conferences and competitive events for high school students.  Amie hopes to use her interest in policy and passion for agriculture in her future career.

Research Fellow

Brigit Rollins, B.A.

Brigit is a law student at Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon, where she expects to graduate in 2019. She is currently a participant in the Western Resources Legal Center, where she works on cases assisting resource users. She has also interned with the California Farm Bureau Federation. Prior to law school, Brigit attended Sonoma State University where she earned a Bachelors of Arts in environmental study, and a minor in studio arts. Originally from Santa Rosa, California, Brigit has grown up surrounded by small farms and wineries. She hopes to take her passion for agriculture with her into her future career.

Research Fellow

Chad Pollock, B.A, M.Div, M.A.

Chad Pollock is a law student at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville School of Law, where he expects to graduate in 2020.  Prior to law school, Chad worked for fifteen years as a librarian for both public and academic libraries, including five years as a law librarian at the University of Arkansas School of Law.  As a law librarian, Chad worked closely with students and faculty conducting research into agricultural and food law, and he developed a strong interest in the laws and regulations concerning localized food production. Chad also owns a small home-scale farm near West Fork, Arkansas where his partner and he grow produce and raise chickens.  Chad holds an M.A. in Library and Information Science from the University of Missouri-Columbia, an M.Div. from Baylor University, and a B.A. in Religious Studies from Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, AR.

Research Fellow

Zachary Gihorski, B.S.

Zachary is a student at the Penn State University Dickinson School of Law in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, where he expects to graduate in 2020. He is also a Dickinson Law School Law Lion Ambassador.  Zachary was raised on a small livestock farm in Southern New Jersey. He was an active member of both his local 4-H and FFA programs. He attended Delaware Valley University in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, where he received a Bachelor’s of Science in Agricultural Education. While at Delval, he started the Hope of The Harvest charitable garden initiative, a program that grew produce for undernourished members of the community. He also won a National Agricultural Spokesman Award at the National Young Farmers Competition, in Kansas City Missouri. After leaving Delval, he went to work for the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. While at the Department he was responsible for the PA Preferred buy local program and then transitioned in the PA Fair Coordinator role where he oversaw a 4 million grant program that gave funding to 4-H, FFA, and Pennsylvania Agricultural and Community Fairs.  Currently, in his free time, Zachary is an active member in his agricultural community judging livestock shows, doing public speaking demonstrations, and annually judges the state FFA convention.

Research Fellow

Cash Barker, B.S.

Cash is a student at Texas A&M University School of Law, where he expects to graduate in 2019. He is the current Symposia Editor for the Texas A&M Law Review as well as the President for the Agricultural Law Society. He grew up in Georgetown, Texas and attended college at Texas Tech University, where he received his degree in Agricultural and Applied Economics with honors. Cash is specifically interested in water law and hopes to one day aid in changing groundwater law and policy in Texas.

Research Fellow

Alexandra Lizano, B.S.

Alexandra Lizano is a law student at the Texas A&M University School of Law, where she expects to graduate in 2020. She is originally from the East Bay Area in California. She completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning at the University of California, Davis in 2017. Since starting law school she has been selected to serve as a Public Interest Law Fellow, she is the treasurer of the Agriculture Law Society, and is a staff member on the Texas A&M Journal of Property Law. Alexandra’s legal interests include: food law, land use, water, and energy. Outside of law school, she enjoys running, cooking, and cheering for the Golden State Warriors.

Research Fellow

Lauren Thomas, B.S.

Lauren is a law student at Texas A&M University School of Law, expecting to graduate in 2019. Lauren currently serves as a Board Member for the Texas A&M University School of Law Public Interest Law Fellowship, as the Career Chair for the National Food Law Student Network, and as the Project Liaison for the Texas A&M Agricultural Law Society. Lauren previously served as an intern for the Monitoring Division of the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality, as a law clerk for the Environmental and Natural Resources Division of the United States Department of Justice, and was as an invited participant for the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic Food Law Student Leadership Summit in Los Angeles, California. During her undergraduate program, Lauren obtained a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, where she also co-authored a research paper about food deserts.

Research Fellow

Micah Brown, B.A.

Micah Brown is a law student at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville School of Law, where he expects to graduate in 2020. Micah was raised on a small cattle farm in Central Arkansas. He graduated from the University of Central Arkansas in the Spring of 2016, receiving a B.A. in Political Science. Before attending law school, Micah worked for the Office of the Arkansas Attorney General in the Human Resources Department. After graduating law school, he plans to further his legal education in the agricultural field, and hopes his legal career contributes to the agriculture industry in Arkansas.

Research Fellow

Zak Wilkerson, B.S., M.S.

Zak is currently a student at the University of Arkansas School of Law and anticipates graduating in 2020. He grew up on a small beef and pork farm in Missouri. Zak was heavily involved in the National FFA Organization during high school, where he was a state and national champion in the soils and nursery/landscaping career development events. He would later study at Missouri State University as a Presidential Scholar, and in 2016 graduated magna cum laude with his B.S. in Agricultural Communication. During his years as an undergraduate student, Zak was heavily involved in Collegiate FFA and was a co-founder of Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow. Zak also worked as the Chief Title IX Commissioner and Director of Student Affairs for the Student Government Association, where he worked to implement sexual assault prevention programs such as Green Dot and Escalation workshops through the One Love Foundation. Zak later received his M.S. in Plant Science in 2017 from Missouri State University. He hopes to use his knowledge and love of agriculture in his future career.

Communications Specialist

Sarah Cato

Sarah Cato is a senior from Osceola, Arkansas majoring in Agricultural Communications at the University of Arkansas. She interned in the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service Communications department in summer of 2018 writing press releases, coordinating social media and constructing public relations plans. Sarah was elected Media Specialist for the University of Arkansas Entomology Club and loves reading, hiking and running.

Communications Specialist

Grace Vehige

Grace Vehige grew up in central Missouri on a Registered Gelbvieh and Balancer cattle operation. Throughout high school Grace stayed actively engaged in her local 4-H club and various other organizations. She is now at the University of Arkansas studying Agricultural Communications and Agricultural Leadership and has begun her junior year. Grace stays involved with various organizations on campus, such as the professional agriculture sorority Sigma Alpha.  Grace has previously worked as a legislative intern for Missouri Farm Bureau and has experience processing and distributing agricultural news and research. Outside of her busy schedule at the University, Grace serves as the President of her national cattle association for youth members: the American Gelbvieh Junior Association.  Her primary areas of interest include: agriculture policy, communication strategies and consumer education.

Communications Specialist

Sara Gardner

Sara Gardner is a student at the University of Arkansas pursuing a major in International Economics with minors in Agricultural Leadership and Spanish.  She currently serves as the Arkansas 4-H State President and has been an active member of the organization for ten years. In 2018, Sara was inducted into the Arkansas 4-H Hall of Fame and was the recipient of the Arkansas 4-H Governor’s Award.  On campus, she serves as an Honors College Ambassador and is a member of the Student Congress team, Leadership Walton, Associated Student Government Freshman Leadership Forum, and Collegiate Farm Bureau. A 2018 Distinguished Honors graduate from Fayetteville High School, Sara plans to graduate from the University of Arkansas in 2022 and then attend law school.