Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward will deliver the keynote address, “Agricultural Trade with Cuba,” at the Third Annual Agricultural and Environmental Law Conference. The conference will be held Friday, April 22 in Memphis, TN, at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law.
In September 2015, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson led a delegation, including Secretary Ward, to Cuba and asked Congress to lift restrictions preventing U.S. food companies from selling to Cuba on credit, per the Engage Cuba Coalition.
Arkansas Farm Bureau President Randy Veach also joined the delegation and toured Cuba’s agriculture college. The group met with animal science professors discussing research on poultry, dairy, rice, feed grains and soybeans. According to Veach, “There is a great opportunity to exchange ideas on agricultural research. The Cubans can’t raise enough food to feed their people, and there is an opportunity there for Arkansas to help in so many ways.” Marta Loyd, executive director of the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute, recently echoed Veach’s comments, telling Arkansas Business, “Normalizing relations with Cuba could be important to Arkansas producers. It’s an issue that requires informed dialogue among a wide variety of stakeholders and policymakers.”
In addition to Secretary Ward’s timely address, the conference will cover current issues in agricultural and environmental law, including ag bankruptcies, wetlands issues, agricultural nutrient management and more.
Registration information for the conference is available here.