Center Advisory Board

The National Agricultural Law Center’s National Advisory Board plays an integral role in developing the short and long-term research and information priorities for the Center. In particular, the Board helps determine how best the Center can serve the nation’s diverse agricultural community and how best it can fulfill its mission as the nation’s leading source of agricultural and food law research and information.


Nancy Bryson

Ms. Bryson is the Chair of the Agriculture and Food practice at Holland & Hart, LLP. She served as General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) from 2002-2005 and was subsequently a founder and principal of The Bryson Group, PLLC. She focuses on agriculture and food law and associated environmental issues. Her practice includes food safety, labeling and nutrition, plant and animal health, agricultural biotechnology, conservation programs, renewable energy, sanitary and phytosanitary standards, marketing and commodity programs, procurement and rural development finance. Ms. Bryson represents a wide range of clients in the agriculture and food industry including producers, processors, and manufacturers, food service companies, technology providers, renewable fuel companies, investment funds, financial providers and trade associations. She provides counseling, regulatory and government relations advice and strategy, and representation on enforcement and compliance matters and federal litigation.

As USDA General Counsel, Ms. Bryson was responsible for USDA legal policy and served as the principal legal advisor to Secretary Ann M. Veneman and Secretary Mike Johanns. She directed department litigation and mediation. Client agencies include: the Food Safety and Inspection Service; the Farm and Foreign Agricultural Service; the Food and Nutrition Service; the Agricultural Marketing Service; the Forest Service; the Natural Resources Conservation; and Rural Development. In the closely related areas of food safety and health, Ms. Bryson has worked with APHIS and FSIS to resolve interagency jurisdictional issues within the USDA, and with the FDA to develop robust responses to the discovery of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in the United States; to bring closure to long-standing Endangered Species Act consultations with the Department of Interior; to enhance food safety through appropriately documented risk-based decision-making, and to facilitate full use of legal authorities in response to emerging issues.

Prior to joining USDA, Ms. Bryson was an environmental and natural resources partner with the law firm of Crowell & Moring, LLP. In that capacity, she handled litigation, policy initiatives, hydro-electric relicensing proceedings, rulemaking and legislative representations. Ms. Bryson also served in the U.S. Department of Justice as Assistant Chief of the Environmental Defense Section and in the U.S. Department of Labor as Assistant Counsel for Appellate Litigation. Ms. Bryson has received the highest AV rating by Martindale-Hubbell and is listed inBest Lawyers in America for her work in Environmental Law.


Dan Dooley

Daniel M. Dooley is Vice-President for the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR), a systemwide position he has held since 2008. He also serves as Senior Vice President for External Relations for the UC System. As VP for ANR, Mr. Dooley leads a statewide research and public service organization responsible for activities in agriculture, natural resources, environmental sciences, family and consumer sciences, forestry, human and community development, 4-H/ youth development and related areas.

Prior to serving as Vice-President of ANR, Mr. Dooley has had a long relationship with UC and the agricultural community. Throughout his career, he has held leadership positions in local, state and national agricultural organizations, as well as with the University of California. Dooley previously served as chief deputy director of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (1977-80) and member and chair of the California Water Commission (1982-86). He has chaired both the UC President’s Advisory Commission on Agriculture and Natural Resources and the UC Agricultural Issues Center’s advisory board, as well as serving as UC representative to and Chair of the Council for Agriculture Research, Extension, and Teaching (CARET), a national grassroots organization of the land-grant universities and colleges.

From 1993 to 2007 Mr. Dooley was a partner at Dooley, Herr and Peltzer, LLP, a Visalia-based law firm emphasizing agricultural, environmental, business and water rights law. He has distinguished himself by successfully bridging environmental and economic considerations in a number of controversial legal issues, including the 2006 settlement of protracted litigation regarding the restoration of the San Joaquin River, the reintroduction of salmon and the maintenance of agricultural practices supported by water from the river. From 1980 to 2002, he was a partner in family-owned Dooley Farms, a San Joaquin Valley farming operation that produces cotton, alfalfa and walnuts.

Mr. Dooley is a member of the National Academy of Sciences’ Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources and former chair of the Farm Foundation Round Table. He also served as vice chair of USDA’s National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education and Economics Advisory Board and as a member of the U.S. Trade Representative’s Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Trade.


Peggy Kirk Hall

Peggy Kirk Hall is Senior Research-Policy Associate and Director of the Agricultural and Rural Law Program at the Ohio State University Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Developmental Economics. As director of the Agricultural and Rural Law Program, Ms. Hall provides legal research and outreach on agricultural and rural issues for OSU Extension through newsletters, training and workshops. Her primary areas of focus are civil liability, property law, animal law, land use law and environmental law. Other responsibilities at OSU include teaching the department’s Agricultural Law course and serving as Legal Director for the Center for Farmland Policy Innovation.

Ms. Hall received her Bachelor of Science from Ohio State University, her Master of Science in Natural Resource Policy from The Ohio State University, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Wyoming College of Law. Prior to joining OSU, Hall practiced law with organizations and law firms in Ohio and in Michigan, including the Michigan United Conservation Clubs. She has also clerked at the United States District Court of Wyoming.

Ms. Hall currently owns and operates a farm in Union County, Ohio with her husband.


Ellen Steen

Ellen Steen serves as general counsel of the American Farm Bureau Federation and its affiliate companies, including the American Agricultural Insurance Company (AAIC) and American Farm Bureau Insurance Services (AFBIS). Steen has been engaged in private practice in Washington, DC since 1991 and has been a partner with Crowell & Moring LLP since 2003. She previously served as external counsel for AFBF on water quality issues, which included representing Farm Bureau in litigation concerning the scope of federal Clean Water Act jurisdiction and permit requirements.

Ms. Steen is admitted to practice law in the District of Columbia, the United States Supreme Court and most federal appellate courts. She earned her law degree with honors from the University of North Carolina School of Law in Chapel Hill, NC and her bachelor’s degree from Tulane University Newcomb College in New Orleans, LA.

Ms. Steen hails from central Mississippi and assists in managing the family tree farm in Simpson County.


Stephen Haterius

Stephen was raised in Texas on a cotton, wheat, and cattle farm in the Ericksdahl Community in Jones County. He continues to operate the family farm today. He was active in 4-H and participated in athletics while attending Stamford High School.  After graduating, he attended West Texas State University in Canyon on a football scholarship receiving a BS degree in Biology and Chemistry. He went on to complete his MA degree in Biology at the University of TX at Arlington. Following college, he spent many years in the TX public schools serving as teacher and coach at several schools before completing his public education career as a school administrator in his hometown of Stamford.

In 1992, he and his wife, Virginia, moved to Arlington, VA where he spent the first three years as Special Assistant for Agriculture in the office of Representative Charles Stenholm of TX. He became Chief of Staff and Minority Staff Director of the House Agriculture Committee where he managed a staff of 30 people and a $3.5 million budget. Haterius oversaw all activities of the Committee and related offices, playing a major role in all personnel and legislative policymaking decisions for Stenholm, including the 2002 Farm Bill legislative process.In 2005 they moved to Dallas, TX where he taught Biology until returning to Washington, DC in September 2008.