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.
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 research and scholarship focus is on legal issues in animal agriculture, and she frequently lectures on those issues and others to audiences nationwide. Additionally, 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.
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.
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.
Brigit Rollins, B.A.
Brigit began her life in Sonoma County, in the heart of California’s wine country. Growing up, she was surrounded by small farms, dairies, and wineries, which ultimately led to a passion for agriculture and the environment. She attended Sonoma State University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in environmental studies, and a minor in studio arts. While at Sonoma State, Brigit studied different types of agricultural methods and how those methods could be used to promote environmental sustainability. After graduating from Sonoma State in 2015, she started as a law student at Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon. While at Lewis & Clark, she worked as a student clerk for the Western Resources Legal Center, where she worked on cases assisting small ranches, farms, and municipalities. During her time at Lewis & Clark, she also interned with the California Farm Bureau Federation, and worked as a law clerk for the Sacramento-based environmental law firm Somach Simmons & Dunn. While at the California Farm Bureau, Brigit focused on Environmental Species Act issues and water law issues, as well as issues specific to California. While at Somach Simmons & Dunn, Brigit expanded her work on water law and participated in work involving federal Indian law. On campus, Brigit was on the board of Lewis & Clark’s Food & Ag Law Society and served as a student member of the ABA Public Lands Committee.
Brigit began her work at the Center as a research fellow during her second year of law school. As a research fellow, Brigit worked on a wide variety of agricultural law topics ranging from liability issues to the new frontier of lab-grown meat. In 2019, Brigit graduated from Lewis & Clark and joined the Center full-time. At the Center, her primary area of research and scholarship is environmental law as it intersects with agriculture. She maintains an interest in promoting sustainability and environmental health through agriculture and resource use.
Sarah Cato, B.S.
Sarah Cato, originally from Osceola, Arkansas, earned her degree in Agricultural Communications at the University of Arkansas. While working on her degree she worked two summers as a lab assistant at the University of Arkansas Research & Extension Center in Lonoke, AR. She also interned for the UA Division of Agriculture Communications Department, writing press releases, coordinating social media and constructing public relations plans. She served two semesters as the UA Entomology Club Media Specialist and she enjoys reading, hiking and running.
Jessica Witherspoon, B.S., J.D.
Jessica Witherspoon is currently attending the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where she is taking coursework to earn an LL.M. in Taxation. She recently graduated cum laude from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law. While at Bowen, she was a member of Law Review, was published in the Real Estate Review, and was a student attorney in the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic. Prior to law school Jessica became a devoted Red Wolf while attending Arkansas State University in Jonesboro. She is working at the National Agricultural Law Center in partnership with the Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation at Iowa State University.
Jessica is a life-time Arkansan and loves everything about her state. Whether it’s exploring the mountains and lakes or driving through miles and miles of farm land, she is happiest when she is home in Arkansas. Jessica was raised around small cattle farms and participated in 4-H and FFA growing up. She even took a turn at raising show pigs in middle school, to this day the smell of the swine barns at the fair makes her smile. Jessica is licensed to practice law in Arkansas, and hopes to pursue a career in tax and estate planning in Little Rock after her final graduation in May 2020.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Kelcy Schaunaman, B.S.
Kelcy is a student at the University of South Dakota School of Law in Vermillion, SD, where she expects to graduate in May 2020. She was raised on a family farm in northeastern South Dakota where her family has a cow-calf operation and plants corn, wheat, and soybeans. She graduated magna cum laude with her Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Business from South Dakota State University in 2016. During summer of 2018, she interned with the legal counsel of the House Committee on Agriculture in Washington, D.C. At law school, Kelcy is the Note and Comment Editor for the South Dakota Law Review and President of the Agricultural Law Society.
Carolann Wackerlin, B.S.
Carolann attends Northern Illinois University College of Law, where she expects to graduate in May 2020. She grew up on a small farm in Northern Illinois where her family managed a small herd of cattle along with a hay and straw business, and grew corn and soybeans. While earning her B.S. in Animal Science from Texas A&M University, Carolann spent time as a research assistant looking into polycystic ovary syndrome using Ossabaw pigs, worked at the Texas A&M Poultry Science Research Farm, was a founding member of Aggie Beef Cattle Raisers, and spent a semester studying agriculture at the University College of Dublin in Dublin, Ireland. During the summer of 2017 Carolann interned in Washington, D.C. with the National Association of Wheat Growers. Currently she farms with her father, is building her own cattle business, and works for Brown Law Group, LLC in DeKalb, IL. Following graduation she hopes to practice in Northern Illinois and be an advocate for her fellow farmers.
Drew Mitchell, B.B.A.
Drew attends the University of Mississippi School of Law, where he expects to graduate in May 2021. Drew grew up on a family farm in Northeast Mississippi, where his family focuses mainly on row crops. Prior to law school, he graduated summa cum laude from Mississippi State University with a B.B.A in Finance and as a Stephen D. Lee Scholar. During the summer of 2016, Drew interned at the Office of Senator Roger F. Wicker in Washington D.C. and worked as a tour guide, researcher, and scheduler. After graduation, Drew plans to pursue a career in business law and use his background in agriculture to advocate for Mississippi farmers.
Emilie Schwartz, B.A., M.A.
Emilie is a law student at Vermont Law School, where she expects to graduate in May 2020. Emilie received a Masters in Environmental Law and Policy from Vermont Law School in 2018 and a B.A. in Environmental Studies, with concentrations in sustainable agriculture and environmental education, from Green Mountain College in 2012. While at Vermont Law School, Emilie has been a Research Associate with the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems, where she worked on projects including the Farmer’s Market Legal Toolkit, National Gleaning Project, and Farmland Access Legal Toolkit. Emilie also worked as a Research Associate for Vermont Law School’s Institute for Energy and the Environment, where she worked on the Farm and Energy Initiative’s Health Soils Law Project. Prior to law school, Emilie worked as a farmer and environmental educator on farms around the country, including in Vermont, Arkansas, New Mexico, and Maryland.
Austin Vincent, B.S.
Austin is a student at Texas Tech University School of Law, where he expects to graduate in May 2020. Austin grew up as a 6th generation rancher on the family cattle ranch in Northeastern New Mexico. He earned two undergraduate degrees from Texas Tech University- a Bachelor of Business Administration in Energy Commerce in 2016 and a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture Business and Applied Economics in 2017. Austin has clerked for the House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture in Washington, D.C., Mountain States Legal Foundation in Denver, CO, and the Domenici Law Firm in Albuquerque, NM. He currently serves as the Student Bar Association Vice President of Administration, Lead Article Editor for the Journal of Biosecurity, Biosafety, and Biodefense Law, and is the founder, and current president, of the Texas Tech Agricultural Law Association. He is also an active member of the American Agricultural Law Association as a co-chair of the Committee for Student Activities and Outreach. After graduating from law school, he plans to practice law in areas focusing on natural resources, property, and water law, while continuing to advocate for farmers and ranchers.
Mallie Myers, B.S.
Mallie is currently a student at the University of Kentucky College of Law and anticipates graduating in May 2020. After spending her childhood in western Kentucky raising beef cattle and actively participating in her high school’s FFA chapter, Mallie pursued her undergraduate education at the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment. Mallie graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. in Agricultural Economics and minors in Business and Political Science in December 2016. Before beginning law school, Mallie interned on the White House’s National Economic Council under former Special Assistant to the President for Agriculture, Agricultural Trade, and Food Assistance, Ray Starling. Mallie has interned for Magistrate Judge Lanny King of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky in Paducah and Judge David J. Hale of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky in Louisville. After graduating, Mallie will complete a one-year clerkship with Judge Thomas B. Russell of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky in Paducah. Mallie currently serves at the Executive Development Editor for the Kentucky Journal of Equine, Agriculture, and Natural Resources Law.
Sydney Simmons, B.S.
Sydney is a student at the University of Arkansas School of Law, where she expects to graduate in 2020. She grew up on a cotton farm in Northeast Arkansas and graduated from the University of Arkansas in Spring 2017 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Agricultural, Food, and Life Sciences and minors in Agricultural Business and Legal Studies. During her undergraduate career, Sydney served as President of her sorority, Delta Delta Delta, President of the Pre-Law Society, and as a member of Collegiate Farm Bureau and the Razorback Booster Club. Additionally, she was awarded Senior of Significance designation, and membership to the Order of Omega honor society. During law school, she clerked at Roy, Lambert, Lovelace, Bingaman & Wood; Friday, Eldredge & Clark, LLP; and Hilburn, Calhoon, Harper, Pruniski & Calhoun, LTD. Sydney hopes to pursue her LL.M. in Agricultural and Food Law from the University of Arkansas School of Law after she completes her J.D.
Destiny Rauschhuber, B.S.
Destiny currently attends Texas A&M University School of Law where she expects to graduate in May 2021. Destiny grew up in sunny California and graduated from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo in June 2018 with a degree in Agricultural Business and a minor in Political Science. Her passion for agriculture brought her to Texas and she spent this past summer working with the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Program, which is an organization that provides legal aid and outreach to Texas farmers and landowners. At A&M, she works as a Teaching Assistant, is the Director of Public Relations for the Agricultural Law Society and is a Public Interest Fellowship recipient. After graduating law school, Destiny hopes to practice law in areas focusing on natural resources, agriculture, and environmental law.
Samantha Mikolajczyk B.S.
Samantha is a law student at Texas A&M University School of Law in Fort Worth, Texas, where she expects to graduate in 2021. Samantha grew up in South Texas on a small strawberry farm run by her family. She received her undergraduate degree from Texas A&M University with a B.S. in University Studies-Leadership and minors in English and Bioenvironmental Science. Before attending Texas A&M School of Law she interned for Congressman Jeb Hensarling in Washington, D.C. After returning from D.C. Samantha ran her family’s strawberry farm. While at Texas A&M Law Samantha has been involved in the Agricultural Law Society, is on Law Review and was a policy intern for Texas Governor Greg Abbott. She hopes to take her passion for environmental and agricultural issues and make a difference in the lives of farmers and ranchers.
Kevin Hivick, B.A., GradCertPH
Kevin Hivick is a law student at Washington & Lee University School of Law, where he expects to graduate in 2021. Kevin has worked on various farms and ranches, and most recently worked with the United States Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service inspecting red meat and poultry facilities. In addition to attending law school, Kevin and his wife raise dairy goats, bottle calves, and poultry on a small farm in the southern Shenandoah Valley. Kevin holds a Graduate Certificate in Public Health from the University of Florida and a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Virginia. Kevin is a member of the American Agricultural Law Association. After graduation, he plans to practice business law while advocating for agricultural and natural resources stakeholders.
Amanda Biediger, B.P.A.
Amanda is a law student at Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon, where she expects to graduate in May 2020. Amanda grew up riding horses in a small rural town located in the Texas Hill Country. She earned a degree in Political Science and a minor in Public Administration from Texas State University. During the summer of 2019, Amanda clerked for the office of the Texas Attorney General in the Environmental Protection Division, where she worked on a variety of cases dealing with water systems, emissions reduction, wildfires, and Waters of the United States. Amanda has interned for the Texas Agriculture Commission in the Deputy General Counsel Compliance and Enforcement Division, where she worked cases dealing with agriculture and structural pesticide label violations. Amanda also was a part of the team drafting emergency Texas Department of Agriculture rules for pesticide restrictions. Before law school, Amanda worked for Hance Scarborough law firm, in Austin, Texas, where she was a legislative and legal assistant for the firm’s lobbying and administrative staff. Amanda worked with various clients before the Texas Legislature, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, and the Railroad Commission of Texas. She was directly involved with issuing pertaining to groundwater law and policy, eminent domain, and oil and gas regulation. Amanda was also a legislative aid to Representative Tim Kleinschmidt during the 83rd Texas Legislature. She served as a policy advisor for multiple areas relating to agriculture, environmental, and natural resources.
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.
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.
Bryce McWilliams is a student at the University of Arkansas, majoring in Agricultural Communications and Agricultural Leadership with a minor in Poultry Science. He graduated from Greenbrier High School, where he was active in FFA and other clubs and organizations. He served as a Legislative and Agency Affairs intern for Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson in the summer of 2019 and has a strong interest in the agricultural policy areas of animal welfare, biosecurity and agritourism. After representing Arkansas FFA in the National FFA Parliamentary Procedure contest in 2017, Bryce became an Accredited Parliamentarian and is a member of National Association of Agricultural Education Parliamentarians and the American Institute of Parliamentarians. Bryce represents the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences in the Senate branch of Associated Student Government at the University of Arkansas and serves as a board member of the Arkansas FFA State Alumni & Supporters Council. In his free time, he loves hiking, fishing and watching Razorback sports!