The month of August has come to a close and researchers at the National Agricultural Law Center have been working hard to connect stakeholders with trusted research and information on agricultural and food law. Below is a compilation of new resources from the month of August.

Welcome new staff!

The Center is excited to welcome two new Staff Attorneys, Micah Brown and Sarah Catherine Copper.

Micah, born and raised in Benton, Arkansas, earned a Bachelor‘s degree in Political Science from the University of Central Arkansas before graduating cum laude with his Juris Doctor from the University of Arkansas School of Law. Micah began working at the Center as a Research Fellow during his second year of law school and joined full time after graduating in May of 2020. At the Center, his primary areas of research are finance and credit, commercial transactions and secured transactions.

Sarah Catherine grew up in east Tennessee and earned her Bachelor’s in Food Science at Auburn University before earning a Juris Doctor from the University of Arkansas School of Law in 2020. She is currently working toward earning her Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Food and Agricultural Law at the University of Arkansas School of Law. At the Center, Sarah Catherine’s primary areas of research are food safety and labeling.

Read their full bios here.


  • Facing Farm Financial Stress: An Overview of the Bankruptcy Option: Unforgiving weather patterns, trade disputes and low commodity prices are just a few obstacles that could lead farm families to consider filing for bankruptcy. This bulletin series, authored in partnership with Peggy Kirk Hall, Chris Zoller, David Marrison and Hannah Scott at Ohio State University Extension, helps farm families fully understand the bankruptcy option. Walking producers through each stage of the bankruptcy process from first considerations, to court preparation, to recovery, the series takes a look at the entire life-cycle of a farm bankruptcy.
  • Innovative State Approaches to Hemp Regulations Under the 2018 Farm Bill: Over the last few years, the agricultural sector has been buzzing with excitement about the potential of a new crop – industrial hemp. This paper, written by Ellen Essman, is the result of a collaborative effort between the NALC and The Ohio State University Agricultural & Resource Law Program.  Even within the 2018 Farm Bill requirements, there is room for states to innovate, and this paper focuses on how they have done so, summarizing the unique aspects of state hemp programs that go beyond the USDA’s minimum requirements. Find the publication here.


The Evolution of Agritourism: Current Legal Issues & Future Trends: Agritourism has been on the rise in the U.S. with income tripling between 2002 and 2017. Together with the agritourism industry’s continued growth and prospects, however, has been an evolution of laws and legal issues affecting operators. In this webinar, our speakers examine opportunities in agritourism today and the legal challenges agritourism faces, both COVID-19 and from other legal perspectives. Find a recording of this webinar here.

Blog posts:


  • Senior Staff Attorney Rusty Rumley was a guest speaker for a webinar hosted by Mississippi State University Extension, discussing liability in agritourism. A recording of this webinar will be available soon.
  • Harrison Pittman was a guest on the Ag Law in the Field Podcast with Tiffany Dowell Lashmet from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. On this podcast, Harrison discussed legal challenges to the Beef Checkoff program. Find the episode here.