Sixth Annual Mid-South Agricultural and Environmental Law Conference

Hosted by the National Agricultural Law Center

June 6-7, 2019

Memphis, Tennessee

University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law


Agriculture in the Mid-South is uniquely impacted by changes and developments in state, federal, and international laws and policies.  This program is part of a long-term effort to provide relevant and timely agricultural and environmental legal research and information to attorneys, lenders, accountants, tax consultants, students and other agricultural professionals involved in the agriculture and aquaculture industries in the southern U.S.   The goal is to provide resources in the form of presentations and content, as well as to foster dialogue about the range of agricultural, food, and aquaculture issues for the Mid-South agricultural community.

This conference will feature 6 hours of continuing education, including an hour of ethics.  Further, for participants who register before May 14th, 2 “bonus hours” of online continuing education will also be included.  More information on continuing education credit is available below.


Conference Time, Date, and Location:

Friday, June 7, 2019

8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law

1 North Front Street

Memphis, TN 38103

Conference Agenda:

Thursday, June 6

6:30 – 8:30 pm:  Welcome Reception at The Rendezvous Restaurant, 52 S. Second Street, Memphis, TN

Join us for a “BBQ & Beer” reception at one of downtown Memphis’ most famous restaurants (cost included in registration)

Friday, June 7

7:30 a.m.:  Registration & Light Breakfast

8:00-8:30:  Welcome & Announcements 

Keynote Speaker: Stephen Vaden, USDA General Counsel

8:30 – 9:30: The “Do’s and Don’ts” of Ag Labor & Immigration for Farmers and Agribusinesses

Brandon Davis, Partner, Phelps Dunbar LLP

9:30– 10:30:  Ag Law & Policy on The Hill: Update from the U.S. Senate and House Ag Committees

Fred Clark, Senior Counsel, United States Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry
Prescott Martin, Senior Counsel, United States House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture

10:30 – 10:45:     Break

10:45 – 11:45:    Law & Lending in a Down Farm Economy: Recent Trends and Outlooks

Greg Cole, President and CEO of AgHeritage Farm Credit Services

Michael O’Neal, Deputy General Counsel, GreenStone Farm Credit Services

11:45 – 1:00:       Lunch (provided) – Networking

1:00 – 2:00:      Navigating Environmental Law Issues for Attorneys, Lenders, and Landowners:  What You Need to Know

Jim L. Noles, Jr., Partner, Barze Taylor Noles Lowther, LLC

2:00 – 3:00:        Succession Planning for Lawyers: Ethics

Shannon Ferrell, Oklahoma State University

3:00 – 4:00:  Top 10 Things You Need to Know About Ag Bankruptcy

Stephen L. Gershner, Davidson Law Firm


To register for this conference, click here.


Attendees seeking continuing education credit (CLE/CE): $175

Other attendees, not seeking professional credit: $125

Media members: $75

Undergraduate or Law Students: $25


Organizers have not reserved a conference block of rooms, but several hotels are located across the street from or within a block of the law school.  Click here for a map.


Continuing Education:

For the June 7th conference:

  • Legal- This program has been approved for 6 total hours of CLE in Arkansas, Tennessee and Mississippi, including one hour of ethics.  It has also been approved for 7.2 hours of CLE in Missouri, including 1.2 hours of ethics.
  • American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers: It has been approved for 7 hours of CE credit.

For the the “bonus” online CLE on May 15th:

  • Legal- This program has been approved for two hours of general CLE credit in Arkansas.
  • American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers: It has been approved for 2 hours of CE credit.

If you are interested in continuing education credit in other states or for other professions, email Rusty Rumley for assistance.

Online “Bonus” CLE

Those who register by May 14 are eligible for two “bonus” hours of online CLE/CE, in addition to the conference.  Those hours will be held from 11am-1pm CDT on May 15th.  The presentations are:

Ag & Food Law Update for the Mid-South (11am – 12pm)

Elizabeth Rumley, Senior Staff Attorney, National Agricultural Law Center

Ross Pifer, Director, Center for Agricultural & Shale Law, Penn State Law

Stephanie Showalter Otts, Director, National Sea Grant Law Center, University of Mississippi School of Law

Peggy Kirk Hall, Director, Agricultural & Resource Law Program, The Ohio State University

Talking About the “Big D” and I Don’t Mean Dallas:  Divorce on the Farm (12pm – 1pm)

Cari Rincker, Rincker Law, PLLC

A link to access the online CLE will be sent out to all current registrants on May 14th.

Speaker Biographies

Conference Materials:

Materials for Bonus CLE

Materials for MidSouth CLE