Administrative Law


The government regulates many aspects of modern agriculture, often through administrative agencies whose authority to act has been delegated by either Congress or state legislatures. Administrative law is the body of law that has developed to protect citizens from actions or inaction on the part of administrative agencies. The close relationship between agriculture and government agencies makes administrative law an important tool to ensure fairness and openness between individuals and the government. Administrative law defines and limits the powers of agencies based on principles in the Constitution and statutes, and it provides redress to individuals wronged by administrative agencies. Read the full overview

Note: Recently added resources are posted at the top of the applicable sections.

Major Statutes

Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 500-504, 551-559, 561-570a, 571-584, 591-596

Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552

Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552a

“Little” Tucker Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1346(a)(2)

“Big” Tucker Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1491(a)(2)

Hobbs Administrative Review Act, 28 U.S.C. §§ 2341-2351

Equal Access to Justice Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2412

False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. §§ 3729-3733

Contract Disputes Act, 41 U.S.C. §§ 7101-7109

Department of Agriculture Reorganization Act of 1994 (National Appeals Division), 7 U.S.C. §§ 6991-7002


Rules of Practice Governing Formal Adjudicatory Proceedings, 7 C.F.R. §§ 1.130-1.151

Rules of Practice Governing Cease and Desist Orders Under Section 2 of the Capper-Volstead Act, 7 C.F.R. §§ 1.160-1.175

Equal Access to Justice Act Awards Procedures 7 C.F.R. §§ 1.180-1.203

National Appeals Division Regulations 7 C.F.R. §§ 11.1-11.33

Rules of Practice Governing Reparations Under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act 7 C.F.R. §§ 47.1-47.49

Federal Seed Act Rules of Practice 7 C.F.R. §§ 202.1-202.44

Informal Appeal Regulations of the Farm Service Agency 7 C.F.R. §§ 780.1-780.17

Rules of Practice Governing Proceedings Under the Packers and Stockyards Act 9 C.F.R. §§ 202.1-202.210

Postdecisional Administrative Review Process for Occupancy or Use of National Forest System Lands and Resources 36 C.F.R. §§ 214.1-214.22

Rules of Practice Governing Hearings Under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act 40 C.F.R. §§ 164.1-164.133

Federal Register Rules Open for Comment

Case Law

Case Law Index for Administrative Law

Administrative Law Decisions

Office of Administrative Law Judges

Office of the Judicial Officer

USDA National Appeals Division

Civilian Board of Contract Appeals

Filings, Proceedings, Orders and Decisions of the EPA’s Administrative Law Judges

EPA Environmental Appeals Board

Center published USDA Judicial Officer’s Decisions

Center Research Publications

Fifth Circuit Rules SEC Administrative Proceedings Unconstitutional (Brown & Rollins, 2022)

Beef, Beans, & the First Amendment: Disappearing Sovereignty for State Beef Councils and Soybean Boards? (Pittman, 2017)

A Practitioner’s Guide to the Litigation of Federally Reinsured Crop Insurance Claims (Ballard, 2012)

Developments in Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice, 2005-2006 — Agriculture (Pittman, 2006)

Statutory Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies in Actions Against the USDA (Kelley, 2004)

Attorney’s Fee Awards for Unreasonable Government Conduct: Notes on EAJA (Kelley, 2004)

USDA’s National Appeals Division Procedures and Practice (Krub, 2003, Updated by Urbanek, 2019)

USDA National Appeals Division: An Outline of the Rules of Procedure (Kelley, 2003)

Dealing with the USDA:  Federal Administrative Law Basics (Kelley, 2002)

Agricultural Law Bibliography

Introduction   |   Keyword Search   |   Browse Categories

Legal publications on Administrative Law:

Administrative Law (Federal and State Farm Programs)

Reference Resources

Department of Justice (DOJ)

Justice Department Attorney General’s Manual on the Administrative Procedure Act (1947)

Freedom of Information Act

Freedom of Information Act Guide

Overview of the Privacy Act (July 2015)

U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Regulations & Directives

USDA Agencies and Staff Offices

FSA Handbook: Program Appeals, Mediation, and Litigation

Office of Hearings and Appeals Strategic Plan 2018-2022

Congressional Resources

General Accounting Office Reports and Testimonies

Other Federal Resources

Forest Service Directives

Natural Resources Conservation Service Directives

Risk Management Agency Laws and Regulations

Risk Management Final Agency Determinations

National Appeals Division

Office of the Inspector General

USDA Freedom of Information Act Home Page

Additional Resources

American Bar Association Section of Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice

State and Federal Administrative Codes and Registers (NASS)

Administrative Law: An Overview (Legal Information Institute, Cornell)

Administrative Procedures Database (ABA – FL State U.)

Federal Administrative Law Research Guide (Duke U. School of Law)

Federal Administrative Law: A Brief Overview (LLSDC)


Agriculture Decisions Publication (USDA)

Laws and Regulations (USDA)

Laws and Regulations That Apply to Your Agricultural Operation by Farm Activity (EPA)

An Overview of Federal Regulations and the Rulemaking Process (CRS, IF 10003, March 19, 2021)

Administrative Agency Deference- Little Help For Ag From the Supreme Court (McEowen, 2019)

Farmers, Ranchers, and Government Administrative Agencies (McEowen, 2017)

Understanding Administrative Law (Fox, 2000)

Recommended Readings and Publications (not freely available electronically)

Jeffrey S. Lubbers, A Guide to Federal Agency Rulemaking (6th ed. 2018)

Matthew P. Downer, Note, Tentative Interpretations: The Abracadabra of Administrative Rulemaking and the End of Alaska Hunters, 67 Vand. L. Rev. 875 (2014).

Daniel A. Farber, Anne Joseph O’Connell, The Lost World of Administrative Law, 92 Tex. L. Rev. 1137 (2014).

Dustin Plotnick, Note, Agency Settlement Reviewability, 82 Fordham L. Rev. 1367 (2013).

Sean Croston, It Means What It Says: Deciphering and Respecting the APA’s Definition of “Rule”, 53 Washburn L.J. 27 (2013).

James T. O’Reilly, Federal Preemption of State and Local Law: Legislation, Regulation, and Litigation (2006)

Michael Asimow, A Guide to Federal Agency Adjudication (2002)