To further its mission and better serve stakeholders, the National Agricultural Law Center has hired two new staff attorneys, Jana Caracciolo and Samantha Mikolajczyk, both with backgrounds in agriculture. The Center also hired a website editor and two undergraduate communications specialists.
“Our mission at the center is to be the nation’s leading source of agricultural and food law research and information, and the addition of Jana and Samantha to our team will help us achieve that,” Harrison Pittman, director of the center, said. “With a growing team, we are better able to serve our stakeholders throughout the United States.”
Growing up on a small honey tangerine farm in Florida spurred Caracciolo’s interest in the food system. In 2018, she graduated magna cum laude from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Science in Food and Resource Economics. Before attending college, Caracciolo served as a state officer for the Florida FFA Association.
While attending the University of Florida Levin College of Law, Caracciolo interned for the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic, as well as the Marketing, Regulatory, and Food Safety Programs Division of the United States Department of Agriculture’s Office of the General Counsel. Caracciolo will primarily focus her research on food labeling and food safety-related issues.
“I’m excited to join the National Agricultural Law Center,” Caracciolo said. “Through my research and writing I can help our stakeholders better understand the legal issues that impact our food system, particularly those related to food labeling and food safety.”
Mikolajczyk, hailing from south Texas, grew up on a strawberry farm where she was involved in agriculture from a young age through 4-H and FFA. She earned a Bachelor of Science in University Studies – Leadership from Texas A&M University in 2017. After receiving her undergraduate degree, Mikolajczyk attended Texas A&M University School of Law. She worked as a policy intern for Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and as a research fellow with the Vermont Law School’s Center for Agriculture and Food Systems.
During her second year of law school, Mikolajczyk began working at the National Agricultural Law Center as a research fellow, where she focused on finance and credit issues, as well as other projects. Mikolajczyk will focus her research on general agricultural, food, and environmental law issues.
“When I became a research fellow in law school, my goal became to join the National Agricultural Law Center full time as a staff attorney,” Mikolajczyk said. “The center is the perfect place to continue developing my research and writing skills in while helping a broad audience to learn more about agricultural law. I’m looking forward to this next step in my new role.”
The following list includes the titles, responsibilities, and brief background of additional new staff members:
Ramie Parsons, Website Editor
Parsons joins the Center as a Website Editor. Spending most of her childhood in Western Arkansas, Parsons graduated from Waldron High School. While there, she participated in journalism and worked during the summer for the Waldron News. After attending the University of Arkansas, she earned her Bachelor of Science in Human Environmental Sciences from the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences. Her concentration was in Childhood Development from Birth to Three Years, and she put those skills to use during the several years she spent working with both typically developing and special needs children, providing care, and teaching developmentally appropriate practices. Since then, she has turned her focus to part-time website editing at the National Agricultural Law Center. Additionally, she operates her own business as a medical billing and coding specialist for mental health professionals in private practice.
Brooke Bradford, Communications Specialist
Bradford joins the Center as a Communications Specialist. Bradford is an honors student at the University of Arkansas studying both agricultural leadership and communications. Expected to graduate in 2024, Bradford is interested specifically in social media and the role it can play in agriculture as an industry. She is a past Arkansas FFA state officer, serving as the State President in 2020 – 2021 and now a National FFA Officer Candidate. In 2020 after graduating with honors from Clinton High School, she was selected by the United States Department of Education as a United States Presidential Scholar. She currently serves as a Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences Honors Mentor and is actively involved in Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow. As a college student, Bradford serves on the Governor’s Commission on Community Service and Volunteerism as one of two youth commissioners. After earning her undergraduate degrees, she plans on applying to both master’s programs and law schools to continue her education with a focus on policy and public service. At the Center, Bradford will assist the Communications Coordinator with social media and a variety of special projects.
Madison Price, Communications Specialist
Price joins the Center as a Communications Specialist. An honors student at the University of Arkansas, Price is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in agricultural business with a minor in agricultural leadership from the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences. She is an Honors College Path Scholar and is currently involved in Collegiate Farm Bureau, where she serves as the Director of Public Affairs. Price is also a member of Delta Delta Delta Sorority and a past participant in the Associated Student Government Freshman Leadership Forum. Price plans to graduate in 2024 and further her education beyond her bachelor’s degree. At the Center, Price will assist the Communications Coordinator with social media and a variety of special projects.
Learn more about the National Agricultural Law Center Professional Staff here.