Plan. Produce. Profit: Liability Issues with Food Processing Under the Arkansas Food Freedom Act



The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture and the National Agricultural Law Center are facilitating three webinars, held in late 2023 and early 2024, as part of the Plan. Produce. Profit. series. Webinar participants will learn how to operate under the Arkansas Food Freedom Act for selling homemade food items to the public. Funding for these webinars is provided by the Arkansas Department of Agriculture through the USDA Specialty Crop Producers Program.

NALC Senior Staff Attorney Rusty Rumley will present the first of the three webinars on November 8, titled, “Liability Issues with Food Processing Under the Arkansas Food Freedom Act.”

The second and third webinars will be held in January and February 2024. Dates and details of these webinars are to be announced.

According to a fact sheet from the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Public Policy Center, Act 1040 of 2021 (otherwise known as the Arkansas Food Freedom Act) allows Arkansas residents to sell more types of homemade food and drink products in more locations than before and allowing direct sales of certain homemade food and drink products that do not require time or temperature controls to remain safe. Some products, such as pickles, salsas, and canned vegetables, may require pH testing or preapproved recipes.

Time and Date:

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Noon – 1 p.m. (EST)

11 a.m. – Noon (CST)



RustyRusty Rumley, a Senior Staff Attorney at the National Agricultural Law Center, 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 Agri Business 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.

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