Employer: Rose Acre Farms, Inc.
Education and Work Experience:
B.S. Agronomy; Brigham Young University
M.S. International Agriculture; University of California, Davis
J.D. University of Arkansas, Little Rock
How did you get interested/involved in agriculture law?
Grew up on a diversified grain and livestock farm in Northwest Indiana, with a major river running through our farm. A state employee purposefully breached a dam flooding several hundred acres of grown corn, ruining all of it. Sued the state and won. Was interested in ag law thereafter.
What is your current role and what type of work are you doing for agriculture?
Rose Acre Farms, Inc. is the second largest egg producer in the United States, with over 23 million chickens and locations in ten (10) states, ranging from North Carolina to Hawaii. I am the General Counsel and responsible for contracts for both suppliers to us and those we supply. Oversee lawsuits and outside counsel. Also, Vice President of Environmental so oversee all environmental regulations and laws, as well as make sure all environmental reports are completed for all of our operations.
Also serve on several Boards within Indiana such as the State Chemist Fertilizer Advisory Committee and the Indiana Agricultural Nutrient Alliance.
What are some of the challenges and opportunities you see in your job and the ag law profession?
One of the biggest challenges I see in agriculture today are the many misperceptions by those outside of agriculture as to what we actually do in agriculture. The results are many forces trying to shape what we do in agriculture without knowing what we do. Misperceptions about how food is grown and what is actually in food leads to people trying to get laws and regulations that are actually accomplishing the opposite of what they are actually seeking.
This challenge is also an opportunity to work with various groups and legislators in showing and educating them about what agriculture actually does and to help shape laws and regulations that help all people.
When did you join, why did you join the AALA and what keeps you active in the organization?
Drew Kershen was my agricultural Law professor and he talked me into attending an AALA meeting in 1987. Have been attending AALA ever since.
The caliber, experience and knowledge of those attending is extremely impressive and it is always a joy to learn from other AALA members as to what is going on, not only in my area of the law, but in other areas also.
I am glad to talk with AALA members further about my work and career.
- Please log into the members-only website at: members.aglaw-assn.org to see my contact information.