Arkansas: Ag Law and Tech Conference, Little Rock, Aug. 15-16

Gov. Asa Hutchinson will be the keynote speaker for the agricultural law and technology conference Aug. 15-16 that’s co-sponsored by the National Agricultural Law Center, National Association of Attorneys General and Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge.

“Ag Technology and the Law: Advancing American Agriculture,” is being held at the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock. Among the agenda topics: Gene editing, blockchain, global theft of U.S. technology, and hot topics in pesticide litigation and regulation.

“With his emphasis on coding in education and his initiative on blockchain use in our food supply, Gov. Hutchinson will bring a real world perspective on technology to the conference,” said Harrison Pittman, director of the National Agricultural Law Center, part of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.

“We’re honored to have the governor as part of this national platform, highlighting the importance of ag tech to agriculture in Arkansas and the nation.”

The conference offers 12 hours of continuing legal education, including 2 hours of ethics, for attorneys.

“When I became co-chair of NAAG’s Agriculture Committee three years ago, I envisioned Arkansas hosting a first-rate legal education program for state Attorneys General staff, state regulatory staff and others focused on agricultural law,” said Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge.

“This partnership between NAAG and the National Agricultural Law Center is the perfect vehicle to bring legal experts together to provide unparalleled educational opportunities for the legal community, not just in Arkansas, but across the country.”

More information and online registration, can be found online here.

The agenda:

8:00 – 8:15 — Welcome from Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge
8:15 – 9:15 —  Ag Tech & the Law: Landscape & Emerging Issues

  • Todd Janzen, Janzen Ag Law

9:15 – 10:30 – Issues for States’ Attorney General

  • Hon. Leslie Rutledge, Arkansas Attorney General
  • Hon. Curtis Hill, Indiana Attorney General
  • Hon. Doug Peterson, Nebraska Attorney General
  • Wes Ward, Secretary, Arkansas Department of Agriculture
  • Moderated by Harrison Pittman, Director, National Agricultural Law Center

10:30 – 10:45 – Break
10:45– 11:45 All Data Big & Small:  Legal Issues Surrounding Agricultural Data

  • Dr. Shannon Ferrell, Oklahoma State University

11:45 – 1:30 Lunch
1:30 – 2:45 Ag Tech Pitfalls and Barriers:  Industry Perspectives

  • Chris Fink, Founder & COO, Unmanned Vehicle Technologies
  • John Dombrosky, CEO, AgTech Accelerator
  • Todd L. Martin, Independent Professional Seed Association

2:45 – 3:00 Break
3:00 – 4:00 Genetic Editing of Crops and Animals:  State & Federal Regulation

  • Thomas P. Redick, Global Environmental Ethics Counsel, LLC
  • Eric Williams, Partner, Barnes & Thornburg LLP
  • Moderated by Andrew Varcoe, Partner, Boyden Gray and Associates

4:00 – 5:00 – Legal Ethics and Class Actions

  • Drew Kershen, Professor Emeritus, Earl Sneed Centennial Professor of Law Emeritus, The University of Oklahoma College of Law

Thursday, August 16

8:15 – 9:15  Global Theft of U.S. Ag Technology

  • Jennie Nichols, Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation

9:15 – 10:15  Hot Topics in Pesticide Litigation & Regulation

  • Karen Ellis Carr, Partner, Arent & Fox, Washington, D.C.

10:15 – 10:30 Break
10:30 – 11:30 Legal Ethics Considerations in the Ag Tech World

  • Mark Henry, Rose Law Firm

11:30 – 12:30 Lunch

  • Keynote Speaker: Governor Asa Hutchinson

12:30 – 1:45 Ag Sustainability & Ag Tech:  Blockchain and Beyond

  • Mark Pryor, CEO, The Seam
  • Kevin Igli, Senior Vice President & Chief Environmental Officer; Tyson Foods, Inc

1:45 – 3:00 State Ag Departments & Regulation of Technology

  • Teena Gunter, General Counsel at Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food & Forestry
  • Brad Deacon, Director, Office of Legal Affairs, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Affairs
  • Michele Dias, General Counsel, California Department of Food and Agriculture

For more information about the National Agricultural Law Center, visit here.


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