The program could be available to students by 2019
By Diego Flammini
Prospective students with interests in law and agriculture could enroll in a new program by 2019.
A joint venture between Indiana University (IU) and Purdue University will create an agricultural law program.
The process is still in its infancy and the specifics of the program are yet to be determined, but school officials are excited about the program’s potential.
“When I talk with my counterparts at Purdue, we raise a wide variety of things that the program could do,” Andy Klein, Dean of IU’s Robert McKinney School of Law, told Farms.com today. “The program could be a joint degree, we can provide programming or lectures for people who work in agriculture. There’s just a number of things we can do with an agricultural law program.”
The program’s development process will include a two-year study into student interest, infrastructure and educational components.
And who better to talk about the legalities of agriculture than a farmer?
Amy Cornell grew up on a corn and soybean farm in Illinois. She’s also a graduate of IU’s law school and Purdue University. Cornell has been hired as a consultant to assemble a steering committee to build the program.
Her goal is to make the program development process as inclusive as possible and that means farmers will be part of the discussion.
“Even if farmers don’t serve on the steering committee, they will definitely be part of an engaged stakeholder group and advisory group that the committee will be looking to for more resources,” she told Farms.com today. “We’ll be consulting with various sectors to make sure the program meets the needs of agriculture and agribusiness.”
And one of the more exciting components about putting the program together, according to Cornell, is the intersection between agriculture and various types of law.
“Agriculture encompasses everything from food, fuel, feed and fibre,” she said. “But what can set agriculture apart from other types of law is that farmers are working with living things and there’s a lot of things that are outside of their control.”
Klein echoed Cornell’s feelings, adding that environmental law, business and tax law, and food safety law are all areas that can fall under agriculture’s umbrella.