Guide to Agricultural Law
What is Agricultural Law?
Agricultural law, or “Ag Law,” deals with the laws pertaining to agricultural infrastructure, seed, water, fertilizer, pesticide, land use, environmental issues, food production, agricultural finance, agricultural labor; agricultural marketing, agricultural insurance, farming rights, land tenure and tenancy systems, and other aspects of the agricultural processing and rural industries. As modern technologies and processes emerge, credit, intellectual property, and technology related trade and commerce issues pertaining to the agricultural industry become an increasingly large part of the sphere of issues related to ag law. Moreover, as the industry evolves and advances, issues of engineering, biotechnology, and hydrology will become increasingly prevalent.
Commercial Agricultural Operations
Commercial agricultural operations encompass many areas of commercial law, including the sale of goods, leasing, contract law, secured transactions, and commodity futures trading. Agricultural commercial transactions are often related to the sale and leasing of goods associated with agriculture.
For more information about agricultural law, you may review the materials below or contact one of the attorneys listed on our Law Firms page.
Agriculture Law - US
- ABA - Environment, Energy, and Resources Section
The Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources is the premier forum for lawyers working in areas related to environmental law, natural resources law, and energy law. The Section is committed to providing members with opportunities to enhance professional skills, stay on top of current developments, and dialogue in these substantive areas. Section membership will add to your professional skill set and broaden your knowledge.
- Agriculture Law - Title 7 - US Code
Agriculture includes soil preparation, seed planting, crop harvesting, gardening, horticulture, viticulture, apiculture (bee-raising), dairying, poultry, and ranching. Generally, laws grouped under the heading "agricultural law" relate to the production of the fruits of these activities as they are carried out in a commercial setting.
- Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act
The Federal Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act provides protection for migrant and seasonal agricultural workers
- Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry
Agriculture is at the heart of so many issues that impact our lives each day – from producing food and fiber and the fuel that supplies our vehicles to the conservation of our natural resources and the economic growth and jobs in rural areas. The responsibilities and goals of the Senate Agriculture Committee are as diverse as the needs of American agriculture. The policies developed by this committee will support efforts to move our country forward, help rural communities grow and succeed and help boost the rural economy to preserve opportunities for the next generation for states like Iowa.
- Slum Clearance, Urban Renewal, and Farm Housing - Chapter 8A
This chapter provides for financial assistance to farmers and others for the construction or improvement of farm housing and other agriculturally related purposes.
- US Department of Agriculture (USDA)
The United States Department of Agriculture (informally the Agriculture Department or USDA) is the United States federal executive department responsible for developing and executing U.S. federal government policy on farming, agriculture, and food. It aims to meet the needs of farmers and ranchers, promote agricultural trade and production, work to assure food safety, protect natural resources, foster rural communities and end hunger in the United States and abroad.
Agriculture Law - Europe
- EU Agricultural Law - Simplifying the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)
The 2009 Communication highlights the activities that have been carried out since 2005, and provides indications of the resulting reduction in administrative burden for farmers and administrations. Special attention is given to the activities carried out in the context of the rolling Simplification Action Plan as well as the single CMO, the 2007 study on administrative burden for farms and the results of the Health Check process. To conclude, the communication explores paths to further simplification actions in the future.
- The European Council for Agricultural Law (CEDR)
Welcome to the European Council for Agricultural Law, more usually known as the "CEDR" from its French name "Comité Européen de Droit Rural". The CEDR is the only pan-european organisation which represents lawyers interested in agricultural and rural law, in all its aspects.
Agriculture Law - International
- Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC)
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) provides information, research and technology, and policies and programs to achieve security of the food system, health of the environment and innovation for growth. AAFC, along with its portfolio partners, reports to Parliament and Canadians through the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board.
- Association for International Agriculture and Rural Development (AIARD)
The Association for International Agriculture and Rural Development (AIARD) is an association of professionals and practitioners in international development with experience and intellectual and institutional capabilities to articulate and address broad-based as well as more focused development issues in agriculture and rural development.
- Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR)
The CGIAR mission is to achieve sustainable food security and reduce poverty in developing countries through scientific research and research-related activities in the fields of agriculture, forestry, fisheries, policy and environment. Its vision is to reduce poverty and hunger, improve human health and nutrition, and enhance ecosystem resilience through high-quality international agricultural research, partnership and leadership.
- International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
IFAD is dedicated to eradicating rural poverty in developing countries. Seventy-five per cent of the world's poorest people - 1.05 billion women, children and men - live in rural areas and depend on agriculture and related activities for their livelihoods.
- United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations leads international efforts to defeat hunger. Serving both developed and developing countries, FAO acts as a neutral forum where all nations meet as equals to negotiate agreements and debate policy. FAO is also a source of knowledge and information. We help developing countries and countries in transition modernize and improve agriculture, forestry and fisheries practices and ensure good nutrition for all. Since our founding in 1945, we have focused special attention on developing rural areas, home to 70 percent of the world's poor and hungry people.
Organizations Related to Agriculture Law
- American Agricultural Law Association (AALA)
The American Agricultural Law Association (AALA) is the only national professional organization focusing on the legal needs of the agricultural community. Crossing traditional barriers, it offers an independent forum for investigation of innovative and workable solutions to complex agricultural law problems. This role has taken on greater importance in the midst of the current international and environmental issues reshaping agriculture and the impending technological advances which promise equally dramatic changes.
- Farm Service Agency (FSA)
Farm Service Agency is equitably serving all farmers, ranchers, and agricultural partners through the delivery of effective, efficient agricultural programs for all Americans.
- Farmers' Legal Action Group, Inc. (FLAG)
Farmers' Legal Action Group, Inc. (FLAG) is a nonprofit law center dedicated to providing legal services to family farmers and their rural communities in order to help keep family farmers on the land.
- Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy works locally and globally at the intersection of policy and practice to ensure fair and sustainable food, farm and trade systems.
- National Agricultural Law Center
The National Agricultural Law Center is the only agricultural law research and information facility that is independent, national and international in scope, and directly connected to the national agricultural information network. The Center has expanded the scope of its coverage to include food law as it recognizes the expanding scope of agricultural law and its convergence with food law topics. The Center is staffed by a team of law and research professors, lawyers, other specialists, and graduate assistants from the University of Arkansas School of Law Graduate Program in Agricultural Law.
- National Agricultural Library (NAL)
The National Agricultural Library is one of four national libraries of the United States, with locations in Beltsville, Maryland and Washington, D.C. It houses one of the world's largest and most accessible agricultural information collections and serves as the nexus for a national network of state land-grant and U.S. Department of Agriculture field libraries.
- US Department of Agriculture - Agricultural Marketing Service
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service administers programs that facilitate the efficient, fair marketing of U.S. agricultural products, including food, fiber, and specialty crops. AMS has about 5,500 employees who are located throughout the United States.
- USDA - Risk Management Agency (RMA)
The role of USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) is to help producers manage their business risks through effective, market-based risk management solutions. RMA’s mission is to promote, support, and regulate sound risk management solutions to preserve and strengthen the economic stability of America’s agricultural producers.
Publications Related to Agriculture Law
This site provides the language of selected agricultural statutes and background information on agricultural law.
- Drake Journal of Agricultural Law
The Drake Journal of Agricultural Law is dedicated to the review of legal issues affecting the agricultural industry. The purpose of the Journal is to provide a forum to explore contemporary issues in international and domestic agricultural law.
- Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) Worldwide
FAS Worldwide, which debuted in March 2005, is an online magazine from USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service that is designed to cover the full spectrum of the Agency’s responsibilities and activities. This electronic publication provides comprehensive information about the multiple goals and activities of FAS in a flexible, user-friendly format.
Articles on HG.org Related to Agriculture Law
- Nebraska Department of Agriculture Laws and RegulationsLegal cases involving agriculture, cattle, dairy herds, poultry, and other herds may revolve around various issues which can range from disease, genetics, and environmental concerns to water rights, crop injuries, personal injuries to persons working in these fields, and more
- Which Parties Could be Held Responsible for Listeria-Tainted Cantaloupes?A listeria outbreak linked to cantaloupes has affected people throughout the United States and spread to California. California has long provided broad protections to consumers who have suffered the personally injurious consequences of food borne illness, but the new case raises interesting questions concerning which parties could be held responsible for the outbreak, explains an attorney.
- Justice For Black FarmersThis article discusses the racial discrimination southern black farmers experienced from the USDA.
- Hawaii Card Check Bill Passes: Bill's Fate in Question as it is Transmitted to Governor LingleA bill which will allow unions to organize agricultural employers without a secret ballot election, HB 952 CD1, was passed on May 8, 2009, by the Hawaii Legislature. Governor Lingle will have until June 30, 2009 to issue a veto message. The card check bill closely mirrors President Obama’s push for passage of the Employee Free Choice Act (“EFCA”).
- The New Country of Origin Labeling Law (COOL) and How it Will be AppliedThis article discusses and explains the new Country of Origin Labeling Law (COOL) and describes the impact COOL will have on shoppers, food producers and retailers. The author also unwraps what foods the law covers and what foods and retailers are not regulated by this new law.
- The Truth about Toxic Torts - Everyone is Vulnerable to Toxic ExposureThe author discusses how all of us are vulnerable to toxic exposures in our daily lives and warns that what people and their physicians often relate a simple health-related problem such as skin rashes or hair loss as being due to aging or hereditary genes or allergies, may actually be a symptom of toxic exposure.
- An Inside Look At What Biotechnology Can Do For MankindThis article examines what biotechnology is and how it relates to the medical field, agriculture, bio processes, industry and the aquatic field. The author notes that as the planet becomes more polluted and more in need of clean water and food, the field of biotechnology will become even more important.
- California Food Poisoning and the New Country of Origin Labeling Law (COOL)This article discusses how the new Country of Origin Labeling Law (COOL) will affect restaurants and foodborne disease investigations throughout California. It also explains what foods the new Country of Origin Labeling Law covers and what foods and retailers are not regulated by this new law.
- All Environmental and Natural Resources Law Articles
Articles written by attorneys and experts worldwide discussing legal aspects related to Environmental and Natural Resources including: agricultural law, animal law, energy, environmental law, equine law, forestry and fisheries, natural resources, oil and gas.