Spring Updates

The Agricultural Law Center spent the spring discussing recent legislative actions in Iowa and beyond, engaging in conversation about water quality and watershed citizenship, and transitioning into an exciting new leadership team!

Professor Neil Hamilton, soon Emeritus Professor Hamilton, will retire from being Director of the Agricultural Law Center at the end of June. Hamilton will continue to contribute to the Center in work related to soil and water. 

Prior to his retirement, Hamilton gave a keynote presentation at the 2019 Iowa Water conference on the theme “Watershed Citizenship.”On May 6th, he moderated a citizen panel on the challenges in addressing climate change with presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke in Des Moines. Later in May, he presented to the Iowa chapter of the Sierra Club and the Des Moines chapter of the Isaak Walton League covering “Ten Important Developments for Iowa’s Water and Land.”

Later this summer, Hamilton will be on a panel discussing “Key developments in American Soil and Water Conservation Policy” at the annual national conference of the Isaak Walton League taking place in Des Moines. In November, Hamilton will lead a panel on “State Responses to Water Quality” at the American Agricultural Law Association (AALA) meeting in Washington, D.C.

Associate Director Jennifer Zwagerman will officially transition to Director Zwagerman on July 1. Zwagerman has been with the Center and collaborating with Hamilton since 2011. Find her profile in the June issue of the Business Record!

Zwagerman had a full spring, starting with appearances on Iowa Public Radio’s River to River to talk about ag gag litigation and recent court rulings, particularly those in Iowa. In March, she attended the Young Professionals in Agriculture Breakfast as a mentor and provided the Ag Law Update to Webster County Spring CLE. Zwagerman planned and executed the Festschrift Symposium honoring Hamilton for his lifetime scholarship and work. In April, she participated and instructed two courses at the 4th Food Law Student Leadership Summit at Georgetown Law School in Washington, D.C. Additionally, she assisted the Center in co-sponsoring a Gene Editing & Agriculture Symposium with the Drake Intellectual Property Law Center. In May, Zwagerman moderated a panel of political reporters at Science on the Stump at Drake University. She also returned to Iowa Public Radio to discuss Ag Gag 2.0 in the Iowa legislature and to talk about recent glyphosate litigation in California and beyond.   

The Center looks forward to Zwagerman’s new leadership and initiatives, and appreciates Hamilton’s work as Director of the Center for the past 30+ years!