Founded at Drake University in 1983, the Agricultural Law Center is internationally recognized for the study of how the legal system shapes our food system and influences the ability of the agricultural sector to produce, market and utilize agricultural products. The Center facilitates the Drake University Law School’s certification program in food and agricultural law. Students learn about legal issues involving the full scope of food and agriculture, including marketing and finance, biotechnology, international trade, tax planning, soil and water conservation, land use and environmental issues, food safety and federal farm programs.
In addition to training America’s future agriculture and food law attorneys, the Center conducts original policy research focused on helping farmers, landowners, and business owners succeed in their pursuits. This website includes a wealth of guides, tools, and research to help improve America’s food and agricultural enterprises.
The Center has a proud history of convening conferences and workshops related to our research. From wind energy to contract livestock production, garden policy to new farmers, food policy councils to climate change and agriculture, the Center is continually forward looking to identify, understand, and develop farmer focused legal and policy solutions to make food and agriculture more sustainable industries.
Since its inception, the Center was directed by Professor Neil Hamilton. Professor Hamilton retired in 2019 and Jennifer Zwagerman became the Center’s second director in July 2019. Jennifer knows first hand the value to students and community of the Center, as it was the Center that drew her to Drake Law as a student in the early 2000s. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to continue to build upon the Center’s strong reputation in the industry and the work of Professor Hamilton.