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Agriculture & Agricultural Law



Resources and Updates

Documents & Links
Update in process (August 31, 2019)
The resources for this chapter are divided according to source: USDA published reports, Congressional Research Service reports, and other published reports. Note, however, that the topics in this more general chapter of the book overlap with a number of other chapters. Please refer to those pages for specific resources. For example, all farm bill and farm program resources are found on the Economic Support to Agriculture page.
Relevant USDA Reports
Important Update: The results from the 2017 National Census of Agriculture are now out, and USDA NASS has prepared highlights that provide the updated information in an easy-to-use manner.  These highlights are available on the USDA NASS Census of Ag website. These statistics can be used to update the references to the 2012 statistics in the text.



Rural America At a Glance, 2018 Edition, USDA, ERS (Nov. 2018).


Lower Conventional Corn Prices and Strong Demand for Organic Livestock Feed Spurred Increased U.S. Organic Corn Production in 2016, USDA, Amber Waves (June 4, 2018).

More Microloans Issued in Regions With Higher Concentrations of Small Farms and Beginning Farmers, Women, and Minorities, USDA, Amber Waves (Apr. 2, 2018).

Examining Consolidation in U.S. Agriculture, USDA, Amber Waves (Mar. 14, 2018).

Three Decades of Consolidation in U.S. Agriculture, USDA, ERS, Econ. Inform. Bull. 189 (Mar. 2018).

Older Operators Often Run Small Family Farms, Particularly Retirement and Low-Sales Farms, USDA, Amber Waves (Mar. 5, 2018).

USDA Agricultural Projections to 2027, USDA, Office of the Chief Economist, World Agric. Outlook Bd,
Long-term Projections Rep. OCE-2018-1 (Feb. 2018).

Progress and Challenges in Global Food Security, USDA, Amber Waves (Feb. 5, 2018).


U.S. Cropland is Consolidating in Larger Farms, USDA, ERS, Amber Waves (Dec. 2017) (including compelling graphs and statistics).


America’s Diverse Family Farms: 2017 Edition, USDA, ERS, Econ. Inform. Bull. 185 (Dec. 2017).


Mergers and Competition in Seed and Agricultural Chemical Markets, USDA, ERS, Amber Waves (Apr. 2017).

USDA ERS, Farmland Ownership and Tenure(Apr. 10, 2017) (New graphics and analysis on farmland tenure and use).


2014 Tenure, Ownership, and Transition of Agricultural Land (TOTAL) Survey, USDA, ERS  (Mar. 2, 2017) (Details about agricultural land for 25 States, 6 regions, and the contiguous United States).

USDA Agricultural Projections to 2026, Interagency Agricultural Projections Committee, Office of the Chief Economist, World Agricultural Outlook Board, USDA, Long-term Projections Rep. OCE-2017-1 (Feb. 2017).

Secretary Tom Vilsack, The People’s Department: Growing a Stronger and Healthier Future for America, Cabinet Exit Memo (Jan. 5, 2017). 



Christopher Burns and Ryan Kuhns, The Changing Organization and Well-Being of Midsize U.S. Farms, 1992-2014, USDA, ERS, Econ. Res. Rep. ERR-219 (Oct. 2016).

Rosanna Mentzer Morrison, Selected Charts 2016, Ag and Food Statistics: Charting the Essentials, USDA, ERS, Admin. Pub. AP-073 (Oct. 2016).

Farrin, Katie, Mario J. Miranda, and Erik O’Donoghue, How Do Time and Money Affect Agricultural Insurance Uptake? A New Approach to Farm Risk Management Analysis, USDA, ERS, ERR-212, (Aug. 2016).

Relevant Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports:

(Note that these reports are now available directly on the CRS website


Under construction

Note that Farm Bill and Farm Program Resources are found on the Economic Support to Agriculture page.


Hemp as an Agricultural Commodity, Cong. Res. Serv. Rep. RL32725 (July 9 , 2018).

Agriculture and Related Agencies: FY2019 Appropriations, Cong. Res. Serv. Rep. 45230 (June 18, 2018).



Agricultural Disaster Assistance, Cong. Res. Serv. Rep. RS21212 (July 27, 2017).

Agricultural Conservation: A Guide to Programs, Cong. Res. Serv. Rep. R40763 (July 13, 2017).

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and U.S. Agriculture, Cong. Res. Serv. Rep. R44875 (June 22, 2017).

NASS and U.S. Crop Production Forecasts: Methods and Issues, Cong. Res. Serv. Rep. R44814 (Apr. 13, 2017).

Science and Technology Issues in the 115th Congress, Cong. Res. Serv. Rep. R44786 (Mar. 14, 2017).

Defining "Industrial Hemp": A Fact Sheet, Cong. Res. Serv. Rep. R44742 (Mar. 6, 2017).

U.S. Farm Income Outlook for 2017, Cong. Res. Serv. Rep. R40152 (Feb. 14, 2017).



Agricultural Research: Background and Issues, Cong. Res. Serv. Rep. R40819
(Oct. 6, 2016).

U.S. Farm Income Outlook for 2016, Cong. Res. Serv. Rep. No. R40152 (Sept. 7, 2016).

Other Resources



  • Letter from Bill Gates, 2012 Annual Bill and Melinda Gates Letter, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation website (Jan. 2012).

  • Daniele Giovannucci, Sara Scherr, Danielle Nierenberg, Charlotte Hebebrand, Julie Shapiro, Jeffrey Milder, and Keith Wheeler, Food and Agriculture: The Future of Sustainability, Sustainable Development in the 21st century (SD21) Project, Division for Sustainable Development, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations (2012).





General Legal Resources


Agricultural Law Resources










Professor Janie Hipp is the Director of the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative University of Arkansas School of Law. Prior to joining the law school, she was the senior adviser for tribal relations to USDA Secretary Thomas Vilsack. She is the founder of the USDA’s Office of Tribal Relations in the Office of the Secretary and served two terms on the USDA Secretary’s Advisory Committee for Beginning Farmers and Ranchers. She has been an advocate for farmers and an agricultural law expert since the 1980s. 

Professor Neil Hamilton, the Dwight D. Opperman Chair of Law and Director of the Agricultural Law Center at Drake University Law School in Des Moines, Iowa has been a worldwide leader in agricultural law teaching and scholarship for decades. In addition to his classes at Drake, Professor Hamilton teaches an introduction to agricultural policy class in the LL.M. Program in Agricultural & Food Law at the University of Arkansas School of Law.

2010 - present

2010 - present