KU News Release

Feb. 4, 2010
Contact: Mindie Paget, School of Law, (785) 864-9205

KU law school launches center on international trade and agriculture

Jerry Moran

More Information

LAWRENCE — A new center at the University of Kansas School of Law will bring together scholars, practitioners, policymakers and students around the study and practice of international trade and agriculture.

The Center for International Trade and Agriculture will launch officially on April 9, when Rep. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., delivers the keynote luncheon address at a scholarly roundtable titled “Kansas and World Agriculture: Current Crises and Future Opportunities.” The program honors Keith Meyer, the E.S. and Tom W. Hampton Professor of Law, who joined the law faculty in 1969, has taught agricultural law since 1975 and will retire in May.

“Topics will include agriculture’s role in mitigating climate change while providing food, genetically modified wheat, legal issues in animal agriculture, food safety issues and grain transportation issues,” Meyer said. “The discussions should appeal to professionals as well as to any citizen interested in the nation’s food-supply system.”

Moran, a 1982 graduate of the law school, was instrumental in securing $100,000 of federal money to fund the center for the first four years.

The center aims to promote key issues in international trade and agriculture through research and outreach in Kansas and around the world. To accomplish that mission, the center will

— Sponsor interdisciplinary conferences addressing issues of current importance to legal practitioners, scholars and policymakers in international trade and agriculture, with special emphasis on matters of importance to the state of Kansas

— Host visiting scholars, practitioners or policymakers to interact with students, faculty and alumni through guest lectures and mini-courses

— Educate and train law students through relevant course work and summer placements to engage in legal practice, prepare for work in law reform, or engage in agribusiness and international trade in areas related to trade and agriculture

The center will be led by KU law faculty members Raj Bhala, Rice Distinguished Professor, and John Head, professor of law. The center is relatively unique in the academic world in that it focuses neither exclusively on international trade nor on agriculture, but rather emphasizes the intellectually fascinating and practically relevant synthesis between the two fields. Thus, within the purview of the center are topics such as farm subsidies, food security, genetic modification, market access, and sanitary and phytosanitary standards.

“The University of Kansas School of Law is the ideal location for this center because of the integral role that trade and agriculture play in the economy of the state,” said Gail Agrawal, dean and professor of law. “It will also help us fulfill our mission as a public law school to serve the people of Kansas.”

More details about the inaugural event will be announced later this spring. Speakers will include Kendell W. Keith, National Grain and Feed Association; Charles W. Rice, Kansas State University; Drew L. Kershen, Oklahoma University School of Law; Elizabeth Springsteen, National Agricultural Law Center; and Michael T. Roberts, Roll International Corporation.

The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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