Agricultural Law Guide
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This supplement to Drake University Law Library’s Resources for Students Writing Notes presents some additional resources that may be useful in selecting and researching a topic for your note for Drake Journal of Agricultural Law. It may also be useful for others researching agricultural law. 

Page Outline:
Books, News, and Journals
Agencies and Organizations
Other Resource Lists, Finding Aids, and Research Guides
Statutes, Decisions, and Regulations

Books, News, and Journals

The following may be useful starting points.

  • Agricultural Law by Neil E. Harl.
    KF1681.A8 H37
    Also available via
    LexisNexis (Legal > Secondary Legal > Matthew Bender® > By Area of Law > Agricultural Law > Agricultural Law
    This 14 volume looseleaf covers agricultural law in the following areas: civil liabilities, environmental law, labor law, income taxation, social security, estate planning, business planning, federal regulations, state regulations, commercial transactions, bankruptcy, property law, insurance law, and agricultural cooperatives.
  • Agricultural Law in a Nutshell by Donald B. Pedersen & Keith G. Meyer
    Reserve KF1682.Z9 P42 1995
    This 1995 nutshell is rather dated but still may be useful to familiarize yourself with many of the more significant facets of agricultural law.
  • Law of the Land: Fundamentals of Agricultural Law by Roger A. McEowen and Neil E. Harl
    KF1682 .M35 2002
    This one volume title provides an overview of the topic.
  • Agricultural Law Manual by Neil E. Harl
    KF1682 .H38 1985
    This volume is intended as a deskbook for professionals advising agricultural clients. 
News and Journals

For the most recent issues, ask at the Information Desk. Unless otherwise indicated, older issues are on the second floor with the bound periodicals.
  • Acres USA: The Voice of Eco-Agriculture (Reserve newspapers, current two years only)
  • AgLender: Profitable Lending to Agriculture (Current five years only)
  • Agricultural Law Digest
  • Agricultural Law Update 
  • Drake Journal of Agricultural Law 
  • Farmers Legal Action Report 
  • Farmland Preservation Report 
  • Food Chemical News 
  • Feedstuffs: The Weekly Newspaper for Agribusiness (Reserve newspapers)
  • Growing for Market 
  • Hoard’s Dairyman: The National Dairy Farm Magazine (Reserve newspapers; current two years only)
  • Packer Note: The Business Newspaper of the Produce Industry (Reserve newspapers; current two years only)
  • Rural Development News 
  • San Joaquin Agricultural Law Review 
  • Seed World (Current two years only)
For an extensive list of books and journals articles related to agricultural law, see Professor Drew L. Kershen’s Agricultural Law Bibliography

The Cite Checking Tips and Guidelines page provides additional resources for locating books and journal articles.

Suggested Subject Search Terms

The following list suggests subject headings to use when searching a catalog or periodicals index. Click on the links below to conduct a search for that subject in the Drake Libraries catalog. Also, try using these terms as second subject headings in combination with the headings listed above. (For example, in the Drake Law Library catalog, place one term from the top list in a subject search box and then on a separate line, place a search term from the list below, using the drop-down menu to designating the search type as subject):
  • Economic aspects
  • Environmental aspects
  • Government policy
  • History
  • Law and legislation
  • Patents
  • Research
  • Social aspects
  • Statistics
In addition, see Agzines “a compilation of agricultural journals that are available free on the web” from the United States Agricultural Information Network 

Agencies and Organizations

Agricultural Law Resource and Reference Center 
This Penn State Site includes Agricultural Law Brief newsletters and an array of research guides and other publications

“AGRIS is the international information system for the agricultural sciences and technology. It was created by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in 1974, to facilitate information exchange and to bring together world literature dealing with all aspects of agriculture. AGRIS is a cooperative system in which participating countries input references to the literature produced within their boundaries and, in return, draw on the information provided by the other participants. To date, 240 national, international and intergovernmental centres participate.”

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.” The site includes information about upcoming and past conferences.  The library has the AALA newsletter Agricultural Law Update from 1988 to the present. For the most recent issues, ask at the Information Desk. Older issues are on the second floor with the bound periodicals.

American Bar Association Agricultural Management Committee of the Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources 
Information about the committee, current and archived newsletters, and a brief list of links to other sites.

American Bar Association Business Cooperatives and Agriculture Committee of the Section of Taxation 
Information about the Committee.

Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD)
Affiliated with Iowa State University, “CARD conducts interdisciplinary research on the impacts of policy alternatives for trade and agricultural policy, resource and environmental policy, food and nutrition policy, agricultural risk management policy, and science and technology policy.”

“The goal of the farmdoc (farm decision outreach central) Project is to improve farm decision-making under risk through education and research. To meet this goal, the farmdoc website provides Illinois farmers with comprehensive and integrated risk management information and analysis. Publications, decision tools and databases related to a variety of risk management issues are found throughout the site. Subject matter sections cover finance, marketing and outlook, management, law and taxation, and policy. Specialty sections are devoted to the AgMAS (Agricultural Market Advisory Services) Project, crop insurance, farmland owners, prices and weather, and ag web resources.”

Farmers' Legal Action Group, Inc. (FLAG) 
“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,” this organization's focus areas include: credit, farm preservation, advocacy, race discrimination in agriculture, sustainable/organic agriculture, disaster assistance, production contracts, factory farms, corporate concentration, and biotechnology.

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
FAO "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." The site includes FAOLEX, "a comprehensive and up-to-date computerized legislative database, one of the world's largest electronic collection of national laws and regulations on food, agriculture and renewable natural resources."

Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy 
“The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy promotes resilient family farms, rural communities and ecosystems around the world through research and education, science and technology, and advocacy.” The site includes news, publications, and other information from their resource centers, programs, and projects.

Iowa Attorney General: Farm Division 

Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship 

Iowa State University Extension to Agriculture and Natural Resources 
The site includes news and topical lists of links.

National Agricultural Law Center 
The Center, at the University of Arkansas School of Law, conducts research related to agricultural law and food law. It also includes some great links from its site including topical reading rooms with primary law links and research and reference sources, Congressional Research Service Reports related to agriculture and food, U.S. Farm Bills from 1933 to the present, and an extensive agricultural law bibliography

National Agricultural Library 
Part of the USDA, this library’s collection includes more than 3.5 million items. Its Web site includes its catalog and article citation database (AGRICOLA), links to its information centers, which “provide access to comprehensive and essential information resources focusing on the specific aspects of agricultural subjects,” an agricultural thesaurus listing agricultural and biological terms and showing their relationship to other terms, and a link to ask a reference librarian a question

National Association of State Departments of Agriculture 
“Our mission is to represent the state departments of agriculture in the development, implementation, and communication of sound public policy and programs which support and promote the American agricultural industry, while protecting consumers and the environment.” The site includes topical briefing rooms with committee, policy, and contact information. Some sites also include links to resources, news, letters, and testimony.

State Agriculture Departments 
Links to the agriculture departments of 46 states, provided by State and Local Government on the Net.

United States Agricultural Information Network 
This “organization for information professionals . . . Provides a forum for discussion of agricultural issues, takes a leadership role in the formation of a national information policy as related to agriculture, makes recommendations to the National Agricultural Library on agricultural information matters, and promotes cooperation and communication among its members.”

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) 
The site contains news, research, and more. From the homepage, there are a list of topical portals to select, including one for Laws and Regulations.

United States House Committee on Agriculture 

United States Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry 

Other Resource Lists, Finding Aids, and Research Guides

The catalog and article citation database of the (U.S.) National Agricultural Library, providing citations for the library’s more than 3.5 million items.

Agricultural Law: Legal Research Subject Guide 
From the University of Kansas’s Wheat Law Library

Agriculture Law 
From HierosGamos Worldwide Legal Directories 
The homepage of, “a company dedicated to providing farmers and ranchers with the most complete source of timely information and ideas on agricultural policy” includes agriculture news and extensive listings of Web links broken down into many agriculture-related categories. Although the Agricultural Law Letter has not been updated in several years, most of the site appears to be current.

This tool allows the user to search “the work of Extension Service and Agricultural Experiment Station professionals at more than 50 Land Grant universities throughout the United States.”

Billed as a “one-stop shop for Agri-food information on the Internet” produced by the British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture and Lands office. Includes sources from around the world. The site is organized “into areas of interest called Communities (e.g. Apiculture or Beef). Each Community is comprised of folders, such as Production and Processing, Business Management and Finance, Marketing and Trade, Regulations and Legislation, Directories and Contacts and Statistics and Market Data. Within these folders you will find links to documents specific to your agri-business needs. Each Community has a Calendar of Events, Frequently Asked Questions, relevant industry Alerts/Hot Topics and the Best Picks.”

INFOMINE: Biological, Agricultural & Medical Sciences
“INFOMINE is a virtual library of Internet resources relevant to faculty, students, and research staff at the university level. It contains useful Internet resources such as databases, electronic journals, electronic books, bulletin boards, mailing lists, online library card catalogs, articles, directories of researchers, and many other types of information.” 

International Trade in Agricultural Products: A Research Guide
Created in 2004 by Lee Peoples of the Oklahoma City University Law Library.

Links for Agricultural Librarians 
A lengthy list of Agriculture-related Web sites from the United States Agricultural Information Network 

Researching Food Policy Legislation 
From the University of California Berkeley Library

Science Tracer Bullet Series
Research guides on science and technology subjects from the Library of Congress

Statutes, Decisions, and Regulations

Agricultural Law 
Links to federal agricultural law decisions, statutes, and regulations and state agricultural law statutes from

Agriculture Decisions
This official publication includes decisions and orders issued in USDA adjudicatory proceedings as well as selected court decisions related to USDA regulations.
Available from 1967-June 2003 in hard copy at GovDoc A 1.58/a
Also available on Westlaw (1977 - current; USDA), LexisNexis (1987 - current; Legal > Area of Law - By Topic > Administrative Law > Administrative Materials & Regulations > Agriculture Decisions
ALJ decisions are in PDF back to 1998 on the USDA Web site. Judicial Officer decisions are summarized on the USDA Web site back to 1971. 

Farm Bills 
“Full text and resources for all U.S. Farm Bills 1933-present” from the National Agricultural Law Center.

State Statutes on the Internet: Agriculture 
Compiled by the Legal Information Institute at Cornell Law School

USDA Laws and Regulations
The Publications section at the bottom of the page includes links to the agriculture titles of the CFR and U.S. Code as well as general links to the Federal Register and

    Prepared by Karen Wallace, Circulation/Reference Librarian
    Last Revised: July 2009, SL
    Please feel free to e-mail author with suggestions on improving this guide.


    Last Modified: 7/30/2009 9:25:00 AM by Sara Lowe