The 2008 Farm Bill may be extended, but it’s not the same piece of legislation it was in 2012. The changes and what it will mean for Arkansas farmers top the agenda for a January 31 Farm Bill/Crop insurance conference at the Rowher Research Station.

The conference will be conducted by the National Agriculture Law Center, part of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, and sponsored by the Banks Law Firm, a Little Rock-based firm engaged in different aspects of agricultural law. The meeting begins at 10 a.m. and ends at noon. Lunch will be served and there is no cost to attend. RSVPs are encouraged for a lunch head count, but not required.

“Congress recently extended most provisions of the 2008 Farm Bill for nine months based on what was in effect on Sept. 30, 2012, as part of the ‘fiscal cliff’ legislation,” said Harrison Pittman, director of the National Agricultural Law Center. “While this extension provides at least some short-term certainty, it does not mean that it’s business as usual for the agricultural community. Nearly three dozen programs, including the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payment disaster program, known as SURE, and the Wetlands Reserve Program are not continued with the farm bill extension, and the new Congress will soon begin rewriting new farm legislation.”

Pittman, along with Grant Ballard, attorney with the Banks Law Firm, PLLC and research consultant to the National Agricultural Law Center, will be the presenters. Pittman can be reached at [email protected] or (479) 575-7640. Ballard can be reached at [email protected] or 800-246-8700.

On the agenda:
· 2012-13 Farm Bill: Current status, update, and what is likely to happen next?
· Federal Crop Insurance:  Overview, procedures and problems
· Environmental Regulation:  Generally, and numeric nutrient criteria under the Clean Water Act
· Question & answer session.

The National Agricultural Law Center serves as the nation’s leading source of agricultural and food law. Headquartered in Fayetteville, Ark., the center serves the nation’s vast agricultural community of producers, extension personnel, attorneys, state and federal policymakers, and others. To learn more about the center, please visit the National Agricultural Law Center website at In addition, follow NALC on Facebook at and on Twitter at @nataglaw in order to receive legal research and information updates.