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Lauren Manning

Lauren Manning

Agriculture Technology & Investment Journalist, AgFunderNews
Adjunct Professor, University of Arkansas School of Law, Fayetteville
Year Graduated: 2011


Lauren Manning is sowing a new legal career. The 2011 McGeorge School of Law graduate is pursuing her dream of working in food and agriculture law and policy.

In August 2015, Manning entered the LL.M. program in agricultural and food law at the University of Arkansas School of Law.

Manning discovered the specialty during her second year of practice at Kershaw, Cutter & Ratinoff LLP in Sacramento. At the time, she was practicing class action, personal injury and medical malpractice law. Her interest in the field was piqued after reading several articles about the growing local food and organic movements. She started thinking about why these issues had captured the public's attention and what other issues were affecting farmers nationwide.

"It was a rabbit hole after that," Manning says.

She realized there was a "huge opportunity" to specialize in an area where few lawyers do.

"Nearly every legal field touches on food and ag, whether it's property, or labor and employment, or environmental law or even just basic regulatory compliance issues," she says.

Since leaving private practice, Manning has delved into food and agricultural issues. In March, she launched a food and agriculture news blog, The California Crow. She also began freelancing for, an online publication devoted to agricultural technology news. She recently interviewed U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack about the agency's recent investment in rural communities for the publication.

Manning also published two law journal articles about food and agriculture issues and has been networking with farmers and lawyers, lobbyists and others whose work touches on the industry.

She loves the variety food and agriculture offer, from Sacramento's farm-to-fork movement of family farms, to thousand-acre operations in the Midwest, which differ dramatically but share common legal issues, Manning says.

"It's about seeing one of the oldest industries adapt and face new challenges, not just from a legal perspective, but social, environmental and political postures as well," she says. "There's never a shortage of work to do.

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