I think I confuse the sweet teachers at my kids’ preschool. Maybe because a couple times a month they know I am out of town for a couple nights. Or because some days I drop kids off in a pencil skirt and some days I am in sweat pants. Finally, one of them asked, “So…what is it you do exactly?”
My official title is Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist in Agricultural Law for Texas A&M Agrilife Extension. That usually just confuses people more because I do not teach college students. And I don’t represent private clients in legal matters. So…what do I do?
The purpose of Extension is basically to take the research happening at land grant universities out to the people. So, essentially, my job is to educate Texas ag producers and landowners about legal issues affecting them. I do this in a variety of ways like in-person presentations, newspaper and magazine articles, radio and tv interviews, law review articles, handbooks, fact sheets, my Texas Agriculture Law Blog, and my Ag Law in the Field Podcast.
Topics I cover range from leasing to water, oil and gas to estate planning, landowner liability to pipeline easements, fence law to immigration.
I get a lot of freedom to design my program and exactly what I work on. I am a state-wise specialist, meaning that I cover all 254 counties in Texas. That’s where the crazy travel schedule comes in. Last year, for example, I did 46 presentations.
This year, I will be speaking all over Texas, and in a few other states at fun conferences in Nashville, Jacksonville, (hopefully) Alaska, and Portland!
I tell people I basically have my dream job. It allows me to marry my love for agriculture and my interest in the law. And it’s rare…there are only about 5 of us in the country that really have similar positions. You best believe I appreciate the fact that I landed this gig almost 5 years ago.
So there you have it!