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Agribusiness Group Hosts 9th Annual CLE Seminar

News | August 26, 2019


On Thursday, August 22, Kutak Rock’s National Agribusiness Group hosted its 9th Annual Agribusiness CLE Seminar, titled “Current Issues in Agribusiness.” This CLE, held in the firm’s Omaha office, was attended by stakeholders across the country. Kutak Rock partners David Bracht, Brian Handlos, Dale Dixon, Jeff Makovicka, associate Jacob Tewes, and former partner Brian Buescher provided informational sessions on industrial hemp and the 2018 Farm Bill, agribusiness finance, and general agricultural law. 

They were joined by Steve Wellman, Director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture who discussed policy issues affecting agriculture. They were also joined by Dr. Joe Luck of UNL Institute of Agriculture & Natural Resources and Kutak Rock associate Jacob Tewes to discuss technology in agriculture and a specific drone regulation case study.

David Bracht, a leader in the firm’s agribusiness practice, and Kutak Rock partner Brian Handlos presented a session on industrial hemp, the 2018 Farm Bill and the Nebraska Hemp Farming Act. Mr. Handlos addressed the difficulties banks face when financing hemp and marijuana businesses, as well as new legislation. Mr. Bracht focused on the recently passed Nebraska Hemp Farming Act, which went into effect May 31, 2019. He said the Nebraska Agriculture Department is required to develop a full production plan to be submitted to the USDA. A full program is expected by the 2020 growing season. 

Kutak Rock partners Dale Dixon and Jeff Makovicka moderated a panel about agricultural finance and mergers & acquisitions specific to financing and selling your agribusiness. The panelists included:

  • Barry Bogseth - Agricultural Strategies Group, MetLife Investment Management, Kansas City, MO
  • Jeff Cleveland - Food, Beverage, Ag, D.A. Davidson, Seattle, WA
  • Joyce Dixon - J.D. Heiskell, Omaha, NE
  • Robert Hodgen - AMERRA Capital Management LLC, New York, NY
  • Brock Jenkins - AGR Partners, Davis, CA

And finally, Brian Buescher, U.S. District Court Judge for the District of Nebraska and former Kutak Rock partner, provided an update on legal issues and specific case law facing agriculture in 2019.