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Legal Specialist Kelly Nuckolls Joins ALEI Team in College Park

by Sarah Fielder

ALEI welcomes a new legal specialist to the College Park campus, Ms. Kelly Nuckolls. Kelly Nuckolls first heard about ALEI while in the LL.M. program in Agricultural and Food Law at the University of Arkansas. Program director Professor Susan Schneider recommended Nuckolls speak to the ALEI Extension Legal Specialist Paul Goeringer, an alumnus of the same LL.M. program.

“They (the director) thought it would be an amazing opportunity for someone who wants to be in food and agricultural law,” said Nuckolls. “There are so many topics ALEI covers, and I like how diverse food and agricultural law can be. It is a great fit.”

Originally from a town near Wichita, Kansas, Nuckolls had lived in the Midwest her whole life. “Maryland [agriculture] is much more diverse than what is produced in the Midwest…it’s not just two specific crops,” said Nuckolls.

During her time as an undergraduate at Fort Hays State University in Kansas, she attended many agricultural events throughout the state. Initially, she was not interested in pursuing a career in food and agricultural law.

“I realized when hosting events there are so many policy changes, and a need for legal officials to help guide,” said Nuckolls. “I searched for law schools focused in food and agriculture and attended Drake in Des Moines, Iowa. I wanted a job related to food and agriculture.”

Thus far for ALEI Nuckolls has focused on projects involving estate planning, succession planning, farm income tax, estate tax, and the inheritance tax for ALEI. She has also looked into pesticide drift, the subject of several new laws and a few lawsuits. Goeringer has recently been working with the herbicide dicamba on this issue.

“I’m hoping to develop good networking here in Maryland and assist the agricultural industry throughout the state for all different topics,” said Nuckolls. “I also want to learn from the ALEI team; I feel like they have a lot of knowledge and I’ll learn a lot from working with them.”

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