­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Agricultural & Rural Law Section
Annual Report


Section Membership
As of June 9, 2023 the Section has 170 members.

Financial Status

The Section had an account balance of $11,178.00 as of April 30, 2023.

CLEs & Events

The Section hosted 3 events in fiscal year 2022-23. 

Program Title


Event Code

CLE Credits





2023 Agricultural and Rural Law Institute - Day 2

5/10/2023 9


6.25 Standard


In Person

2023 Agricultural and Rural Law Institute - Day 1

5/9/2023 18


1.0 Elimination of Bias



In Person

Short-Term Rentals – 5 Potential Problems and Their Solutions

1/13/2023 1


1.0 Standard



Annual Meeting and Election Results

The Section’s Annual Meeting was held on May 10, 2023 and 30 people attended.

The following Officers were elected to serve on the Section’s Governing Council from 7/1/2023 – 6/30/2024:

  • Joseph Smentek, Chair
  • Sarah Jewell, Vice Chair
  • Jayne Esch, Treasurer
  • Katie Barnes, Secretary

The following council members were elected to serve on the Section’s Governing Council from 7/1/2023 – 6/30/2024:

Returning Council Members:

  • Susan Burns
  • Chris Roe
  • Rick Halbur
  • Michael Gieseke
  • Greg Bucher
  • Scott Carlson
  • Patrick Costello

New Council Member:

  • Thomas Maigaard
MSBA Assembly Representatives:
  • Joseph Smentek, Representative
  • Sarah Jewell, Alternate

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
The Section’s DEI Representative, Katie Barnes, gave a presentation to section attendees at the 2023 Agricultural and Rural Law Institute Day 1 on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statements. Ms. Barnes reported on what other Sections are doing in adopting DEI Statements and presented some examples for review. Feedback from Section members in attendance recommended that the Section proceed with preparing and adopting a DEI statement applicable to the Section. Ms. Barnes is preparing a statement for the Section Council to review and approve in the 2023-2024 Bar Planning meetings later this summer/fall.

Other Section Accomplishments
The Council began planning a Regional Institute with Agricultural & Rural Law Section leadership from the state bar associations in Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Nebraska for March/April of 2024. The Regional Institute will be in Sioux Falls, SD and will focus on agricultural and rural law legal issues in the upper Midwest.

Submitted By:
Kale Van Bruggen, Section Chair
Date 6/12/2023