New directors

JesserichardsonJesse J. Richardson, Jr.

Jesse J. Richardson, Jr. is a practicing attorney and the Lead Land Use Attorney at the Land Use and Sustainable Development Law Clinic at the West Virginia University College of Law. Jesse has also been an Associate Professor at Virginia Tech. Prior to his academic endeavors, Jesse was in private practice in his home town of Winchester, Virginia, first with a large law firm, then as a solo practitioner. He represented agricultural clients in a wide range of matters. He has been active in the AALA since law school.  Jesse is President-elect of the Association. Jesse was honored with the 1999 Professional Scholarship Award from the American Agricultural Law Association, the 2004 William E. Wine Award for a history of teaching Excellence from Virginia Tech (the highest teaching award granted by the university), and the 2009 University Certificate of Excellence in Outreach. He holds a B.S. and M.S. in Agricultural and Applied Economics from Virginia Tech and a J.D. from the University of Virginia.


Shannon Ferrell

Shannon Ferrell 2011-03Shannon L. Ferrell is currently an Associate Professor in the Oklahoma State University Department of Agricultural Economics, where he focuses on Agricultural Law issues under a joint appointment in Cooperative Extension and Teaching. Since joining OSU in 2007, Shannon has played an active role in a number of agricultural law issues at both the state and national level.  His work in energy and resource issues for farmers and ranchers has led to numerous speaking engagements across the country, and he has served as co-author on a number of Oklahoma statutes dealing with these issues while also serving as past president of the Oklahoma Renewable Energy Council.  Shannon has also authored three regulatory handbooks, two book chapters, nine peer-reviewed articles, 29 professional papers, and 47 Cooperative Extension publications.  In his time with Oklahoma State University, he has provided over 230 Cooperative Extension presentations to a cumulative audience of over 14,000.  In his role as a teacher, Shannon has also gained national recognition for his work in teaching legal principles to undergraduate students.  He has received the Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award (Less than 10 Years Experience) from both the American Agricultural Economics Association and the Southern Agricultural Economics Association.  Shannon was also named the Outstanding Teacher in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources and has twice been named the Outstanding Academic Advisor in the Department of Agricultural Economics.  He was recently named to the University’s inaugural class of Faculty Teaching Fellows, and is the chair of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources’ Effective Teaching Committee.  Most recently, he was also named an adjunct professor in the University of Oklahoma College of Law, where he will teach Agricultural Law in the spring of 2014. Before joining Oklahoma State University, Shannon was in private practice for five years, focusing primarily in environmental, energy, and agricultural law.  While working at the Hall Estill law firm, he established the firm’s Renewable Energy Practice Group.  He has also served as a member or officer of the Oklahoma Bar Association’s Environmental Law Section.  He maintains a private practice, focusing on environmental and energy issues for farms and small businesses. Shannon has been an active member of the AALA since his first year of law school (some time ago) and has served as a member of the AALA Annual Symposium Planning Committee for the past two years.

Ray A. Starling

Ray A. Starling grew up on a diversified family farm in southeastern North Carolina. Ray received a B.S. in Agricultural Education from North Carolina State University in May of 1999, magna cum laude. During high school and college, he was very active in FFA, serving as a National Officer in that organization in 1996-97. After graduating with honors from the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Law in 2002, he served as a law clerk to a NC Supreme Court Justice, and then as an associate at Hunton & Williams, LLP. From February of 2007 until late 2012, Ray was the General Counsel and a legislative liaison at the NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. He is now General Counsel and Senior Agricultural Policy Adviser to the North Carolina Speaker of the House, Mr. Thom Tillis. Ray also teaches agricultural and food law at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Law and at Campbell University School of Law. He has received numerous awards and honors, including recently being named a “50 To Watch in Business” in the Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina area. He was voted as a “rising star” by his fellow members of the bar, was named a 2011 Marshall Memorial Fellow, and received the 2011 Honor Award from the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA). He was recognized by NC State’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences as its Outstanding Young Alumnus in 2010. Active in AALA for many years, Ray has taught and organized numerous courses at the annual meeting, served on the conference planning committee, and received the 2012 American Agricultural Law Leadership Award. He also annually teaches a CLE on agricultural law at the NC Festival of Legal Learning. Ray lives in Raleigh with his wife, Tina. They attend Edenton Street United Methodist Church, and have a three year old daughter, Victoria, who is enjoying keeping them both very busy.