The Agricultural Law Section elects new executive members each year at its annual meeting. Listed below are the current members of the executive committee for 2023.
Chair Judy Parker is dedicated to helping the Pacific Northwest’s winemakers and vineyards with a variety of legal topics including business formation, regulatory compliance, trademark registration, and employment issues. Judy works within the industry to help young vintners, negociants, multi-generational winemakers, and legacy vineyards navigate state and federal regulations and laws to allow them to return to their passion: making premiere wines. She is licensed in Oregon and Washington and spends her harvests trying unsuccessful to remove earwigs from her hair before sleeping.
Chair-Elect Sarah Liljefelt is of counsel to Dunn Carney, LLP. She focuses her practice on real estate, water rights, water utilities, special districts and municipal entities, environmental compliance, public lands authorizations, and litigation. Sarah volunteers as a law student mentor for Lewis & Clark Law School and a new lawyer mentor for the Oregon State Bar. She served as the Chair of the Oregon State Bar’s Environmental & Natural Resources Section, is Chair of the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association’s Water Resources Committee, and is on the attorney advisory committee for Western Resources Legal Center. In her free time, Sarah enjoys cooking, kayaking, camping, and travelling. She competitively races outrigger canoes with the Mountain Home Canoe Club, and is a former member of the Oregon Women Lawyer’s dragon boat team..
Secretary Molly Tucker Hasenback graduated Magna Cum Laude from University of Idaho, College of Law in 2013. Upon graduation, she returned to her family’s ranch on Weston Mountain. She became a partner at Monahan, Grove & Tucker in 2016. She focuses her practice on estate planning, estate and gift taxation, probate, real estate law, contract law and business law. She is actively involved in her community and the Milton-Freewater Rotary Club. In 2021, she became the Milton-Freewater Municipal Court Judge. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, travelling, being outdoors, skiing and taking care of the cows at her ranch.
Treasurer Nellie McAdams grew up part time on her family’s hazelnut farm in Gaston, which she is training her to take over as the third generation. She is Executive Director of the Oregon Agricultural Trust, a statewide, agricultural land trust that helps Oregon farmers and ranchers protect and pass on their land, and keep it in production.
Abby Fitts represents agriculture employers across Oregon as lead counsel of The Law Office of Abby Fitts. She and her family live outside Independence on 1,000 acres of beautiful river bottom farmland that has been growing filberts, row crops, grass and mint – as well as several generations of Fitts kids – for nearly 100 years. Before becoming a lawyer, Abby served as a linguist in the Navy for 10 years. She graduated magna cum laude from Willamette University in 2016 and has been advising and representing farmers, ranchers, seed companies and vineyards in their employment needs ever since.
Sally Anderson Hansell is a Hermiston native, and her husband is a local fifth-generation farmer. She has practiced law since 2000, and has personal experiences with the challenges facing farmers, small businesses, and legacy family farms and ranches. In addition to property and contract matters, she enjoys assisting clients with their very personal family matters, such as wills, trusts, estates, and probates.
Tate Justesen practices law at Gevurtz Menashe after a decade at the Western Resource Law Center. Tate was born and raised in rural North Central Oregon, where he grew up on a dryland wheat and cattle ranch. He went to Oregon State University, and then to Lewis & Clark Law School where he received his J.D. with a certificate in Environmental & Natural Resources law.
Rebecca Knapp was raised in the farming and ranching communities of Wallowa County, Oregon. She obtained a B.S. in Speech Communication from Portland State University and a J.D. from Willamette University. After graduating from law school in 2001, Rebecca returned to her hometown of Enterprise where she works as a sole practitioner. Rebecca represents farmers, ranchers, cattle producers, irrigation companies, and rural housing land developers on a wide range of matters including the purchase and sale of real estate, water rights, easements, and boundary disputes.
Kathryn “Cassie” Peters founded Cassie Peters Legal + Consulting, LLC, a cannabis-focused transactional business law practice, in 2015. Based in Eugene, Cassie represents Oregon hemp and non-hemp cannabis producers, processors, and retailers as well as a variety of small farms and small business clients. In addition to her transactional work, she helps her cannabis clients navigate the complex licensing and compliance issues inherent in a rapidly evolving and highly regulated industry. Cassie is a Past-Chair of the OSB Cannabis and Psychedelics Law Section Executive Committee, the Past-Chair of the OSB Cannabis Law Institute Planning Subcommittee, and the former Treasurer of the OSB Agricultural Law Section Executive Committee.
Ben Varadi is an assistant professor at the University of Vermont Law and Graduate School’s Center for Agriculture and Food Systems. He also teaches agricultural law, cannabis law, and regulatory law. Prior to joining Vermont Law and Graduate School, he practiced agricultural, business, and cannabis law in Oregon. He received his JD from Tulane University, cum laude, and his Bachelor’s degree in Social Technology at Burlington College.
Joseph M. Welch is a partner at Blank Rome. He regularly clients across a range of industries, including lending, leasing, agribusiness, agrifinance, and real estate. He has served as lead counsel in representing investors, large banks, lenders, and international and Fortune 100 companies. Additionally, he conducts training seminars and presentations on trending legal topics throughout the country. Before practicing law, Joseph was the principal of a real estate and mortgage brokerage. Joseph is a past chair of the Agribusiness Committee for the California Lawyers Association and is licensed to practice law in California, Washington, and Oregon.
Emily Harfouche is a third generation Oregonian with family in all parts of the state. She spent most of her childhood summers working with livestock and learning farming practices firsthand in Central and Eastern Oregon. As a business and real estate attorney for Karr Tuttle Campbell, she now gets to assist farmers with their needs whether those are real estate matters, executing tax-motivated transactions or succession planning. Emily graduated with her J.D. and M.B.A. from Willamette University. She is licensed to practice law in Oregon and Washington but calls Salem her home.
Shawna Peterson has been serving individual and business clients since 2002. Born and raised in Weiser, Idaho, she benefits from deep family roots in farming and small business. She graduated magna cum laude from Gonzaga University and the Northwestern School of Law at Lewis & Clark College. At S Peterson Law, LLC, Shawna focuses her practice on estate planning, estate administration, and advising businesses in Oregon and Idaho. Shawna also serves as Executive Director of the Eastern Oregon Economic Development Board. She lives in Ontario with her husband and their three children.
Timothy Nicholson is a corporate and real estate transactional shareholder at Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt with extensive experience counseling those in the agribusiness, agriculture and forest products sectors. His work includes mergers and acquisitions, secured financing, real property, commercial contract review and negotiation, board management and governance matters. For nearly 15 years prior to practicing law, Tim farmed in the Willamette Valley and worked in agribusiness. His family’s Oregon farm is one of the largest flower seed farms in the world and provides seeds throughout the United States and abroad.