Horn first female president of Ag Law Society
A ranch-raised Colorado law student studying at Washburn University School of Law is the first female president of the Agricultural Law Society. Abbey Horn grew up on the Raymond Horn Ranch, a multigenerational cow calf operation between Steamboat Springs and Vail near McCoy, Colo., which has a population of 33.
Horn said a local sheepherder introduced her to the sheep industry through a summer of tending bum lambs.
“That got me started in the sheep industry and I started my 4-H flock when I was 8 years old, buying my market lambs with the money from the bum lambs,” she said. “I always had sheep after that until I went to college.”
Horn graduated from Kansas State University with a degree in agriculture economics, a minor in animal science and industry all with a pre-law option, and is a rising third year law student slated to graduate in May of 2020. Part of her role within the Ag Law Society is exposing other law students to agriculture through speakers and other events.
“A lot of students come from Kansas City and Wichita and major metropolitan areas here in the Midwest, so we banded together to promote ag, promoting where our food comes from,” she said. “There are a lot of students in the law school in the building with us who don’t understand that food doesn’t come from the grocery store.”
Among the speakers hosted, the group has brought in a representative from Kansas Corn Growers who spoke about the many varied careers within agriculture including lobbying. Engagement of students and the community is the group’s goal as they choose speakers representing the many facets of the industry.
During her time at Washburn, Horn participated in the Dane G. Hansen Rural Externship program which places students in legal positions in rural northwest Kansas. She also serves as research assistant for Professor Rodger McEowen and helps maintain the Washburn Agriculture Law and Tax Report. She recently returned to her second summer with Sebilius and Griffiths, LLP in Norton, Kan., where she concentrates her time on juvenile prosecution, city, county, corporate, agriculture, water, banking and state medical assistance programs.
“I appreciate rural communities and enjoy being in small towns and serving the people who need it most,” she said. “There is a shortage of attorneys all through western Kansas and eastern Colorado, as well as central and western Nebraska.”
From the days spent bouncing on the back of her dad’s motorcycle to set irrigation water, Horn said she has recognized its importance to rural families like her own, prompting her interest in water law.
“Seeing all the contention in Colorado and watching the attorneys come in who don’t quite understand the production needs and issues with ag made me want to be that in between who understands production and how difficult it is and be able to apply the legal side and make it doable for everyone,” she said.
The Washburn University Agricultural Law Society seeks to educate the next generation of attorneys about the importance of an agricultural friendly society by promoting and encouraging conversations about current agricultural law issues. The Ag Law Society is one of the largest organizations within the law school. ❖
— Gabel is an assistant editor and reporter for The Fence Post. She can be reached at email@example.com or (970) 392-4410.