Hog Farm to Courtroom: Student Pursues a Career in Agriculture Law

Daniel Foose found an affinity for agriculture while working at a hog farm; now he wants to focus his future law practice in that industry
Portrait of Daniel Foose in UMKC law library

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Daniel Foose

Anticipated graduation year: 2023

UMKC degree program: Juris Doctor

Hometown: Marshall, Missouri

Given his chosen career arc, you’d be tempted to assume that Daniel Foose grew up on a farm. Not so.

“While my family did not own a farm or have anything to do with farming, I was fortunate enough to grow up around farming and agriculture,” he said. “In high school, I was very involved in FFA (a national agriculture education and leadership program) and earned my American FFA Degree. While in high school and even through college, I worked at a hog farm in Marshall.”

While earning his undergraduate degree at Northwest Missouri State University, he set a course for a career in criminal law. He interned for the Nodaway County prosecutor, shadowed the Nodaway County associate circuit judge and eventually worked for the Saline County prosecutor in Marshall.

A local internship convinced him to make a course correction.

“During the summer after 1L year, I had the opportunity to work as an intern for Seaboard Corporation, a Fortune 500 agribusiness company located just outside of Kansas City in Merriam,” Foose said. “Seaboard is a major producer of pork, and I knew about them from my time working at the hog farm in high school and college. After interning for the summer, Seaboard graciously offered me the opportunity to stay and work as a law clerk for Seaboard Foods.”

Long term, he plans to begin his career in general business litigation, then move to a focus on litigation involving agribusiness.

“My education at UMKC has been challenging, yet fulfilling,” he said. “I have enjoyed learning from professors who are passionate about the law and the areas they teach, and I appreciate the variety of classes that are offered. Both the professors and the law school take seriously the charge of preparing the next generation of lawyers, which is a huge benefit to myself and all who attend UMKC School of Law.”

Why did you choose UMKC?

I chose UMKC because it is relatively affordable and close to home. Additionally, I have known and admired several attorneys that went to UMKC School of Law.

Why did you choose your field of study?

I chose the legal field because I knew it would put me in a great position to help others. Additionally, I had an absolutely wonderful advisor and mentor, Dan Smith, Ph.D., at Northwest Missouri State. Smith and the other great professors helped me in my decision to pursue a law degree.

What are the challenges of the program?

Law school is demanding – mentally, emotionally and financially. For me, the biggest challenge has been balancing my time so that I am able to fulfill my personal obligations while in law school.

What are the benefits of the program?

My law school peers are some of the most talented and intelligent people I have ever met. I have had professional opportunities that I would have never thought possible. Most importantly, I have made lifelong friendships in law school.

How has your college program inspired you?

I have achieved far more than I anticipated when I first started law school at UMKC. Finding academic success in law school gave me the confidence to go and seek out opportunities, both personally and professionally, that I otherwise wouldn’t have.

Since entering college, what have you learned about yourself?

I have learned that the difficulties and hardships you endure will only prevent you from being successful if you let them. No matter where you are from or what you have been through, you can accomplish anything.  

Are you a first-generation college student? If so, what does that mean to you?

I am not a first-generation college student. My mother made the brave decision to go to college after my father passed away and successfully graduated with her bachelor’s degree. I am, however, the first person in my family to go to law school (or graduate school in general) and will be the first lawyer in my family.

Who/What do you admire most at UMKC and why?

I admire my classmates. My class started law school while the pandemic was in full swing, and, even through Zoom classes, and never having a snow day, we made it through.

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Published: Jul 31, 2023

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