Rachael Dettmann Spiegel



Rachael Dettmann Spiegel utilizes her deep knowledge of food and feed supply chains to provide practical and effective advice to food and agribusiness clients in the areas of litigation, regulatory compliance and contractual matters. Her unique background in the food and ag industry, including her work as an agricultural economist at USDA, informs her understanding of food safety regulations, ingredient supply chains and food production methods.

Food & Ag Litigation

Rachael works with litigation teams representing food and feed manufacturers, distributors and retailers in litigation arising from recalls, foodborne illness outbreaks and commercial supply chain disputes. Her experience includes managing discovery, taking depositions, drafting motions to dismiss and summary judgments as well as mediation and settlement negotiations.

Regulatory and Transactional 

Rachael counsels food, feed and agribusiness clients on regulatory compliance and business transaction matters, including:
  • Advising produce clients with Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA) compliance, including PACA licensing and contracting requirements, advising on the PACA trust provision and securing PACA payments through bankruptcy proceedings
  • Assisting e-commerce food businesses and food startups with state and federal regulatory compliance matters including federal and state licensing requirements, as well as food safety compliance and contracting requirements 
  • Advising food and feed clients regarding compliance with FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) requirements such as the Foreign Supplier Verification Program, implementation of supply chain programs and Sanitary Transportation Guidelines
  • Assisting with animal feed labeling matters, including compliance with AAFCO feed standards
  • Working with seed clients regarding compliance with federal and state seed labeling requirements
  • Drafting supply agreements and other contracts to address issues related to food safety, marketing, regulatory compliance, indemnification, import/export issues, and inspections and recalls
  • Reviewing product labels and marketing materials for best practices to avoid labeling enforcement and consumer fraud claims

Other Representative Experience

At CoBank and USDA, Rachael was responsible for:
  • Analyzing FDA, USDA and other regulations potentially affecting the food and agriculture industries
  • Spearheading bank-wide food safety education initiative including drafting food safety checklist for banking personnel
  • Coordinating timeline with key management to incorporate food safety risk analysis into lending procedures
  • Co-authoring USDA market outlook reports analyzing market forecasts for crop yields and domestic/international demand for vegetable markets
  • Conducting independent research modeling organic market trends, including the demographics of organic consumers


Bar Admissions


Court Admissions

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska


Drake University Law School
J.D. Drake Journal of Agricultural Law (editor-in-chief) (2012)

University of Minnesota
M.S. in Applied Economics (2007)

University of Minnesota
B.S. in Applied Economics, summa cum laude (2005)

Insights & Events

Other Perspectives
  • Food Safety and Legal Risk
    Presenter, Almond Alliance Annual Meeting, May 2018
  • Surveying the Legal Risk Landscape
    Presenter, National Almond Conference, December, 2017
  • The Law of Secured Transactions Under the Uniform Commercial Code
    Co-author, Ch. 8: The Food Safety Modernization Act: Compliance Issues for Secured Lenders, May 2017
  • The Food Safety Modernization Act: A Primer for Secured Lenders (Part II)
    Co-author, Clarks Secured Transactions Monthly, November 2016
  • The Food Safety Modernization Act: A Primer for Secured Lenders (Part I)
    Co-author, Clarks Secured Transactions Monthly, October 2016
  • Food Law Movers and Shakers Panel
    Harvard Law and Drake University's Food Law Student Leadership Summit, October 1, 2016
  • Food Safety Modernization Act: A Case Study
    Women in Agribusiness Conference, September 28, 2016
  • Financing, Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and the Future: A Candid Conversation Between Companies and Lenders
    Co-moderator, 2016 Food & Agriculture National Conference, Faegre Baker Daniels, Indianapolis, May 2016
  • FSMA and Food Safety: Understanding the Impact on Customers and Lenders
    Presentations to commercial banks, 2015/2016
  • FSMA’s Impacts on the Grain and Feed Industry
    Iowa Institute for Cooperatives, Co-op Manager’s Association Meeting, October 15, 2015
  • FSMA and Food Safety: Considerations for Secured Lenders
    Co-author, Clarks Secured Transactions Monthly, August 2015
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