Michael T. Olexa

Distinguished Teaching Scholar and Professor

Following military service, Michael Olexa received MA and Ph.D. degrees in Plant Pathology at the University of Florida. On completion of post-doctoral work in the biological control of invasive plant species, he entered and completed law school at Nova Southeastern University and was admitted to The Florida Bar. He has served as a policy advisor in the Office of the Secretary of Agriculture USDA, Chair of the Executive Council of the General Practice Solo and Small Firm Section of The Florida Bar and Interim Department Chair of the UF/IFAS Agricultural Education and Communications Department. He currently serves as Chair of the Agricultural Law Committee of The Florida Bar, Director of the University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Center for Agricultural and Natural Resource Law and teaches in both the UF Colleges of Agricultural and Life Sciences and Levin College of Law.


Teaching assignment focuses on agricultural and natural resource law and policy. Courses are taught at both the UF Colleges of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) and Law. In CALS two agricultural law courses are taught in both the spring and fall semesters. Undergraduate students wishing to take both courses can also opt to enroll in the Undergraduate Minor in Agricultural and Natural Resource Law (ANRL). The ANRL is designed for undergraduate students from all disciplines who wish to focus on business, environmental and social regulatory issues related to the production of food, fuel and fiber. The classes and the ANRL are designed to prepare students with timely and appropriate information for addressing real world problems in implementing environmentally sound, socially acceptable and economically feasible agricultural practices in the production of food, fuel and fiber. Teaching at the UF Levin College of Law focuses on agricultural policy from its earliest beginnings through the modern day farm bills. Also addressed are real life agricultural and natural resource issues related to agricultural production practices, federal and Florida regulatory agencies, water law and farm lands.


The Extension program focuses on the development of law publications in English and Spanish for dissemination through the Electronic Data Information System (EDIS). The objective of these publications is in improving the knowledge of lay and agricultural clientele about the laws and regulations governing agricultural production, natural resource management and environmental protection.

Extension Publications (EDIS) Highlights

  • Michael T. Olexa, Distinguished Teaching Scholar and Professor, Food and Resource Economics Department, and Director, Center for Agricultural and Natural Resource Law, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL, and member, Florida Bar
  • Agricultural Law and Regulation subtopics on EDIS
  • Ansbacher, S. and Olexa, M.T. Florida Nuisance Law and Urban Agriculture. The Florida Bar Journal. January 2015. Volume 89, No. 1, pages 28-32.
  • Broome, Z., Olexa, M.T., and Kuncl, N. Equine Lemon Law. Drake Journal of Agricultural Law. Summer 2013. Volume 18, No. 2, pages 289-312.
  • Olexa, M.T., Lingle, B., Stewart, K. and Adams, D.  Cash, Crops, Chemicals, and Cosmetics: A Mid-Green Eco-Labeling Approach. Journal of Food Law and Policy.  Fall 2012. Volume 8, No. 2, pages 223-256.
  • Olexa, M. T., Hodge, C., Owens, T. and Hampton, C. A Grave Situation: Protecting the Deceased and Their Final Resting Places from Destruction. The Florida Bar Journal. November 2012. Volume 86, No. 9, pages 35-42.
  • Paraiso, O., Kairo, M.T.K., Hight, S.D., Leppla, N., Cuda, J., Owens, M. and Olexa, M. T. Opportunities for Improving Risk Communication During the Permitting Process for Entomophagous Biological Control Agents: A Review of Current Systems. Journal of the International Organization for Biological Control. June 2012. Published online: 17 pp. ISSN 1386-6141.
  • Olexa, M.T., Cossey, J. and Smallwood, K. A Horse Is a Horse (of Course, of Course) But Is It Agriculture? Whether Ranches Dedicated to Abused, Abandoned, and Aging Horses Qualify for "Agricultural" Classifications Under Florida's Greenbelt Law. Drake Journal of Agricultural Law. Spring 2011. Volume 16, No. 1, pages 69-88.
  • Crispin, W., Olexa, M. T. and Lingle, B. Florida Agriculture: Still in the Crosshairs. The Florida Bar Journal. March 2011. Volume 85, No.3, pages 45-48.

Recent Services

Food and Resource Economics

  • Annual Evaluation/Mentoring Committee


  • Faculty Advisor: Minorities in Agriculture Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANNRS)

University of Florida

  • UF Academy of Distinguished Teaching Scholars
  • UF Levin College of Law Brazilian Program: Curso de Aperfeicoamento na University da Florida


  • Executive Council of the General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Section of The Florida Bar
  • Chair Agricultural Law Committee of The Florida Bar


  • Journal of the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) Outstanding Paper Awards Committee