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Law Professor Edits Journal Focused on Agriculture Policy, Partners with Student to Publish Article

Dylan Kirchmeier and Professor Thomas Horton standing together. Dylan Kirchmeier and professor Thomas Horton co-wrote an article for the Competition Policy International’s journal Antitrust Chronicle. Horton also served as guest editor.

VERMILLION, S.D. – Thomas Horton, a professor of law and the Heidepriem Trial Advocacy Fellow at the University of South Dakota School of Law, served as guest editor of the winter issue of Competition Policy International’s journal Antitrust Chronicle.

The winter issue focused on agriculture policy. Horton assisted the publisher with the solicitation and final selection of the seven articles included in the chronicle. In addition to assisting with the selection process, Horton partnered with third-year law student Dylan Kirchmeier to research and draft an article for the publication focused on the right to repair in context of agricultural equipment. It is titled “John’s Deere’s Attempted Monopolization of Equipment Repair, and the Digital Agricultural Data Market – Who Will Stand Up for American Farmers.”

"He who controls the data controls the targeted marketing, sales and attacks on new competitors,” said Horton. "The control of information suppresses local competition and innovation.”

“Right to repair has a big impact on farmers who are forced to wait for licensed dealers to repair their equipment setting them back anywhere from two hours to two days waiting on certified technicians,” said Kirchmeier.” It is having a big impact on our farmers."

Kirchmeier, who began researching the subject in a fall antitrust and consumer protection class, said writing about the issue was a rewarding experience.

“Although we had a short window to write and prepare the article, working with Professor Horton was great. It was a lot of fun and I’m proud of our effort,” said Kirchmeier.

“Student-faculty collaborations are a win-win for both the student and the professor,” said Horton. “It’s useful for the faculty as it provides an opportunity to engage with material we wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to explore. For the student, they get the chance to finalize an article for publication.”

Horton regularly presents and publishes on topics related to antitrust and trial advocacy. In 2019, he published a chapter entitled "Daily Newspapers and Antitrust: As Relevant and Crucial To Our Democracy as Ever,” in the book “Media Markets and Competition Law: Multinational Perspectives.” Additionally, he received the John Wesley Jackson Award for Outstanding Professor of Law from the USD School of Law last year. He is an Advisory Board Member of the American Antitrust Institute. 


USD’s Knudson School of Law prepares students for leadership in the administration of justice in South Dakota, including in rural areas where the demand is great, and for private practice, public service, business and other law-related endeavors anywhere. Its joint degree program allows students to also earn one of nine master’s degrees within the traditional three-year law curriculum, which includes course tracks in business, commercial, constitutional, criminal, employment, environmental, Indian, real estate and tax law as well as civil litigation and estate planning.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News