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John G. Dillard

Phone: (202) 518-6349
Fax: (202) 234-3550

John Dillard is a principal at OFW Law. He provides regulatory counsel, general counsel, and litigation services to clients in the agriculture and food industries.

In his regulatory practice, John provides advice to companies and trade associations on diverse topics affecting clients in the food and agriculture industries. This includes food labeling and food safety matters before USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). John advises meat packers, poultry processors, restaurant chains, and animal food manufacturers on food safety and labeling matters. He also regularly advises clients on compliance with the Packers and Stockyards Act, the National Bioengineered Foods Disclosure Standard, and the National Organic Program. John is also a Preventive Controls Qualified Individual (PCQI) for human and animal foods and has completed the FSPCA PCQI Lead Instructor training for animal food facilities.

John also provides general counsel services to several food and agricultural trade associations, such as the American Feed Industry Association, the National Association of Wheat Growers, and the National Institute of Oilseed Products. In this role, he provides advice on corporate governance, contract drafting and evaluation, antitrust, director fiduciary responsibilities, and employment matters.

John also represents clients in litigation in state and federal civil matters and USDA administrative enforcement proceedings. John has litigated cases involving Clean Water Act disputes, livestock nuisance odor torts, Packers and Stockyards Act enforcement, Animal Welfare Act enforcement, biotech seed patenting, country-of-origin labeling requirements, and Native American agriculture. John has also represented the interests of trade association clients that have participated in several high-profile agricultural law cases.

John’s specific experience includes:

  • Successfully representing a dissenting class representative in the post-settlement phase of a major Native American civil rights class action case. The revised settlement resulted in an additional payment of $77 million to class members.
  • Representing a feed manufacturer in a civil case initiated by a U.S. Attorney seeking a permanent injunction based on allegations of adulterated and misbranded medicated feed. John coordinated with coordinated efforts with feed manufacturing experts and negotiated a favorable consent decree with FDA and the Office of the U.S. Attorney.
  • Assisting in coordinating a major global labeling and advertising compliance project involving numerous foreign markets for a major restaurant chain.
  • Representing a large, private zoo in an administrative license revocation proceeding initiated under the Animal Welfare Act by USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s Animal Care Division. John successfully defeated USDA’s motion for summary judgment and assisted in negotiating a consent decree resulting in no suspension or revocation of the establishment’s license.
  • Representing numerous livestock dealers in administrative enforcement proceedings under the Packers and Stockyards Act.

John obtained his undergraduate degrees in Animal and Poultry Sciences and Agricultural and Applied Economics from Virginia Tech. He earned a master’s degree in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University and his law degree cum laude from the University of Richmond. John has an extensive background in agriculture dating back to his family’s beef cattle operation in Virginia. He speaks extensively to producers, manufacturers, and fellow counsel and writes columns on legal and policy issues for Farm Journal and National Provisioner.

Bar and Court Admissions

  • Virginia
  • District of Columbia


  • University of Richmond, The T.C. Williams School of Law, Richmond, Virginia
    Juris Doctor, Cum Laude
  • Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana
    Master of Science, Agricultural Economics
  • Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia
    Bachelor of Science, Animal and Poultry Sciences, Agricultural and Applied Economics

Special Agencies

  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • Food and Drug Administration
  • Food Safety and Inspection Service
  • Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration
  • Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
  • Agricultural Marketing Service
  • USDA Board of Contract Appeals
  • Federal Aviation Administration

Browse John Dillard's posts on the Ag/FDA Blog