Food is a basic necessity of human life. But at Vermont Law School, we also believe that food is a unique vehicle for change as it is intimately tied to human health, the environment, poverty, immigration, animal welfare, law, politics and culture—on every step of its journey from farm to plate. Growing and distributing food that is good for people and for the planet requires new markets, innovative business models, and new federal and state rules governing land use and water rights, food labeling and school food standards.
Housed in the nation’s top-rated Environmental Law Center, the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems (CAFS) at Vermont Law School is committed to developing the next generation of sustainable food and agriculture law and policy leaders who want to specialize in the business of feeding a growing population sustainably in a world impacted by climate change.
Students have access to a robust and growing list of food and agriculture classes. But lawyers and advocates-in-training can also take courses in environmental law and sustainable business; develop farmer toolkits in VLS’s Food and Agriculture Clinic; and explore opportunities created by our position in the Vermont Higher Education Food Systems Consortium.
And, of course, students will want to spend some time visiting the many sustainable farmers and food entrepreneurs in Vermont. There are 22 small farms and orchards dotting the landscape within just a 10-mile radius of campus—the exact type of small producers that CAFS aims to support. Even Vermont Law School’s cafe does its part: 85 percent of the food served on campus is local and organic.
CAFS offers scholars a Master of Food and Agricultural Law and Policy (MFALP) degree, a Master of Laws (LLM) degree in Food and Agriculture Law, as well as a certificate program—all shaped by an ever-expanding curriculum and a clinic where students advocate for sustainable agriculture and food systems.
Laurie Ristino is the Director of CAFS and may be reached at 802-831-1230 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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