​The Food and Agriculture Clinic equips students with practical skills to be sustainable food and agriculture advocates and entrepreneurs. Through the clinic, students work with VLS faculty and local, regional and national partners to develop and disseminate legal resources that provide support and solutions for the business and policy initiatives of new food movement stakeholders, including farmers, food producers, food entrepreneurs, consumers, health care professionals, legislators and advocates.

We are unique. Only a handful of law clinics nation-wide are exclusively dedicated to food & agriculture. We are the first and only law clinic in the country to practice and teach food systems advocacy and social entrepreneurism as combined disciplines.

We create:

  • Guides and toolkits providing business, legal and policy solutions;
  • Templates and models for innovative business practices, policies and laws;
  • Websites, infographics and surveys aggregating information on important food and agriculture issues; and, among other things, 
  • Public comments on proposed regulations.

Our approach is systemic, collaborative, interdisciplinary and socially entrepreneurial. Our projects aim to help many at once, not one at a time. To achieve this goal, we collaborate with local, regional, national and international partners who bring complementary expertise and networks to the project table, including NGOs, government agencies, businesses, academic institutions, and state and national associations. We seek to mobilize social entrepreneurial strategies in our systems-advocacy efforts.

First Clinic Project. Driven by a four-year, half-million dollar USDA grant, we are collaborating with the Northeast Organic Farming Association of VT and the national Farmers Market Coalition to create and nationally disseminate Farmers Market Governance Toolkits – guides that will help farmers market managers navigate common but complicated legal and business choices related to governance, risk management, and SNAP/EBT systems.

For more information, or to apply to be a student clinician, please contact clinic supervisor Jamie Renner at jrenner@vermontlaw.edu.