CAFS Projects


Farmers Market Legal Toolkit

This is a four-year project funded by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, and led by CAFS in collaboration with the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT) and the Farmers Market Coalition (FMC). The Farmers Market Legal Toolkit includes legal resources, best practice recommendations, and case studies for market leaders on enhancing market governance structures, accepting SNAP benefits, and managing common risks. The online tools can help enhance market resiliency and accessibility, increasing local food, strengthening local economies, and improving food access across the country. 


This project, a partnership between CAFS and Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic, examines the potential for developing a national food strategy in the United States. Through legal and original research, the Blueprint Project considers the need for a national food strategy, how other countries have developed national food strategies in response to similar food systems challenges faced by the United States, and the process by which the United States has developed national strategies in response to other issues. The resources created by this project provide a roadmap for the adoption of national food strategy in order to ensure a food secure future for all Americans. Visit the project website here, and read and interact with the report here.

Healthy Food Policy Project

This is a four-year project funded by the USDA National Agricultural Library, and led by CAFS in collaboration with the Public Health Law Center at Mitchell Hamline School of Law and the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut. ​The ​Healthy Food Policy Project (HFPP) identifies and elevates local laws that seek to promote access to healthy food, contribute to strong local economies, an improved environment, and health equity, with a focus on socially disadvantaged and marginalized groups. The project will identify and document pioneering and exemplary local policy innovations to increase awareness about promising and emerging policy approaches and support communities in th​e development of their own policy solutions. For more information, read our project overview and project definitions here​, see our Food System Crosswalk document here, and stay tuned for a full website launch in November 2017 (

National Gleaning Project

The National Gleaning Project addresses the need for a national network to connect organizations and individuals engaged in gleaning and food recovery across the United States. These organizations vary in size, structure, and mission, but are all working to reduce food waste and insecurity in their communities. The Project developed the online gleaning resources hub to provide a clearinghouse for gleaning and food recovery-related information.

Farmland Access LEGAL Toolkit

This is a three-year project funded by the USDA National Agricultural Library, and led by CAFS in partnership with BCM Environmental and Land Law, PLLC, and Heyman Legal. Geared towards farm-seekers, farmers, landowners, and their advocates, the Farmland Access Legal Toolkit offers information on more affordable and equitable land access arrangements. This web resource contains sections on leasing, farmland transfer, and innovative models of access, and features a wide variety of case studies.

Farm Bill Law Enterprise

The Farm Bill Law Enterprise (FBLE) is a novel partnership between eight law school programs, including CAFS. FBLE formed in 2016 to pursue collaborative research on the farm bill. In addition to members’ programs, FBLE recruited law students from across the country to work on the project. Together, faculty and students analyzed each of the farm bill’s components. This research helped FBLE members develop shared goals for a farm bill that meets the long-term needs of our society. These goals include a reliable and nutritious food supply, an honest living for farmers, a healthy environment, and a strong safety net against hunger. FBLE published three reports in March 2018 to coincide with imminent releases of draft farm bills in Congress. These reports provide recommendations for how the next farm bill can begin to meet FBLE’s shared goals by maintaining key programs that work, adding new programs, and redistributing funding in ways that are better for health, the environment, and justice.

State Farm to School Legislative Survey

The Center for Agriculture and Food Systems (CAFS) partners with the National Farm to School Network (NFSN) to produce this annual State Farm to School Legislative Survey. The Survey summarizes all state farm to school related bills proposed between 2002-2014, whether enacted, defeated or still pending. It also provides analysis on this legislation and guidance on developing state farm to school systems. Farm to school is the practice of sourcing local food for schools, preschools and childcare centers and providing educational opportunities in health, nutrition and agriculture through school curricula. The most recent 2014 update includes case studies on Alaska, the District of Columbia, Oregon and Texas.

Labels Unwrapped

The purpose of this website is to provide consumers with information to help them navigate food labels and make informed food choices about the products they buy. Unfortunately, food labels and what they mean are not straightforward. This site explains the most common statements on food labels, including what information must be disclosed, what information is voluntary, and what is not included on food labels.

Creating a Stronger Food System (Infographic)

Building a sustainable food system with fair labor practices and minimal waste is an ongoing effort that faces many challenges, but the benefits of better agricultural practices can improve lives around the globe. This infographic highlights some of the most pressing concerns in modern food production and examines needed changes.

Global Fisheries in Crisis (Infographic)

Fish are vital to human health, economic security, and culture. However, due to consumer habits and industry practices, fish stocks are currently under extreme stress and face depletion across the globe. A collaboration between Vermont Law School and the New England Aquarium, the Global Fisheries in Crisis infographic examines the various stressors on fish stocks worldwide, and provides consumers, advocates, and industry members with proactive ideas on countering these growing trends.

CAFS: THE First Three Years

The Center For Agriculture and Food Systems: The First Three Years Report

A report on CAFS' early progress, activities, and accomplishments.