Agriculture and Food Systems Specialization

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 the people and for the planet will require new markets, innovative business models, and new federal and state rules governing land use and water rights, food labeling and school food standards. Based out of the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems (CAFS), Vermont Law offers a dynamic curriculum to law and policy students who want to specialize in the business of feeding a growing population sustainably in a world impacted by climate change.

Students specializing in Agriculture and Food Systems will 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 is doing its part: 85 percent of the food served on campus is local and organic. Come take your seat at the table. Courses include:

Key Faculty in this specialization include Professor Laurie Ristino who was a senior counsel with the Office of the General Counsel, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in Washington, D.C. Professor Laurie Beyranevand teaches Food Regulation and Policy and Legislation and Regulation and directs several grant funded projects for CAFS. Aurora Moses directs the Food and Agriculture Clinic and teaches a Food and Agriculture clinical seminar. In the clinic she guides students in using law and policy to make food production more just, sustainable, and humane.