Food and Agricultural Law Specialization

Food is fundamental. Yet, the food and agriculture system is not always a priority for law and policy makers. Because of its connection to so many other areas of national concern—public health, the environment, consumer protection, the economy, immigration, animal welfare, national security, energy, labor, international relations, and trade—it is necessary to approach regulation of the food system in the context of a broader set of laws and policies that impact food and agriculture.

Ensuring an equitable food system that delivers positive outcomes will require new law and policy approaches to food and agriculture at the federal, state, and local levels. Through the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems (CAFS), Vermont Law School offers a systems based curriculum to students who want to specialize in food and agricultural law and policy. CAFS does this through courses and practical educational opportunities in our Food and Agriculture Clinic that emphasize the connections between food systems and public health, environmental protection and stewardship, economics and markets, consumer protection, social justice and equity, and climate change. Students specializing in Food and Agricultural Law can choose from a diverse set of classes to explore these topics while also engaging in project based work through the Food and Agriculture Clinic.

Students may also want to spend time visiting and engaging with the many farmers and food entrepreneurs in Vermont. There are many farms and orchards dotting the landscape surrounding campus. The Food and Agriculture Clinic works to provide support to the many farmers and food producers navigating the complex network of laws and policies that impact the food system within Vermont, and across the country. Relevant courses include:

Laurie Beyranevand directs the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems and teaches Food Regulation and Policy and Legislation and Regulation. Sophia Kruszewski directs the Food and Agriculture Clinic and teaches a Food and Agriculture clinical seminar where students gain practical experience through project-based work. Emily Spiegel teaches Introduction to Agriculture and Food Law and Policy and International Law and directs several grant funded projects. Lihlani Skipper is the Associate Director for the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems and directs a major grant funded project. Claire Child is the Program Manager for the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems and works on grant funded research with the assistance of Research Assistants.