I am writing to invite you to be part of an exciting development at Vermont Law School. In the spring of 2011, we will open the Vermont Law Center for Agriculture and Food Systems, which will support advocates, agencies, food hubs, incubators, and farmers engaged in the creation of community-based agriculture systems in the U.S. and internationally.
I invite you to join in the launch of this new center through our 2011 Sustainable Food Systems Summer Scholar program. We will select a noted academic or practitioner in this field to spend two weeks in Vermont during our Summer Session to conduct research and participate in colloquia. Vermont Law School will pay travel expenses for the scholar, provide housing, and pay a $5,000 stipend. To apply, or to nominate a colleague, please send a cover letter and résumé to Anne Mansfield, associate director of the Environmental Law Center, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Center for Agriculture and Food Systems will focus on legal and policy issues related to community-based agriculture, the regulation of food, the Farm Bill and agricultural subsidies, energy-efficient food production, energy independence for farmers, and other issues key to retaining a successful working landscape for rural communities. Vermont Law School is the ideal place to initiate this effort: Vermont is synonymous with the farming landscape and leads the nation in the sophistication of its effort to implement a sustainable agricultural system.
The center will be modeled after our highly successful Institute for Energy and the Environment and will build on recent efforts at VLS. We hosted a conference on Food, Fuel, and the Future of Farming, which brought over 200 scholars, activists, and farmers together. We convened a colloquium with the Northeast Organic Farming Association and Rural Vermont on farmers’ market insurance issues. And, we published The Farmer’s Handbook for Energy Self-Reliance, distributed to over 4,000 farmers and taken to over a dozen farmers’ forums and conferences nationally.
This spring, we will recruit a director for the center with national experience in the field who will work with our environmental faculty and Summer Session faculty, many of whom have produced scholarship in this area. Students from our Agricultural Law Society will assist in the work of the center, and many of them will join the ranks of our alumni who work with organizations such as the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the Center for Food Safety, and the Vermont Department of Agriculture.
Please accept this invitation to apply or nominate a colleague to be the first Sustainable Food Systems Summer Scholar at the new Vermont Law Center for Agriculture and Food Systems.
Marc B. Mihaly
Professor of Law
Director, Environmental Law Center
Associate Dean, Environmental Law Program