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Center for Agriculture and Food Systems

Center for Agriculture and Food Systems


Welcome from Professor Laurie Ristino, Director

The Center for Agriculture and Food Systems (CAFS) has a dual mission: to develop the next generation of sustainable food and agriculture law and policy leaders while providing legal and policy resources and solutions for citizens to build and support such systems. CAFS' approach to progressing sustainable agriculture and food systems is systems-based, as our name implies. We believe that in order to truly foster sustainable agriculture and food, we need to understand the connections these systems have to the environment, energy, human and animal health, labor, and climate change.

Why sustainable agriculture and food systems? Food is a basic necessity of life. This is the time to make a difference in agriculture and food given the burgeoning interest in this area. Ensuring sufficient, healthy food to feed a growing global population is a critical humanitarian challenge. At the same time, the production of food has tremendous impact on natural resources, including water, soil health, and air, which we must address.

How CAFS is contributing to sustainable agriculture and food systems.  CAFS and VLS offer an expanding curriculum in food and agriculture for law and policy students. In addition, CAFS supports scholars and practitioners in producing practical, robust scholarship for use by the food and agriculture community. CAFS also offers training and legal tools to help build sustainable local and regional food systems.

If you are interested in learning more about CAFS, as a potential student, collaborator, or client, please call us at 802-831-1230.

Laurie Ristino
Director and Associate Professor of Law