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Vermont Law Joins Higher Ed Consortium on Food Systems

November 11, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — November 11, 2013

Peter Glenshaw, Director of Communications, Vermont Law School
Office: 802-831-1318, cell: 603-738-8487, home: 603-795-4764,
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SOUTH ROYALTON, Vt.—Vermont Law School announced last week that it has joined with higher education institutions in Vermont to form a consortium committed to food systems. Together with the University of Vermont, Sterling College, Green Mountain College, Vermont Technical College, and the Vermont College State System, the consortium will enable students to take classes at participating institutions and food, agriculture, and related subjects. Other learning opportunities, including internships, research, and joint degrees, will be explored in the near future by the consortium.

Organized under the impetus of Vermont Higher Education Food Systems Council, the consortium is believed to be the first of its kind in the nation. Dean and President Marc Mihaly attended the signing ceremony in Montpelier, Vermont, along with Laurie Ristino, Associate Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems at Vermont Law.

“This collaboration advances an alliance between two of Vermont's major economic drivers-education and agriculture.  Vermont Law School believes that restructuring our agricultural enterprise is key to addressing climate change. Each of the schools in the new Consortium is devoted to advancing community-based agriculture. Together we can utilize Vermont's iconic brand to attract more students from around the nation and the world, and offer them a more complete education. ,” said President and Dean Mihaly.

Members of the Consortium will share courses, internships, land-based learning experiences, faculty, and annual symposia across institutions. A coordinated marketing campaign will also be developed regarding the many educational opportunities available for studying food systems in Vermont.

“Vermont’s higher education institutions have graduated generations of Vermont farmers, foresters and value-added entrepreneurs,” stated Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin. “Today they are taking an historic step of doing this work better together, with this collaboration offering students from across the country an unprecedented set of experiences in our working landscape. This will attract new youth to rural Vermont communities, spur innovation in the food and forest economies, and help all of us who are working to conserve Vermont’s working landscape in production for the long-term future.”

“Vermont is at the forefront of food systems development now, pioneering both local and regional food systems as well as revitalizing the agricultural economy. We believe this effort will make Vermont the top educational destination for students who want to study this critical interdisciplinary subject,” said Professor Ristino.


Vermont Law School, a private, independent institution, has the top-ranked environmental law program and one of the top-ranked clinical training programs in the nation, according to U.S.News & World Report. VLS offers a Juris Doctor curriculum that emphasizes public service; two Master’s Degrees (Master of Environmental Law and Policy, and Master of Energy Regulation and Law), and three post-JD degrees — LLM in American Legal Studies (for foreign-trained lawyers), LLM in Energy Law, and LLM in Environmental Law. The school features innovative experiential programs and is home to the Environmental Law Center, the South Royalton Legal Clinic, and the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic. For more information, visit

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