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News Release

Vermont Law School Launches Farm and Energy Initiative Website

Monday, August 24, 2020

SOUTH ROYALTON, Vt.

Today Vermont Law School announced the launch of the new Farm and Energy Initiative (FEI) website, a collaboration between the law school's Institute for Energy and the Environment and Center for Agriculture and Food SystemsThe new open-access resource helps farmers, researchers, and policymakers promote sustainable energy use in agriculture. It includes toolkits and information in three main sections: 

  • The Farmland Solar Policy Project. Thoughtful state solar siting policies can help build a renewable energy infrastructure while preserving farmland and improving farm sustainability. The FEI compiled and analyzed state policies nationwide, curating the information in an easy-to-navigate format. A Policy Design Toolkit helps policymakers shape solar regulations that work for their states and communities.  
  • Biogas and Organic Waste Management Project. The FEI identifies policies and business models promoting the economically viable and sustainable use of anaerobic digestion in agriculture. Never heard of anaerobic digestion? A handy FAQ and a podcast mini-series provides an introduction to the technology, discussing the benefits and drawbacks of using digesters to recycle organic waste into renewable energy and fertilizer. 
  • Healthy Soils Law Project. How can state governments develop policies that support environmental stewardship in agriculture? The website FEI features research on soil management, ecological agriculture, and soil health and the law. Readers can dig deeper with a report on the benefits of public investment in Vermont soil conservation and a searchable literature review organizing existing research on compensation for ecosystem services.

This project is directed by Assistant Professor and Staff Attorney Genevieve Byrne of VLS’s Institute for Energy and the Environment, and funded with a grant from the National Agricultural Library, U.S. Department of Agriculture. Visit farmandenergyinitiative.org to access all of the above resources and more.