Wednesday, October 29, 2014

EPA Recognizes Food Recovery Project with Achievement Award

EPA Gives University Achievement Award for Food Recovery
Posted on October 20, 2014

The University of Arkansas continues to receive accolades and recognition for its pioneering work on food waste prevention and food recovery promotion. The university recently received a 2013 Achievement Award from the United States Environmental Protection Agency in connection with the agency’s Food Recovery Challenge. Ron Curry, EPA Region 6 Administrator, presented the award certificate to Carlos Ochoa, director of the Office for Sustainability, at the Arkansas Recycling Coalition Conference.

The EPA praised the university for its tenacity in confronting and conquering barriers to food recovery, its practical effectiveness in implementing food recovery on campus, its leadership in modeling and facilitating food recovery engagement, and its collaborations with area food businesses to promote sustainable food waste management practices in Arkansas. 

Carlos Ochoa (L) and Nicole Civita (R) receive the 2013 EPA Achievement Award

As Ochoa emphasized in his acceptance remarks, the university’s advances in sustainable food management practices have resulted from collaboration among various units and stakeholders on campus: The Office of Sustainability has made food waste reduction and food recovery an institutional priority in line with its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2040. The School of Law’s Food Recovery Project has provided the legal information and expertise needed to allay concerns about potential liability and insure that the university’s food recovery efforts are safe and effective. The School of Social Work and the Department of Political Science of the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Science also brought attention to the twin problems of food waste and hunger and the importance of food recovery at its inaugural Food Justice Summit in Nov. 2013.

The university’s efforts are bolstered by its students who recover food from its dining halls and retail food establishments and who founded and operate Razorback Food Recovery as one of the Volunteer Action Center’s flagship programs. Food recovery would also be impossible without the cooperation of the dining services provider, Chartwells, and its staff, who set aside and donate wholesome unsold food at the end of the day for donation to the campus Full Circle Food Pantry and other emergency food programs in Fayetteville.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Nicole Civita presents on Food Justice at Conference in Wyoming

Visiting Assistant Professor Nicole Civita delivered several well-received presentations on food justice, food insecurity, food waste and recovery at the 2014 Consumer Issues Conference — Food: Policies, Perceptions, & Practices.  During her brief trip to Laramie, Wyoming, Professor Civita delivered a thought-provoking lunchtime plenary address that explored food justice and the power and limits of consumer-driven reform.  She also contributed to two panel discussions regarding food waste and recovery and served as a feature discussant after a screening of the documentary, A Place at the Table.

The Consumer Issues Conference is an interdisciplinary project organized by several University of Wyoming. Colleges, including Law, Agriculture, Health and Business and supported by outside partnering organizations, including Colorado State University Extension and the Wyoming Department of Health. This annual conference is “designed to focus on public policy issues affecting consumers and the consumer marketplace, and to inspire people to be active in bringing about change in the legal and market environment.” In its 14th year, the conference put a spotlight on food — a product which every consumer requires multiple times a day. Conference organizers, speakers and attendees investigated and engaged in a lively dialog about a broad range of consumer issues related to food including food insecurity, food marketing, advertising, labeling, and grading, nutrition and health, food safety, food waste, and the relative geographic span of food systems.

During her plenary address, Choosing Food Justice, Professor Civita sought to synthesize the wide range of issues that relate to food and to view them through the lens of busy, hungry consumers juggling the many demands of modern life. She surveyed the scope of food justice as a discipline and a movement, explored the personal, market-driven, and legal dimensions of food choice, and identified specific areas where advocates for a more equitable food system can productively engage with the law and press for reform.  

Representing our Food Recovery Project, Nicole illustrated the magnitude of America’s food waste problem and situated this problem next to our growing and unacceptable food insecurity problem in the piktochart titled Wasted: The Consequences of Undervaluing Food | Piktochart Infographic Editor.

She then suggested food recovery as an elegant way to address both issues, taught attendees about the legal protections for food businesses and non-profits who engage food recovery and charitable feeding, and introduced several remaining legal drivers of food waste and obstacles to food recovery.

Professor Civita was delighted to connect with many articulate advocates for and visionary contributors to a more just, health-promoting, and sustainable food system at the conference including the Administrator of the USDA’s Food & Nutrition Service, Audrey Rowe, Consumer’s Union Senior Scientist, Dr. Michael Hansen, and Director of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization's Liaison Office for North America, Nicholas Nelson. The LL.M. program is excited to report that these luminaries have accepted our invitation lecture to our students via video-conference in the near future, allowing us to continue leveraging our new technologically-enhanced classroom and distance education capacity to connect our candidates with leading experts in agricultural and food law, policy & practice.

Nicole extends her appreciation and gratitude to the organizers of the conference, and especially to Professors Dee Pridgen & Virginia Vincenti, for putting together such a well-thought out conference, encouraging dialog at the nexus of food system and consumer related issues, and being wonderful hosts.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Janie Hipp Participates in White House Discussion on Women in Agriculture

Our colleague, Janie Hipp (Chickasaw), Director of the Indigenous Food & Agriculture Initiative participated in a dialogue at the White House on the future of women in agriculture.

Participants were welcomed by Secretary Tom Vilsack and Deputy Secretary Harden of USDA and Cecilia Muñoz, Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council.  In attendance were representatives from agribusinesses, universities, youth organizations, and nonprofit organizations, all discussing barriers women face in the agricultural sector.

For full details on this important opportunity, see A Week of Celebrating Native #WomeninAg on the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative blog.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Special Event: Indigenous Peoples of the Americas Day

Today, Monday October 13th, The Indigenous Food & Agriculture Initiative is co-sponsoring Indigenous Peoples of the Americas Day. Featured speakers include Law School Dean Stacy Leeds, and LL.M. Candidate Hillary Renick. The Initiative is operated under the direction of LL.M. Alumna Janie Simms Hipp.  The event will take place on campus in the Arkansas Union with a full event schedule concluding with a screening and discussion of the film "Ramona". Information on the days events is included in the flyers below.

Be sure to join the Facebook page at
and add Native American Student Association at


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Alumni News: Liliana Reyes recognized as an outstanding agribusiness lawyer in Colombia

We are pleased to announce that LL.M. Alumna Liliana Reyes was recently recognized by
Legal 500 Latin America as an outstanding agribusiness lawyer in Colombia. In addition, her firm Brigard & Urrutia was named the Colombian firm of the year, according to Chambers and Partners.

 Liliana Reyes serves as a Senior Associate and provides expertise in urban and environmental, commercial, and agribusiness matters.
Congratulations Liliana!

Professor Schneider Named Wm H. Enfield Professor of Law

From the Arkansas Newswire:

Dean Stacy Leeds named Susan Schneider the William H. Enfield Professor at the University of Arkansas School of Law. Schneider teaches courses in agricultural and food law and serves as director of the law school’s master of laws program in Agricultural and Food Law. The program is the only one of its kind in the United States and is now available in an online format, drawing students from all over the world.

The endowed professorship was created by Judge William H. Enfield of Bentonville, a former professor of the University of Arkansas School of Law. In addition to serving as a professor, Enfield had a 20 year career in private practice before serving as a Circuit Judge in the 19th Judicial District in Benton County.

“I am truly honored to be selected as the William H. Enfield Professor of Law,” said Schneider. “While I did not have the opportunity to meet Judge Enfield personally, his contribution to the Arkansas bar, his dedication to the law school and his commitment to justice are well known. I hope to serve with that as my inspiration.”

“Susan is a well-recognized expert in agricultural and food law, and thanks to her leadership, our long standing LL.M. program is expanding in new and exciting ways to include distance education globally,” said Stacy Leeds, dean of the School of Law. “Judge Enfield created a lasting legacy here at the School of Law, and Professor Schneider carries his spirit of excellence forward.”

When he established the endowed professorship in 1999 Enfield said, “Remembering my experience as a professor, I wanted to find a way to help bring more quality legal talent to the university to teach future generations of lawyers.”

The first William H. Enfield Professor was John J. Watkins. The second honoree, Steve Sheppard, served as Enfield Professor for 13 years before leaving the University of Arkansas to serve as dean of St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonio, Texas.

Enfield graduated from the School of Law in 1948. He passed away in 2010.

Schneider earned a bachelor’s degree from the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul, Minn. She earned her J.D. at the University of Minnesota School of Law and her LL.M. in Agricultural Law from the University of Arkansas School of Law. Her private practice and advocacy work in agricultural law includes positions with firms in Arkansas, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Washington, D.C. She is a past president of the American Agricultural Law Association (AALA) and a two-term board member. She was the 2010 recipient of the AALA Distinguished Service Award.