Monday, September 29, 2014

Razorback Recovery and the Food Recovery Project Featured in Harvest Public Media Special Report



LL.M. Visiting Assistant Professor and Director of the Food Recovery Project Nicole Civita was featured recently in this Harvest Public Media Special Report about Food Waste in America.

An excerpt from the article is included below. View the full article and watch the program here.

An Abundance of Waste

Farmers and growers have made gigantic advancements in food production over the last century, ensuring more food flows from farm to table than at any time in human history. Yet, some estimates say as much as 40 percent of the food produced in the U.S. goes uneaten.

Food waste is the single-largest source of waste in municipal landfills. An incredible 35 million tons of food were thrown away in 2012, according to the EPA. As it decomposes in landfills, the waste releases methane and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Meanwhile, 1 in 6 Americans struggles with hunger and the world wonders how to address the challenge of feeding 9 billion people by 2050.

NET Nebraska and Harvest Public Media are exploring the problem of food waste in America. Watch for lots of coverage online. Harvest Public Media partner public radio stations will air a week-long series starting Monday, Sept. 22.

And tune in to your local public television on Friday, Sept. 26, for an in-depth look on “Tossed Out: Food Waste in America.” Check your local listings.

Or, watch the full TV program, right here.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

National Jurist Lists Food Law as One of Top Ten Hot Areas for Employment

The September- October Issue of National Jurist magazine includes the article, What's Hot: Ten Practice Areas that are Driving Hiring Now.  It discusses the job market for attorneys, noting that the market is picking up, but that it is also changing.  It lists the top ten areas that are expected to be "hot" in terms of opportunities and new hiring.

Food Law is number 8 on the list.  To be accurate, they refer to "food and drug law" but reading their description of the types of positions, they are clearly talking about the food law and policy arena - including the new Food Safety Modernization Act, with a regulatory reach down to the production level and the wide range of interesting legal issues involved with marijuana production and sale in states where it's legal.

We were delighted to have our LL.M. Program in Agricultural & Food Law listed along with Michigan State, where a distance LL.M. Program in Global Food Law is available.

Note that this issue also gives us another huge shout out -  the University of Arkansas School of Law is rated as #1 for Best Value in legal education.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Agricultural Law & Medical Marijuana

I suspect that when Ray Watson attended the LL.M. Program back in the late 1990's, he did not anticipate that a significant amount of his work someday would involve marijuana. Ray now serves as Illinois Department of Agriculture General Counsel, and as such, he is guiding the State of Illinois as it undertakes its Medical Cannabis Pilot Program.

Ray's pictured below during a town hall meeting at the Illinois Department of Transportation in Collinsville, Illinois.

Another report from Illinois shows hundreds of residents asking questions at a town hall meeting. Marijuana Town Hall Attracts Hundreds in Chicago. Questions ranged from practical, administrative questions on how the program will be run to those seeking assurances that the program will not have negative unintended consequences.  We are confident that Ray handled all of the questions with care, professionalism, and accurate information.

 A new chapter in a good agricultural lawyer's career.

Ray Watson, Illinois Department of Agriculture General Counsel, answers questions about the State of Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program during a town hall meeting at the Illinois Department of Transportation in Collinsville, Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014. Photo by Roberto Rodriguez, rrodriguez@post0dispatch.com

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Fayetteville, Arkansas - One of the Best College Towns in America

The vast majority of our LL.M. candidates are from outside Arkansas.  Many of our applicants and potential applicants wonder what Northwest Arkansas is really like -  

Consider this article reposted from the Fayetteville Flyer:

For the second year in a row, Fayetteville was named as one of the best college towns in the nation. 
Livability.com this week released its annual list of the Top 10 Best College Towns, which ranked Fayetteville as No. 4. 
The website, which provides data for small-and medium-sized cities, also compiles annual best-of lists based on the data it collects throughout the year. It lists Fayetteville with a population just shy of 76,000 and a median income of $37,383. 
This is the fifth year Livability.com has published its best-of list for college towns. It’s Fayetteville’s second appearance on the list. The city was named No. 9 in 2013.

Livability.com‘s ranking criteria included affordable housing, educational attainment, walkability and student population. 
1. Ames, Iowa
2. Logan, Utah
3. Oxford, Ohio
4. Fayetteville, Arkansas
5. Tempe, Arizona
6. Charlottesville, Virginia
7. Champaign, Illinois
8. Moscow, Idaho
9. South Bend, Indiana
10. Hattiesburg, Mississippi 
This year, cities were divided up by their college’s Football Bowl Subdivision conference and then ranked within each group before compiling the list. That means Fayetteville beat out all other SEC college towns, and was then ranked as the fourth-best in the nation. 
Ranking criteria included affordable housing, educational attainment, walkability and student population. 
After livability aspects were calculated, the list was skewed toward measuring the impact each college and university has on its cities and what would make life better for college-aged people. 
A close look was given at cities with a high concentration of degree-holders and of 25-to-34 year-olds to see if they were the kinds of cities that students would want to stay in once they graduated. 
Finally, the website counted the number of restaurants, music venues, bike trails, parks and festivals in each city, and included any partnerships that exist between the colleges and towns. 
“From its hip strip of shops, bars and restaurants to the bike paths and walking trails that snake through the city, Fayetteville, Ark., greatly accommodates the college lifestyle,” wrote the website. “Southern charm meshes with a modern arts scene and innovative businesses to create a place that draws young families who crave a unique yet traditional small-town vibe.” 
Fayetteville was the only city from last year to make the list in 2014, but not every city is new to the series. Oxford, Ohio made the list in 2011 and 2012; Champaign, Ill. and Logan, Utah made it in 2012; and Charlottesville, Va. charted in 2010.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Employment News: Erin Shirl

We are pleased to report that over the summer, Erin Shirl, an LL.M candidate in last year's class, accepted a position as Staff Attorney & Visiting Research Professor of Law with the Indigenous Food & Agriculture Initiative at the University of Arkansas School of Law.

Erin has been serving as a Staff Attorney and Visiting Research Professor for the Initiative since late July. Her duties include research, writing, and program and course development. She hopes to help start several new Initiative programs during the course of her appointment, as well as continue to support existing programming, like the Initiative’s summer summit for Native youth who are considering career options in agricultural fields.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Employment News: Kelly Damewood at California Certified Organic Foundation

We are pleased to report that over the summer, Kelly Damewood, an LL.M candidate in last year's class, accepted a position as Policy Director with the well-regarded California Certified Organic Foundation (CCOF).  While in the LL.M. Program, Kelly served as the Marler Clark Graduate Assistant, working as a journalist for Food Safety News, the online publication with worldwide distribution.

Kelly will lead CCOF’s policy staff and organize member engagement on issues related to the National Organic Program (NOP), National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), Farm Bill, and other aspects of agricultural policy.  Congratulations to Kelly -  we know you will do a great job.


Friday, September 5, 2014

A USA Today story on food waste references research by Professor Nicole Civita and LL.M. alumnus James Haley for the Food Recovery Project in the LL.M. Program in Agricultural and Food Law


View the original article here.

Dumpster dining: Environmentalist fights food waste
John Wisely, Detroit Free Press 8:19 p.m. EDT August 31, 2014



Rob J. Greenfield, 28, of San Diego is an environmental activist who is crossing the country on his bicycle dumpster diving to show how much food is wasted in the country annually. He hits a set of dumpsters behind Glory Market in Oak Park, Mich., Aug. 31, 2014.(Photo: Regina H. Boone, Detroit Free Press)
1287 CONNECT 127 TWEET 22 LINKEDIN 22 COMMENTEMAILMORE

DETROIT — Rob Greenfield spent Sunday morning shopping for food.

By 11 a.m., he already had salmon, multigrain breads, Starbucks coffee, oranges, bananas, avocados, tomatoes and peppers. For dessert, he had cakes, cookies and spice drop candies. He even picked up some microbrew beer.

He's not planning a Labor Day cookout. Greenfield is an environmental activist who's traveling part of the country to shop in dumpsters behind grocery stores, drugs stores and other places to draw attention to the amount of food that is wasted every day in America.

Conducting what he calls food fiascos, Greenfield takes the edible food he finds in each city, then displays it in one spot to show how much of it there is. Metro Detroit is his latest stop on a two month campaign that began in Madison, Wis., and ends in New York City.

"We've collected a couple thousand dollars worth of food today," Greenfield said this morning as he took a quick inventory at a stop in Clawson. "All of this stuff is still good."

Greenfield peeled a slightly brown banana and took a bite.



USATODAY

An app that reduces food waste


Some of the items had expiration dates of Saturday, Sunday or Monday, but others are good until next month. Most of the items are still in sealed packages. The salmon was still cold when he found it.

His lessons are aimed at both consumers and the stores that supply their food. His goals are:

• Reduce the amount of food by better inventory control.

• Encourage stores to donate food to non-profits that get it to people in need.

• Promote composting of food that can't be eaten by humans.


Rob J. Greenfield, 28, of San Diego finds grapes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and more that he eats as he digs them out of a dumpster in Oak Park, Mich.(Photo: Regina H. Boone, Detroit Free Press)


Greenfield said some corporations are coming around to the idea of donating surplus food, but most are still behind the times. The number one reason corporations have given him for not donating their food is the fear of liability if someone gets sick from eating it.

But he said that fear was put to rest in 1996, when President Clinton signed the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act, which shields food donors from liability in most cases, though not for gross negligence or intentional misconduct.

Greenfield pointed to a 2013 study by the University of Arkansas School of Law that examined litigation related to food donation.



USATODAY

Your daily bread: Bag it, freeze it, to prevent waste


"A thorough search of filings and review of reported decisions did not turn up a single case that involved food donation-related liability or any attempts to get around the protections offered by the Bill Emerson Act," the study's authors, James Haley and Nicole Civita, wrote.

Through his website, Greenfield prompts sustainable living and he practices what he preaches.

A 28-year-old Ashland, Wis., native who makes his home in San Diego, he converted to vegetarian lifestyle and decided to focus on sustainable living. He carries no cash or credit cards, travels barefoot and mostly by bicycle.

He sleeps in a tent or taps the kindness of strangers for a bed for the night and a warm shower. A web-based network of touring cyclists includes people who open their homes to travelers like Greenfield free of charge.


Rob J. Greenfield, 28, of San Diego, is an environmental activist who is crossing the country on his bicycle dumpster diving to show how much food is wasted in the country annually.(Photo: Regina H. Boone, Detroit Free Press)


He eats food from dumpsters and gets his water from dripping taps.

He's never gone hungry, gotten ill, been arrested or failed to find plenty of food.

"He's an inspiration to me," said Julie Palmer, 43, of Ypsilanti. "He lives life with so much joy."

Palmer became a fan of Greenfield after a friend posted a link to Greenefield's website, robgreenfield.tv. When she and her husband, Seth, learned he was coming to Michigan, they volunteered to help.

To collect his food, they agreed to help shuttle him around in their Chevrolet Traverse, driving him to various grocery stores in the suburbs of Detroit and filling up the back with what they found.