Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Food Recovery Act and our Faculty, Nicole Civita

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree's recently announced her proposal for the federal Food Recovery Act. This important new legislation would help to reduce wasted food and promote food recovery at the farm, retail, restaurant, institution, and consumer levels.

The LL.M. Program has been at the forefront of food recovery efforts since the inception of our Food Recovery Project in 2012.  The publication of Food Recovery: A Legal Guide brought national recognition to our efforts.

So when Congresswoman Pelligree took on this important issue, it should be no surprise that our faculty was there, working behind the scenes to assist her. Nicole Civita, Director of our Food Recovery Project and the author of the Legal Guide was instrumental in helping define the issue and craft the proposed remedies. Congresswoman Pelligree's office thanked Nicole for her help, stating that her "expertise and research were invaluable."

 The introduction of the Food Recovery Act brings the critical issue of food waste to Washington. We appreciate Nicole's contribution to that effort. Her leadership in this area is an important asset to our Program and to the future of our food system.

In addition to serving as the Director of our Food Recovery Project, Nicole teaches Urban Agriculture and Food Justice Law & Policy in the LL.M. Program. She also serves on the faculty of Sterling College in Vermont and as the Assistant Director of the Rian Fried Center for Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems at Sterling.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Article by LL.M. Almuna Margie Alsbrook featured in The Arkansas Lawyer

We were delighted to discover an excellent article in the fall issue of The Arkansas Lawyer by LL.M. Alumna Margie Alsbrook. The article 10 Things Every Lawyer Should Know About GMO's addresses the increasing number of genetically modified foods and consumers questions about the ethical use of genetically engineered technology. The article is available on The Arkansas Bar Associations website

While a candidate in the LL.M. Program, Margie served as the first editor-in-chief of the University of Arkansas' Journal of Food Law & Policy. She currently serves as the Next Generation Outreach & Organizational Operations Director for the Farm Journal Foundation

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

LL.M. Candidate Lauren Manning interviewed by Modern Farmer

Modern Farmer recently caught up with LL.M. Candidate Lauren Manning for a Q&A session on what makes Lauren a "modern farmer." An excerpt of that interview is included below. Check out the full interview at

It was a layoff that led Lauren Manning to agriculture. The 29-year-old lawyer, who was born and raised in Sacramento, California, had come to a fork in the road. And it was that fork that turned out to be the key. She'd become interested in the legal, political, and social aspects of food and agriculture but believed her path in life had already been set; agriculture would only be a side interest.

But after losing her job at the law firm she made the decision to pursue an LL.M. in Agricultural & Food Law at the University of Arkansas School of Law, where she’s an adjunct professor. She also began writing for AgFunderNews, a website about technology in the agricultural sector, and became an apprentice at Ozark Pasture Beef (OPB). Now, she’s days away from finishing her first semester in the program and very happy with the choices she’s made.

“I can’t say I’m a farmer, but I’m certainly a new student of the trade. I’m like the newborn calf wandering around the pasture experiencing the world for the first time,” she tells Modern Farmer in an email.

As an apprentice at OPB, Manning is getting hands-on training at a grass-fed beef operation. She says she felt that if she was going to “talk the talk” about policy, advise farmers, or make recommendations on ag issues she needed to “walk the walk” first. She went on a farm tour of OPB, met one of the operation’s partners, and was soon working there. “The joke is that I came out to the farm and never left,” she says.