Monday, January 30, 2017

Request for Proposals: The Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Policy Research Center

REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS (Letter of Intent Due February 5)

The Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Policy Research Center is requesting proposals from qualified individuals (henceforth, External Researcher). These qualified individuals should be interested in developing and conducting a comprehensive research study and report on challenges and issues that specifically impact socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. The submitted research study proposals should focus on current agriculture policy, including the Agricultural Act of 2014 and previous farm bills, and their implications for socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers.

The hard deadline for individuals, institutions, or organizations that wish to submit a proposal should submit a onepage, electronic, non-binding letter of intent by February 5, 2017, at 5:00 PM. (Central Standard Time) to Cassandra Wilder at

The full RFP is available in PDF form or by visiting the site (scroll to bottom).

LL.M. Alum Craig Raysor to serve as Visiting Professor at the University of Tennessee

Alumni News: Craig Raysor

We are pleased to report that LL.M. Alumni Craig Raysor is serving as a Visiting Assistant Professor in a clinical program at the University of Tennessee for the 2016-2017 year within the Clayton Center for Entrepreneurial Law.

As noted on their website, The Clayton Center offers a Visiting Professor Program to attract individuals who are interested in teaching business law courses and who are seeking to enter the academy from private practice or those seeking to make a contribution to the academy or the College of Law community through teaching and scholarship before returning to the private practice of law.

In addition to his teaching, Craig practices law through his law firm, Raysor Legal. His practice focuses on agricultural and food industry clients and business issues. He previously served as
Associate General Counsel for JBS and as a WRO Investigative Attorney for USDA.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Doug O'Brien named Executive Vice President for Programs at National Cooperative Business Association

Alumni News: Doug O'Brien

Our congratulations to LL.M. Alumni Doug O'Brien who was recently named Executive Vice President for Programs with The National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International. A portion of the announcement is included below. The full announcement is available on PR Newswire.

The National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International (NCBA CLUSA) is pleased to announce the addition of Doug O'Brien as NCBA CLUSA's Executive Vice President for Programs, effective November 1, 2016.

With a long career focused on empowering people and communities in rural places, O'Brien comes to NCBA CLUSA after serving as Senior Advisor for Rural Affairs on the White House Domestic Policy Council. In his role at the White House, O'Brien led the day-to-day work of the White House Rural Council, which is chaired by the Secretary of Agriculture and composed of cabinet members from across the federal government. The council focused on breaking down silos to make the government have a more positive impact in rural places and has focused on topics such as job creation, rural manufacturing, and child poverty.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Michael T. Roberts Publishes Food Law Treatise: Food Law in the United States

New Treatise:  Food Law in the United States

Our alumnus, Michael Roberts is the author of a new food law treatise, Food Law in the United States.  This comprehensive work lays out the national legal framework for our food system, including not only federal regulation but litigation, state law, and private standards. The treatise covers a broad expanse of topics including commerce, food safety, marketing, nutrition, and emerging food-systems issues such as local food, sustainability, security, urban agriculture, and equity. The book is designed as a reference for lawyers, students and non-law professionals as well as consumer advocates who need to understand food law to advance their respective interests.

This treatise reflects Michael's leadership role in food law & policy.  He is the founding Executive Director of the Resnick Program for Food Law and Policy at the UCLA School of Law where he also teaches a popular course in Food Law & Policy. He is one of the founding members of the Board of Trustees of the new Academy of Food Law & Policy, an academic association of professors teaching and writing in this area.

Michael has guest-lectured on food law subjects at law schools in the U.S., Asia, and Europe. He is a Research Fellow for Renmin University School of Law’s Center for Coordination and Innovation for Food Safety and is an Adjunct Professor of Law for East China University of Science and Technology (Shanghai), where he lectures annually on food law topics. Michael also lectures frequently and is involved with the University of Tuscia, European Food Law Center in Viterbo, Italy. He serves on the advisory board for the World Food Law Institute and on the Editorial Board for MDPI Laws, an open access scholarly journal, which has addressed food law topics.

Michael is not only an alumnus of our LL.M. Program, he is also a former professor on our faculty. He taught our first food law and policy course and helped to found our law school's Journal of Food Law and Policy.

Michael's private practice work includes practice with Venable LLP as a member of the firm's food and agricultural law practice group in Washington, D.C. and special counsel to the Roll Global farming and food companies headquartered in Los Angeles, where he was responsible for global food regulation, trade, and public policy.

Michael has always been a good friend to our Program and will will be guest lecturing in our Federal Regulation of Food Safety course this semester.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

LL.M. Alumnus & Author - Baylen Linnekin - "Biting the Hands That Feed Us"

In September 2016, our alumnus, Baylen Linnekin published the book, Biting the Hands That Feed Us: How Fewer, Smarter Laws Would Make Our Food System More Sustainable.  

Published by Island Press, the book describes four broad failings of our current food system relating to food safety regulations, food waste, "big food," and sustainable practices at home.  The book combines personal stories of those in the food system with peer-reviewed legal research. It's a powerful call for "fewer, smarter" food laws.

In December, Biting the Hands That Feed Us was recognized by Civil Eats as one of their "Favorite Food and Farm Books of 2016."  As Kristine Wong described it: 

Laws and regulations are designed to help us, right? When it comes to building a sustainable food movement, that may not always be true. In this provocative book, lawyer Baylen Linnekin makes a case for why U.S. food policy might benefit from a “less is more” approach. He shares examples of how laws have created unnecessary food waste, prevented residents from growing food in home gardens, and overburdened small producers and growers with regulations requiring them to use pricey equipment—instead of less expensive methods that would achieve similar outcomes. Linnekin leaves the reader with guiding principles of how we can transform food policy in a direction that promotes—not inhibits—sustainability.
Baylen has taught food law & policy courses at George Mason University and American University and was the founder of Keep Food Legal.  His editorials have been published by the Boston Globe, the New York Post, Newsweek, Playboy, Reason, Huffington Post and others. He is frequently asked to comment on food issues by the media and is a frequent presenter at food law conferences.  Baylen is also one of the founders of the new Academy of Food Law & Policy, an academic organization of professors teaching and writing in the emerging area of food law & policy.

We wish Baylen continued success in his writing and congratulate him on his work.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Just Food? Forum on Labor Across the Food System - Call for Proposals

Just Food? Forum on Labor Across the Food System- Call for Proposals

Event Type:

Conference Date:
April 1, 2017

Harvard Law School

Contact Email:

Just Food? is a student-organized collaboration of the Harvard Law School Food Law Society and Harvard Food Literacy Project and co-sponsored by the Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic.

Call for proposals

Submissions Due: January 23rd, 2017

Does your work connect to food and labor? Are you studying the players in our food system, and how their roles and rights have changed over time? The Harvard Just Food? Forum seeks proposals that focus on all aspects of labor across the food system. You may be working in the tomato fields in Florida, studying worker ownership models or making a film about fair labor practices-- we’re interested in hearing from you. We especially encourage proposals from people who can speak from their own experiences, alongside advocates, film makers, and academics. We are seeking two different types of proposals:

  • Concurrent sessions: Workshop, talk or panel format to educate and share research and knowledge of a topic and spark conversation and ideas.
  • Posters and exhibits: Scholars and entrepreneurs are invited to showcase their work.

Potential Topics

Agricultural labor
Food service/ restaurant labor
Labor rights and inequality
Food entrepreneurs
Labeling and certifications
Regulatory responses to labor issues
Role of media
Models of food labor and ownership (e.g. cooperative, non-profit, corporate social responsibility)
Prison farm labor
Impact of technology
Suggest your own!

For more info or to submit a proposal visit the conference site.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Nicole Civita interviewed by Huffington Post

Nicole Civita interviewed by The Huffington Post in an article highlighting Food Waste Among the Wealthy

View the full article by clicking below