The U.S. Department of Agriculture will award $728,274 to the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems at Vermont Law School to support a program designed to get communities more access to healthy food.
The money comes from the USDA’s National Agricultural Library “to support innovative legal resources for farmers, food entrepreneurs, researchers and policymakers,” according to a news release Monday from Vermont Law School.
The law school’s Center for Agriculture and Food Systems will use the money to work with the Public Health Law Center at the William Mitchell School of Law and the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut.
The three colleges’ special program, called “FoodWorks: State and Local Food Policy Innovations,” will incorporate different study techniques to encourage local and state policymakers to adopt “promising food policy innovations.” Once developed, those innovations would be available on the USDA’s website.
The “FoodWorks” program will run through Aug. 31, 2019. The new grant brings Vermont Law School’s Center for Agriculture and Food Systems funding from the USDA to just under $1.5 million.
Previous funding helped Vermont Law School create a national gleaning project and a food and agriculture clinic. Future projects would be a “Farmland Lease Assistant” for farmers and a “How to Use A Lawyer” guide.
Laurie Ristino, from Vermont Law School, said in a news release that her students “are committed to creating real-world tools for people and planet.” She called her students’ work “vital.”