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Center for Agriculture and Food Systems at Vermont Law School
(802) 831-1000
164 Chelsea St, PO Box 96
South Royalton, Vermont 05068

The Center for Agriculture and Food Systems (CAFS) trains law and policy students to develop real-world solutions for a more sustainable and just food system. CAFS educates students through a comprehensive array of residential and online courses, as well as through the Food and Agriculture Clinic. Students can choose to specialize in Food and Agriculture Law; pursue a JD Certificate in Food and Agriculture Law; or earn a Master's or LLM degree in Food and Agriculture Law and Policy. With CAFS's diverse course offerings, degree options, and practical experiences in the clinic, students explore food and agriculture law from a variety of perspectives.


Name Title Phone
Rebecca Milaschewski
McKenna Hayes
(802) 578 1025
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I am a local and native Vermonter, pursuing my Master's degree in Food and Agricultural Law and Policy at Vermont Law School. My academic pursuits of environmental issues began at the University of Vermont (UVM), where I studied Public Communications, Economics, and Environmental Studies. Following graduation, I began work in varying sectors of the food industry. My most recent position was as Coordinator for the Responsible Retailing Department of AholdUSA, a national grocery retailer owning over 800 grocery stores under regional banners such as Stop & Shop, Giant, and Peapod. In this position, I learned about the inner workings of our conventional food system, and came to understand that this system is not sustainable on a global scale. To deepen my knowledge of the laws and policies that impact our food systems, I applied for and was accepted into the Vermont Law School’s (VLS) Masters of Food and Agricultural Law and Policy. I have nearly completed the degree requirements and will graduate in the fall. Throughout the course of my studies, my focus has been on strengthening the policies related to local food systems such as permitting, zoning, licensing, and land-use planning; all of which has prepared me for the role of Food Systems Coordinator. As a native Vermonter, I grew up with access to a diverse and robust local food system. However, for many communities the disconnect between what they eat and where it comes from has never been so wide. I am committed to developing innovative solutions to bridge this disconnect. I believe that the Farm to Plate Initiative and Strategic Plan is an innovative and inclusive approach to foster the sustainable growth of our local food systems. I am joining this network because I truly believe in the mission and goals of the Farm to Plate Initiative, and I want to be a part of the cutting-edge work and conversation taking place in our amazing state. I know I can greatly contribute to this conversation, but more importantly I want to learn from the diverse array of parties involved in this work and develop my perception of our local agricultural and food systems.
Sarah Seese
Lihlani Nelson
(802) 831-1063
Whitney Shields
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Vermont Legal Food Hub Program Coordinator and Post Graduate Clinical Teaching Fellow at the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems at Vermont Law School. CAFS: Vermont Legal Food Hub :
Emily Spiegel
Laurie Beyranevand
Network Groups: Research
Sophia Kruszewski
(802) 831-1447
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Sophia Kruszewski is the Clinic Director at Vermont Law School's Center for Agriculture and Food Systems.The Food and Agriculture Clinic equips students with practical legal skills and a chance to engage in food system law and policy making. Student clinicians work with VLS faculty and local, regional, and national partners to research, develop, and disseminate legal resources for food system stakeholders, including farmers and food enterprises, farmworkers, administrators, legislators, and advocates. Sophia is an attorney and graduate of Vermont Law School, and returns to Vermont most recently following five years with the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC), where she focused on federal food and agriculture law and policy.
Network Groups: Research
Andrew Davis
Whitney Shields
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Whitney Shields, MFALP'17, is CAFS' Project Manager and the Vermont Legal Food Hub’s Program Coordinator. Previously, Whitney was a litigation paralegal at Langrock Sperry & Wool, where she worked primarily on an environmental case in Southern Vermont. Whitney hails from New Jersey and earned a BA in Theater and Women and Gender Studies from Montclair State University. She served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Togo, West Africa (2010-2012), where she implemented a food security conference, and organized a reforestation project planting over 300 moringa trees. After the Peace Corps, she developed a documentary theater piece at Genesis Farm in New Jersey to explore and share the community’s relationship with their local Community Supported Garden. During this time, Whitney realized that she wanted to pursue food and agriculture work as a career. Whitney manages the finalization and design process of CAFS’ resources and is the Vermont Legal Food Hub’s Program Coordinator where she runs the day-to-day operations.


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