Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Director, VLS Center for Agriculture and Food Systems

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Position Description

Vermont Law School seeks a Director for its newly created Center for Agriculture and Food Systems. The mission of the Center is to promote economically and environmentally sustainable agriculture and food systems through legal and policy research and scholarship; public outreach, education, and technical assistance; and education of the next generation of scholars, practitioners, and advocates.

The Center will serve as a developer and incubator of new thinking on agricultural and food law and policy by creating and distributing scholarly, technical, and practical publications; providing forums and conferences for professional education and policy development; and promoting studies and research on food and agricultural issues. The Center will also support advocates, non-governmental organizations, government agencies, food hubs, incubators, and farmers investigating reform and resiliency of agricultural and food systems in Vermont and the rest of the United States. The work of the Center is expected to focus on legal and policy issues related to such topics as: community-based agriculture and food networks, development of a sustainable food system, the regulation of food and the externalities associated with agricultural production, the Farm Bill and agricultural subsidies, school and entitlement program nutrition policy, energy-efficient food production, food labeling and eco-labeling, food safety, energy independence for farmers, biotechnology and bioengineering, the global food chain, preservation of working landscapes, and promotion of economically and socially vibrant communities. The Center will serve as a focal point for VLS students taking courses in agricultural and food law and policy, conducting research and doing externship in these areas, and seeking employment opportunities in this emerging field.

Duties and Responsibilities

• Direct the administration, development, and operations of the Center, as well as represent the Center and Vermont Law School in policy discussions, at scholarly conferences and at public outreach events.

•Develop relationships on behalf the Center and VLS with farmers, federal and state agencies, private foundations, non-governmental organizations, and other academic institutions.

• Initiate and manage a program of independent legal and policy research related to sustainable food and agriculture, engage in policy outreach, as well as create opportunities for student research and publications.

• Develop a program of technical legal services for farmers and food entrepreneurs practicing sustainable methods, thereby advancing the goal of establishing economically and environmentally sustainable agriculture and food systems while providing educational opportunities for students.

• Work with farmers and other key stakeholders to develop and enhance initiatives that bolster local food systems in order to help build resilient local economies, boost farmer income, enhance consumer access to fresh food, and spur community economic development.

• Lead the further development of VLS's curriculum addressing the relationship between food systems, agriculture policy, law, and the environment.

• Teach a courses or courses related to agriculture and food land and policy.

• Develop student programming, including externship, internship, and employment opportunities.

• Organize conferences, workshops, academic exchanges with faculty at other law schools, and promote inter-institutional cooperation.

• Take a lead role in developing additional sources of financial support for the Center over the long-term.