Bridging the Gap: Reconciling Agriculture with Environmentalism

vjel_sym_btgThe Vermont Journal of Environmental Law is excited to announce our Fall 2019 symposium being held on October 25, 2019. The event will be held from 8am-5pm in Chase Community Center at Vermont Law School.

It is a common belief that environmentalism and the agricultural industry are incompatible with one another. However, as human activity continues to degrade out planet, lawyers, regulators, and even farmers are beginning to explore productive and realistic ways for agriculture to become more sustainable. The Vermont Journal of Environmental Law 2019 Symposium will foster provicative discussions about adapting agricultural and environmental laws, regulations, policies, and practices to help reconcile the goals of the agricultural industry with environmental goals.

For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact symposium editors: and

Free and open to the public and press.


8:00am – Registration and Breakfast

8:30am – Introductory Remarks

9:00am – Clean Water & Vermont’s Dairy Industry Panel
Moderator: Jennifer Rushlow, Director of the Environmental Law Center at Vermont Law School
Laura Ginsburg, Section Chief of the Agricultural Division at the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets
James Maroney, Former dairy farmer and organic farming activist
Jack Lazor, Creator and Founder of Butterworks Farm
Tom Berry, Agricultural, Environmental, and Energy Advisor to Senator Leahy
Question and Answer

10:30am –  Keynote Address
John Piotti, President and CEO of American Farmland Trust
Question and Answer

11:45am – The Growing Cannabis Industry Panel
Moderator: Laurie Beyranevand, Director for the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems at Vermont Law School
Tim Fair and Andrew Subin, Attorneys and Partners at Vermont Cannabis Solutions
Rye Matthews, Chief Technical Officer of Northeast Hemp Commodities
Rusty Rumley, The National Agricultural Law Center
Question and Answer

12:45pm – Lunch,
Featuring locally farmed products.

1:45pm – Farms: Energy Consumers and Producers Panel
Moderator: Genevieve Byrne, Staff Attorney at the Institute for Energy and the Environment
Jimmy Daukas, Senior Program Officer at American Farmland Trust
Katherine Oaks, Energy Fellow for the Farm and Energy Initiative at the Institute for Energy and the Environment
Bill Jorgenson, Co-founder and Counselor of Vanguard Renewables
Catherine Keske, Professor of Environmental Management at the University of California, Merced
Question and Answer

3:00pm – Break/Snack

3:15pm – Models for Change Panel
Moderator: Sophia Kruszewski, Clinic Director for the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems at Vermont Law School
Lee Miller, Lecturing Fellow of Law at the Duke Environmental Law and Policy Clinic
Steven Winnett, Regional TMDL Coordinator at the Environmental Protection Agency Region 1
Phillip Chavez, Managing Partner at Diamond ‘A’ Farms and Partner at Mohawk Valley Farms
Lisa McCrory, Consultant, teacher, activist, organic farmer, and co-owner of Earthwise Farm and Forest
Question and Answer

4:45pm – Closing Remarks

5:00pm-6:30pm – Reception in Yates Common Room