Publications and Talks

Faculty, Student & Affiliate Publications

CAFE Law and Policy Lab Student Reports

Challenging PA CAFO

Challenging Pennsylvania’s CAFO Immunity Law

By Simon Engler, Tim Ibbotson-Sindelar, Angus McLean, and Lexi Smith

CAFO immunity laws, or “right-to-farm laws,” are statutes that prevent plaintiffs from seeking redress in court for some of the health and environmental harms caused by industrial animal agriculture. This paper proposes a novel litigation strategy to overturn or curtail Pennsylvania’s CAFO immunity law.

Cover: Farm Fairness Act

Farm Fairness Act: Regulating Liberty, Transparency, and Fairness for Poultry Farmers

By Jeamme Chia, Zoe Novic, Kathryn Pogin, and Aaron Troncoso

While attempts to improve contractual fairness stalled federally, the 2010 GIPSA rule provided a number of substantive protections to poultry growers that could be provided by state legislatures. This report identifies four key areas of reform potentially replicable through state law, and proposes that these reforms be introduced in the state of Virginia.

The Illinois Pilot Project cover

The Illinois Pilot Project: A New Model for State-Level Food Procurement Legislation

By Tony Cisneros, Brooke Dekolf, Chris Ewell, Hannah Gross, and Kristen Wraithwall

State-level food procurement policies are a powerful and often overlooked tool for advancing public interests. This report describes how Illinois state could improve their food procurement policies to more effectively prioritize and purchase ethical, equitable and environmentally sustainable food options.

Let's Talk About Biogas cover

Let’s Talk About Biogas … Even If We Think It Stinks

By Alexander Weiss, Caroline Parker, Hope Bidga-Peyton, Kara Hoving, and Matthew Burnett

State support for anaerobic digester technology is growing rapidly. This technology, which is rarely profitable without government support, promises to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from intensive livestock agriculture, and reduce some associated public health and environmental damages -- but it could also exacerbate harms. This report describes the tools that policymakers can use to mitigate the negative impacts of anaerobic digester legislation to ensure that benefits of the technology are not offset by an expansion of intensive livestock production.

From Animals to Plants cover

Farm Animals to Plant: Financing Farm Transitions Through Carbon Markets

By Liam Gunn, Christina Ospina, Colin Peterson, and Manny Rutinel

In recent years, carbon markets have emerged as a promising strategy to help governments and businesses limit greenhouse gas emissions and incentivize better practices. In conjunction with the carbon market, carbon offset programs enable companies to diminish their net contribution to greenhouse gases. This paper proposes leveraging carbon offset protocols to finance sustainable farming transitions.

Safe Slaughter cover

Safe Slaughter: A Multi-Phase Strategy to Improve Worker Safety in Meatpacking Plants Through Information, Certification & Regulation

By Caroline Grueskin, Rory Jacobsen, Tony Mazza, and Rebecca McLean

Decades of industry consolidation, de-unionization, and exploitation of immigrant workers has resulted in unsafe work conditions for the half a million people employed in U.S. meat and poultry processing plants. This report proposes that increased public awareness, a worker-safety certification for meat productions, and state-level regulatory reform could together improve worker safety.

Federal Food Procurement Poster

Federal Food Procurement

By Henry Elliman, Yihui Chen, Katherine Kornman, and Mallika Talwar

Certain foods are major drivers of global greenhouse gas emissions, and with billions of dollars spent on food annually, the federal government prominently shapes the food industry. This report outlines an executive order that directs government agencies to use their purchasing power to promote regenerative agriculture and climate-friendly food.

The cover for a Spring 2021 CAFE Law and Policy Lab report titled, "Building a Better Food System to Advance Justice and Sustainability."

Building a Better Food System to Advance Justice and Sustainability: Subsidies, Land Grant Universities, and Farmer-Scientist Matching Programs

By Jenn Burka, Emily Judson, Humna Sharif, and Cristiana Wurzer

The United States's land-grant university system provides a powerful way to advance research in sustainable agriculture. This paper details how states can use subsidies to enact structural changes to the food system through research funding to these institutions.

CT Farm to School Cooperative cover

The Connecticut Farm-to-School Cooperative

By Ryan Clemens, Amanda Martinez, and Walker Cammack

In recent years, Connecticut has built momentum and support for real action in the farm-to-school movement. This report outlines a four-phase game plan to consolidate the buying power of public schools, allow small farmers to flourish, and to promote a healthier and more ethical approach to feeding school children.

Food is Medicine

Food Is Medicine: Advancing Produce Prescriptions at the State Level

By Corey Baron, Elaine M. Louden, and Evelyn Pan

Produce prescriptions help patients with diet-related illnesses buy fruits and vegetables. These sorts of programs measurably improve health outcomes but are chronically underfunded. This paper proposes expanding access to produce prescriptions by modifying state-level public health insurance plans.


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