Course Information

Course Number




JD Graduation Requirements

This course typically satisfies all or some of the following JD graduation requirements:
  • Writing

Food & Agricultural Law Policy

In many areas of the country, and especially in North Carolina, sustainable, local food markets represent one of the most exciting opportunities for environmental stewardship, economic growth, value-added agricultural niches, job creation, and community building. Arguably, though, these opportunities will not be realized without careful and sustained attention to the legal and regulatory impediments at the international, national, state, and local levels that inhibit the development of sustainable, local food systems.

There are many ways that we can approach the subject of local foods, as the subject of local food systems is (as perhaps all subjects are) inherently interdisciplinary. As such, students in this course will seek to gain an understanding of how legal rules interact with food safety research, physical infrastructure, personal consumption habits, patterns of private sector investment, race-based and other structural inequalities, to notions of community, underlying cultural and religious values etc. But the focus of the semester will remain the exploration of (1) the interrelationship of food and environmental sustainability and (2) the ways in which the law can be used to overcome impediments to the development of sustainable, local foods-based markets.

To address these issues, students in this 3-credit-hour course will explore readings from various sources, hear directly from guest speakers from North Carolina’s strong network of organizations involved in this movement, and delve into a research project of their own choosing. The original paper required in this course is designed to allow students to meet their Rule 3-31 Upper-Level Writing Requirement, if successful. This project will allow student to explore an issue of interest and to contribute their knowledge to this developing field. Papers can be primarily scholarly in nature,
but students will also be encouraged to shape their projects as practical case studies that engage directly the issues and players in the local foods community.

Please note that course organization and content may vary substantially from semester to semester and descriptions are not necessarily professor specific. Please contact the instructor directly if you have particular course-related questions.


Michelle Benedict Nowlin
Food & Agricultural Law Policy 636.01
Spring 2013
E-mail ListSakai Site

Jeff Ward, Michelle Benedict Nowlin
Food & Agricultural Law Policy 636.01
Spring 2012
E-mail ListSakai Site