May 20, 2019



Appropriate legal assistance is critical for the New York State farmers, grassroots groups, and food revolutionaries who are working to build a more sustainable and just food system. The Food Law Initiative is a partnership between the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University (Pace Law) and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) that seeks to build much-needed legal infrastructure in New York State’s regional food system.

The Food Law Initiative helps farmers, entrepreneurs, and other activists navigate a complicated legal landscape governing everything from food labeling to structuring a legal entity. It also trains a larger community of lawyers to understand food and agriculture issues. The Food Law Initiative runs the Food and Beverage Law Clinic. Established in 2017, this first-of-its-kind clinic provides pro-bono legal services to farmers, food entrepreneurs, food justice organizations, and other key stakeholders.

On May 20, 2019, NYHealth hosted a discussion on how to advance a more just and sustainable food system through legal services and how the clinic is working with clients on legal challenges and opportunities in this area.

Speakers were:

  • Jonathan Brown, Director, Food and Beverage Law Clinic, Pace Law
  • Shannon Finn, Dairy Farmer and Value-Added Entrepreneur
  • Emily Simoness, Executive Director, SPACE on Ryder Farm
  • Olivia Watkins, Co-Founder, Black Farmer Fund Project

Read more about the clinic and its work to help farmers and other clients.

Read more about the growing rise of women farmers and the opportunities and challenges they face.

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