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Green Business Initiative Student Association's 9th Annual symposium
Cropping up in Your Backyard
The legal issues and logistical hurdles of Urban Farming
Located at the University of Oregon Ford Alumni Center, Lee Barlow
Giustina Ballroom
on February 6th, 2015
Register Here Now!


Green Business Initiative Student Association, the Journal of Environmental Law and Litigation, and the Oregon Review of International Law, are pleased to announce its conference, Cropping Up: Exploring Food Right in your Backyard and Around the World. This conference will explore the barriers and obstacles facing farmers and communities around the world preventing access to farm sustainably. The program is specifically designed to educate the community, attorneys, business owners, and students. This event will take place on February 6th, 2015, at the University of Oregon’s Ford Alumni Center and Jaqua Academic Center. The program will proceed as follows:


8:15-8:45am: Registration/Breakfast

 Located at the Giustina Ballroom at the Ford Alumni Center


9-10:15am: Opening Panel:

Addressing Food Issues at Home and Across the Globe: Expanding Your Access to Food

Located at the Giustina Ballroom at the Ford Alumni Center


 Steve Cohen – Manager of Food Policy and Programs for Portland's Bureau of Planning and Sustainability

Nathan McClintock- Professor at Portland State University

Garry Stephenson – Professor at Oregon State University and Director of Center for Small Farms and Community Food Systems


Michael Fakhri – Professor at University of Oregon School of Law

In a struggling economy, families are trying to pay the bills while still putting food on the table. However, higher quality food is expensive and difficult to find in some parts of the world. Families are finding that growing food in their backyards is an affordable way to get healthy food on the table. This panel explores the barriers and obstacles preventing more access to food.


10:15-10:30am: Break


10:30-11:45am: Morning Breakout Session

Topic 1: From the Ground Up, taking Rural Ideas to Urban Landscapes: Oregon Benefit Corporations – Merging Profit and Public Benefit

Located at the Giustina Ballroom at the Ford Alumni Center


Bill Bezuk – Founder and Owner of Eugene Backyard Farmer

Jeff Wolfstone – Attorney at Lane Powell, PC

Ed GerdesIn-House Counsel for Café Yumm


Mohsen Manesh – Professor at University of Oregon School of Law

Many families who have an urban farm for many years are taking the next step and selling their homegrown products. Some families do it for the increase of income yet others, do it because they are producing more than they can consume. For community members looking to start a small business, this panel focuses on legal issues and framework to forming a benefit corporation: a business in which your profit benefits the public. 1.25 CLE credits available

Topic 2:

Topic 2: Healthy Food for All: Ensuring Access to Nutritional Food in Schools, Communities, and across the Globe

Located at the Harrington Auditorium in the Jaqua Academic Center


Antonio Hernandez – Principal of Lexington Academy New York, New York

Elizabeth HolmesAttorney at Blue River Law, P.C. 

Ann Kneeland – Attorney at Kneeland Law

Moderator: Michael Fakhri – Professor at University of Oregon School of Law

Approaching this topic with a global perspective, that includes rural, urban, and international discussion, these panelists will explore the right to food for every person.  This panel will focus on types of food provided, how government can use enforcement actions to ensure healthy food, and promoting sustainable and compatible growth, while protecting the environment. 0 CLE credits available


11:45-12:30pm: Lunch

12:30-1:30pm: Keynote Speaker: Getting Started with the Right Tools: Solutions to Overcome Legal Barriers to Land and Capital for Urban Farmers

Located at the Giustina Ballroom at the Ford Alumni Center


Neil ThaparStaff Attorney at Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC) in Oakland, CA.

This presentation will discuss the legal barriers to accessing land and capital for urban farmers, as well as some of the potential solutions that the SELC is working on. 1 CLE credit available


1:30-1:45pm: Break


1:45-3pm: Afternoon Session

Topic 3: Noisy Neighbors, Separating Rural from Urban: Land Use Laws Restricting Urban Farming

Located at the Guistina Ballroom in the Ford Alumni Center


Kristie Brown – Land Use Analyst – City of Eugene Planning & Development Department

Harper Keeler – Director of University of Oregon Urban Farm Program

Cassie Peters – Attorney


Mary Wood – Professor at University of Oregon School of Law

One of the biggest reasons why urban farming is so restricted is because of a city or state’s land use laws. Land use laws were created on an archaic sense of nuisance. This panel investigates how land use laws can be effectively used to promote more urban gardens in the short and long term. 1.25 CLE credits available


3-3:30pm: Break


3:30-4:30pm: Closing Keynote Speaker:

Giving Farmers the Power: Food Justice, Movements, and the Future of Food and Farming

Located at the Giustina Ballroom at the Ford Alumni Center


Eric Holt-GimenezCEO of Food First

This lecture will discuss the social movements around the world geared to improve farmers livelihoods, knowledge, and methods. These movements spur politics and move towards a future of agroecological resiliency of sustainable farms. 0 CLE credits available


5pm-7pm: Reception at the Giustina Ballroom at the Ford Alumni Center

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