Instructor(s) Tai, Stephanie
Recent bestsellers such as The Omnivore’s Dilemma and Animal, Vegetable, Mineral: A Year of Food Life have brought greater public attention to the environmental impacts of agriculture, especially industrial agriculture, than in the recent past. Legislative attention has also been on the rise with the current debates over the proposed Food and Energy Security Act of 2007, which contains provisions dedicated to conserving and protecting the environment on tens of millions of acres of farmland, ranch land, and wetlands. We will explore current federal, state, and international debates over how agricultural legal systems can affect the natural environment through case studies of concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), soil conservation programs, biofuel incentives, organic certification schemes, and other controversies. Students will have several options in lieu of a final examination: a longer independent research paper that would satisfy the
upper-level writing requirement; a longer directed-research paper in collaboration with a relevant agriculture/environment organization; or a shorter independent research paper and a shorter directed-research paper. Depending on student interest, appetizers cooked from locally grown ingredients may also be provided.