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On Saturday April 26th, Food Law Clinic student clinician Mike Goode attended the Lansing City Market to promote the services offered by the Urban Food, Farm, & Agriculture Law Practicum.
On Friday, April 18th, Food Law Clinic student clinician Libby Busdicker attended Prima Civitas’ IP Law 101 session in Flint, Michigan, and received the opportunity to speak about the legal services offered by the clinic and distribute materials to attendees.
On Tuesday, April 2nd, from 3:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. Food Law Clinic student clinicians Sean Tobin and Devin Kenney conducted outreach at the Allen Street Market. At the Market, Mr. Tobin and Mr. Kenney spoke with vendors and provided patrons with pamphlets and brochures on the services offered by the clinic.
On March 29, 2014, Food Law Clinic students Kathryn Hynan, Mike Goode, Devin Kenney, and Sean Tobin conducted outreach at the Lansing Farmer’s Market to recruit potential clientele, discuss the role of the clinic with members of the Lansing community, and connect with members of the urban agriculture movement.
The Food Law Clinic presented at The Everybody Eats Conference on February 8, 2014. This conference connects members of the urban agriculture community by energizing food system awareness and reform. All students from the clinic compiled presentations and presented on issues facing small business and nonprofit entrepreneurs. Their presentations included such topis as Zoning, Intellectual Property, and Environmental Regulations, among others.
On November 22, 2013, a representative from the Food Law Clinic hosted a telephone conference with Ashley Atkinson the Interim Co-Director of Keep Growing Detroit to discuss the role the Practicum can play in assisting Keep Growing Detroit with achieving its mission. During this telephone conversation, the clinic secured Ms. Atkinson’s participation at its January 5th orientation, where Ms. Atkinson will be discussing the role Keep Growing Detroit plays in the lives of Detroit farmers and entrepreneurs. Keep Growing Detroit is designed to support Detroit residents who grow their own fruits and vegetables within the city limits by fostering relationships to food, growing the knowledge of food and farming, building leadership skills and capacity, changing the value of food, and developing community assets. Maintaining a strong relationship with Keep Growing Detroit is important to the success of the clinic, as Keep Growing Detroit is interested in having students from the Food Law Clinic make presentations at educational seminars hosted by Keep Growing Detroit and provide legal representation to individuals who utilize Keep Growing Detroit’s services and are struggling with entity formation, zoning, and compliance issues.
On November 9th and 10th, 2013, representatives from the Food Law Clinic presented at the 2013 Black Farmers and Urban Gardeners National Conference held in Brooklyn, New York. The Conference was designed to unite and educate growers, eaters, and organizations in numerous areas relating to food-sovereignty, food security, USDA eligibility and funding, food cooperatives, and organizing a food hub. At the Conference, the presentation compiled by student clinicians, entitled “Power Exchange: From the Law to the Farmer, Legal Planning and Implementation for Your Farm and Garden,” provided farmers and gardeners with a legal survey course that covered numerous areas of law relating to the urban agriculture movement including how to: select the appropriate legal structure, benefit from conventional and innovative land use arrangements, interpret common contractual provisions contained within food system agreements, and use intellectual property protection to build brand recognition. Presenting at conferences such as the 2013 Black Farmers and Urban Growers National Conference is essential to the mission of the Practicum, as one of the primary goals of the clinic is to provide individuals and organizations that are interested in advancing the urban agriculture movement with the knowledge necessary to enable them to combat the numerous legal challenges that stand, or may stand, in their way when forming a new business or organization.
On October 29, 2013, representatives from the Urban Food, Farm & Agriculture Law Practicum attended Michigan State University’s Fanning the Flames lecture series to learn more about available opportunities in the agriculture movement and present on the legal services accessible to members of the public through the Practicum. At the lecture series, members from the Practicum received the opportunity to network with Detroit-centered growers and farmers and learn more about the current statutory, legislative, and policy issues surrounding the urban agriculture movement. At this conference, representatives from the Practicum spoke about the legal services provided by the Practicum, answered specific questions about the Practicum, and outlined the administrative procedures of the Practicum. Attending lectures surrounding the urban agriculture movement is imperative to the work being completed by the Urban Food, Farm & Agriculture Law Practicum, as it provides Practicum faculty, staff, and students with the opportunity to learn more about the agriculture movement and network with potential clientele.
On October 11, 2013, representatives from the Food Law Clinic traveled to Detroit to tour Earthworks Urban Farm and meet with its Program Manager Patrick Crouch, who elaborated on the services Earthworks provides to the Detroit community and asked for more information about the clinic. Forging a strong working relationship with Earthworks Urban Farm is imperative to the success of the clinic, as Earthworks is a human service organization that provides Detroit residents with an ability to utilize Capuchin land free of charge for the purposes of growing food products and Earthworks is currently in need of an alliance with a legal resource center that it can recommend to its members who are interested in utilizing the skills they’ve obtained through Earthworks to form a small business centered upon inner-city food growth.
On October 10, 2013, a representative from the Food Law Clinic met with Dr. Forrest Carter, Faculty Director and Associate Professor of the Marketing Department at the Michigan State University Broad College of Business to elaborate on the services provided by the Food Law Clinic and explain the clinical process. Dr. Carter is presently teaching Marketing 480 Entrepreneurship and Capstone Experience, and works closely with students who are required to form a hypothetical small business as part of the entrepreneurial course. A connection with Dr. Carter’s entrepreneurial course is important to the mission of the clinic, as some of Dr. Carter’s students have developed business concepts relating to the urban agriculture movement, are interested in bringing their hypothetical business concept to fruition in the city of Detroit upon graduation, and would be interested in utilizing the services provided by the clinic when beginning their entrepreneurial ventures.
On October 3, 2013, representatives from the Food Law Clinic met with Nina Santucci who is one of the co-founders of Red Haven restaurant, and received the opportunity to learn more about the mechanics behind the restaurant’s business model and the potential needs surrounding small businesses that choose to exclusively purchase their products from local Michigan farms. Receiving the opportunity to connect with local businesses such as Red Haven provides student clinicians with an opportunity to understand local needs and provide superior counseling to entrepreneurs who successfully practice the “farm to table” business model or are interested in adopting the “farm to table” business model.
On October 1, 2013, a representative from the Food Law Clinic traveled to Detroit to meet with employees of Greening of Detroit, learn more about Greening’s operation, and expand on the legal services the clinic is able to provide to Greening or its affiliates. Traveling to Greening of Detroit is imperative to the work being completed by the Food Law Clinic, as Greening is a well-established, nonprofit resource agency that partners with federal, state and local agencies, corporations, and foundations to assist neighborhood groups, churches, and schools in their efforts to improve the ecosystem in Detroit through the development of projects, environmental education, urban agriculture, open space reclamation, vacant land management, and workforce development programs, and is looking for an organization to assist individuals affiliated with Greening with forming small businesses or nonprofit organizations in the city of Detroit.
During the fall 2013 academic semester, a representative from the Food Law Clinic traveled to Recovery Park to meet with Gary M. Wozniak and learn more about the anticipated legal needs of Recovery Park, Recovery Park’s mission, and how the clinic can assist Recovery Park in providing legal education seminars to individuals who participate in Recovery Park’s job creation projects. Recovery Park is an independent nonprofit organization established in part, to incubate numerous businesses related to the urban agriculture movement, including: year-round farming businesses, orchards, indoor fish farming, and food processing centers. As Recovery Park is in the final stages of land acquisition, it will be important to maintain a strong relationship with Recovery Park and Gary Wozniak because the organization is likely to need legal representation in the future and is interested in partnering with an entity that it can refer individuals who are part of Recovery Park’s job creation projects to when they have a legal concern regarding their business or nonprofit organization.
On September 28, 2013, student clinicians Libby Busdicker, Jonnie Powers, and Mitchell Widener, and Professor Kinsey conducted outreach at the Detroit Eastern Market to recruit clients and promote the Food Law Clinic. The Eastern Market is a six-block public market that contains hundreds of open-air stalls where Detroit entrepreneurs are able to sell a wide assortment of products including fruits, vegetables, flowers, homemade pies, maple syrups, Detroit produced specialty food products, and fish. For more information about the Detroit Eastern Market, visit http://www.detroiteasternmarket.com/.
On Tuesday, September 24, 2013, Professor Kinsey and student clinicians Libby Busdicker and Jonnie Powers attended FoodPlus Detroit at the Greater Grace Temple on West 7 Mile Road, to network with Detroit-centered growers and farmers on behalf of the Food Law Clinic and learn about the current statutory, legislative, and policy issues surrounding the urban agriculture movement. Particular emphasis was on waste management, the need for amendment of city code to accommodate zoning and bee-keeping needs, and spreading awareness about the food movement. To learn more about FoodPlus Detroit and the local food movement, visit http://foodplusdetroit.org/.
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