OSGATA President Keynotes at Public Interest Environmental Law Conference

Jim Gerritsen, OSGATA President

OSGATA President Jim Gerritsen will be presenting a keynote speech on the OSGATA et al. v. Monsanto lawsuit at  the 31st Annual Public Interest Environmental Law Conference (PIELC), at the University of Oregon School of Law in Eugene, OR.

This year’s conference theme “Earth Too Big to Fail” speaks to how the premiere gathering for environmentalists worldwide can reclaim the bailout phrase, “too big to fail,” for the environmental movement.

Dating back to 1983 when the conference had just 75 participants, PIELC now draws a crowd of 3,000 global participants: making the conference one of the oldest and largest of its kind.

This year’s event kicks off on Thursday, February 28, and ends on Sunday, March 3. Over the course of  four days conference participants have access to over 125 panels, workshops, and multi-media presentations addressing a broad spectrum of environmental law and advocacy on topics from genetic engineering  and corporate responsibility to environmental justice and international environmental law. The full conference schedule is available here.

The conference features additional luminary keynote speakers such as Thomas Linzey, Thuli Brilliance Makama, Professor Gerald Torres, Caleb Behn, and  John Cruden- as well as three young plaintiffs in litigation aiming to force the government to proactively deal with climate change: Ashley Funk, Eshe Sherley and Xiuhtezcatl Martinez. Other highlights include panel discussions with numerous topics featured at 11 different times.

Besides his 45-minute keynote address at 5:30 pm, on Friday, March 1, Jim Gerritsen, of OSGATA and his Maine-based Wood Prairie Farm,  will also be participating in a panel discussion earlier that day.

In “Building Sustainable, Community-Oriented Food Systems,” from 10:30 – 11:45 am, panelists will discuss how they are working to promote a more sustainable and just food system while also creating a vibrant local food culture.  Legal issues that are hindering and advancing the mission of small farms, the importance of ensuring that small farms have reliable market access, and education efforts geared towards students and the food system will also be explored.

Panelists joining Gerritsen include: Harper Keeler, Director of the Urban Farm Program, Dept. of Landscape Architecture, University of Oregon; Jamie Grifo, Executive Director, Full Belly Farm; Law Office of James P. Grifo, LLC; Megan Vivenzio, Director Pacific NW for CSI Sales Solutions.

It’s not too late to join activists, attorneys, students, scientists, and concerned citizens at this year’s event. Registration is free and open to the public. For more information, view the conference brochure.


Media Contacts for the event are as follows: Seth Bichler, Outreach Coordinator, Land, Air, Water 503 960 4261, sbichler@uoregon.edu; Erick Hoffman, director of communications at Oregon Law, 541-346-1665, erickh@uoregon.edu; Ali Wayner, communications manager at Oregon Law, 541-346-7355, agreen@uoregon.edu.


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