Our board includes a diverse collections of leading professionals in the organic industry. Since our inception, we have always had many talented organic farmers on our board. Collectively, they pack a powerfully passionate organic punch.
Please get to know the people who lead with the very best of intention on behalf of organic farmers in America.
Deirdre is starting an organic apple orchard and vintage cider business in Wisconsin. Deirdre chairs the Citizens Advisory Council for the Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Deirdre has been a board member of several agricultural nonprofits, co-founded and ran the Midwest Organic Tree Fruit Growers Network, served on the Governor’s Organic Task Force in Wisconsin, served on the Southern SARE Professional Development Program’s Leadership Council, and was the first executive director of Georgia Organics. Before farming, she worked in developing country agriculture, particularly in Africa. She holds an M.S. in Agronomy (Soil Fertility) and a Joint Ph.D. in Adult Education and Land Resource Management. Deirdre serves as President of OFRF.
Pam has spent 25 years leading groups and companies that have focused on finding naturally occurring microorganisms for Integrated Pest Management (IPM). She is CEO of Marrone Bio Innovations, a company she founded in 2006 to find natural product solutions for unmet weed and pest management needs. At the previous company she founded, AgraQuest, Pam discovered and launched a range of products based on natural Bacillus for which the EPA awarded the 2003 Presidential Green Chemistry Small Business Award. She is on the Board of the Association of Applied IPM Ecologists, Cornell’s Ag & Life Sciences Dean’s Advisory Council, the California Roundtable for Ag & the Environment, and several others. Pam serves as Treasurer of OFRF.
Jeremy, together with farming partner David Tepfer, owns and operates Simple Gifts Farm in Amherst, Massachusetts. The farm provides organic produce to 350 shareholders from community-preserved land. Beef cattle, pigs and laying hens take a prominent role on the farm in helping to cycle nutrients, as well as providing additional farm products. Jeremy has a M.S. in Plant, Soil and Environmental Sciences, and has done work on his farm with selection of tomato, arugula, and asian mustard varieties. He is a member of the Amherst Agricultural Commision, and of the governing committee of the Amherst Winter Farmer's Market.
Doug and his wife, Anna Jones-Crabtree, own and operate Vilicus Farms, a diverse organic dryland crop farm north of Havre, MT, near the Canadian border. They grow 12 – 15 crops annually in a five-year rotation of grains, legumes, broadleaves, pulses and oilseeds. Doug also serves as organic certification program manager for the Montana Department of Agriculture. He previously worked as an organic inspector, educator, researcher, farm manager, and farmer. As beginning farmers themselves, Doug and Anna are strong proponents of organic farming as a strategy for new producers. They also see beginning farmers as the key to growing organic agriculture. Doug holds a MS in Plant Science from South Dakota State University and a BS in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University. Doug serves as Vice President of OFRF.
Heather is an Agronomic and Soils Specialist for the University of Vermont Extension. She was raised on a dairy farm in Alburg, Vermont. On the same land, six generations later, Heather operates a diversified certified organic farm with her partner Ron Hermann. They market organic vegetables from a farm stand and at local farmers' markets. They also operate a custom grazing service for local farms, supporting 80 head of certified organic cattle during the grazing season. Heather is a founding member of the Vermont Organic Seed Initiative organized by organic grain producers in Vermont and Quebec with the goal of providing support and education to grain growers to protect and improve the integrity and quality of seed. Heather has a Ph.D. in Agronomy.
Mary Fund and her husband, Ed Reznicek, and their two children, own and operate Amerugi Farm, a 400 acre certified organic farm in Nemaha County, Kansas. They raise organic corn, soybeans, wheat, oats, barley, rye, alfalfa and clovers, and manage a 30-cow/calf herd. Mary is also a long-time employee of the Kansas Rural Center where she provides project management, grant writing, administration and communications services to the organization. Mary's personal interests include flower and vegetable gardening, as well as reading and writing.
Melinda Hemmelgarn, M.S., R.D. is a registered dietitian, investigative nutritionist and award-winning journalist. Her "Food Sleuth" radio interviews, columns and keynotes help consumers "think beyond their plates." Melinda formerly developed and directed the Nutrition Communications Center at the University of Missouri, where she blazed the trail blending media literacy with nutrition education. Her W.K. Kellogg Food and Society Policy Fellowship allowed her to connect the dots between food, health and agriculture.
Today her work focuses on promoting critical thinking and "food system literacy." Melinda received a B.S. in Dietetics from Florida State University, completed her dietetic internship through Cornell University, and received a Masters in Human Nutrition from the University of MO – Columbia. She also serves on the MOSES Board.
Don, with his wife Daphne Yannakakis own and operate Zephyros Farm and Garden, a certified organic vegetable and cut flower farm. They sell their products at local farmers markets and through their CSA. Living, raising kids and farming in western Colorado with the Rockies as a backdrop is a passion for Don. Don has been the president of the board of the Valley Organic Growers Association, and has designed irrigation systems for the local Conservation District and the NRCS. Zephyros has also been involved in on farm research through WSARE, and the Specialty Crops program. Don holds a BS in Biology from Lewis and Clark College.
Klaas began his farming career as a conventional grower in the 1970s. He and his partner, Mary-Howell, began to transition their farm in the early 1990s. Klaas and Mary-Howell now farm 1,400 acres of certified organic crops and operate Lakeview Organic Grain, a certified organic feed and seed business. They are frequent speakers at conferences and have written extensively on organic farming. Organic research is a strong component of their farming operation. They have conducted on-farm research independently and in cooperation with university researchers.
Jeff Moyer is an expert in organic crop production systems including weed management, cover crops, crop rotations, equipment modification and use, and facilities design. He has helped countless farmers make the transition from conventional, chemical-based farming to organic or sustainable methods. Throughout his more than 30 years at Rodale Institute, Moyer has brought a farmer’s perspective and approach to issues in organic agriculture. He is a past chair of the National Organic Standards Board, which assists the USDA Secretary of Agriculture in developing standards for materials to be used in organic production as well as advising on other aspects of implementing the National Organic Program. He is also a member of the Leonardo Academy’s committee on sustainability, and a founding board member of Pennsylvania Certified Organic.
Meg has led the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s Organic Program since 2002. She’s also a certified organic dairy farmer in Le Sueur County, Minnesota where she and her fiancé milk about 60 crossbred cows and direct market beef from Derrydale Farm. Meg has directed a statewide sustainable agriculture program in Michigan, worked as an educator and evaluator, and served as a community development extension specialist with the U.S. Peace Corps in northern Thailand. She has been active in the National Association of State Organic Programs and serves on the board of directors for the Organic Field School in Farmington, MN. She has an B.A. from Brown University and an M.S. in Agronomy from the University of Minnesota.