Board

Kokoasse Kpomblekou-A

Professor of Soil and Environmental Chemistry Director, Organic Agriculture and Biogas Production

Dr. Joe K. Kpomblekou-A is a Professor of Soil and Environmental Sciences in the College of Agriculture, Environment and Nutrition Sciences at Tuskegee University. He holds a Ph.D. degree from Iowa State University in Soil Science. His present research emphasis is on fate and kinetics of nitrogen (N), sulfur (S), and phosphorus in the ecosystem, chemistry and biochemistry of N and S in animal waste-amended soils including the effect of trace elements on biochemical reactions in the ecosystem. The ultimate goal of his research is to gain fundamental knowledge that will aid in the development of management practices that prevent the accumulation of contaminants in the ecosystem.

Dr. Kpomblekou-A is in charge of the organic agriculture and biogas production program at Tuskegee University; together with other scientists at four land-grant universities (Auburn University, Mississippi State University, North Carolina State University, and Oregon State University) and Alabama Sustainable Agriculture Network are promoting organic agriculture throughout the Southeast United States.

By |2020-03-11T18:30:59+00:00March 11th, 2020|Board|

April Jones Thatcher

Founder and Farmer of April Joy Farm

April Jones Thatcher is founder and farmer of April Joy Farm, a first generation, diversified farm near Ridgefield, WA. Her WSDA certified organic farm has served wholesale and retail customers in Clark County since 2009. April has an undergraduate degree in civil engineering and an M.B.A. in entrepreneurship. She is passionate about soil health, livestock welfare, and nurturing community. 

By |2020-01-17T22:47:10+00:00January 17th, 2020|Board|

Deborah Stinner

Research Scientist, Ohio State University (retired)

As a researcher Deborah championed organic agriculture research. She was a Research Scientist and Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Entomology, Ohio State University. She received her B.S in Biology from the University of Tennessee and her Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of Georgia.

By |2020-01-08T18:12:48+00:00October 8th, 2019|Board|

Harn Soper

Owner, Soper Farms / Sustainable Farm Partners

After the sale of his last technology company six years ago Harn went into his family’s farming business in Iowa. He currently operates a private equity company, Sustainable Farm Partners, LLP.

By |2020-01-08T18:12:48+00:00October 7th, 2019|Board|

Margaret Smith

Ash Grove Farm

Margaret Smith and her husband Doug Alert co-manage an 1,100 acre certified organic grain and livestock farm near Hampton in North Central Iowa. Margaret is in charge of agronomic decisions, including seed selection, soil fertility management, soil conservation practices, personnel recruitment, and marketing.

Doug and Margaret began their organic transition in 1994. Most recently, they transitioned an additional 180 acres that was fully certified in 2017. On the farm, they grow and market certified organic feed and food-grade corn, soybeans, and oats; seed soybeans, oats, barley, wheat, triticale, rye, and hairy vetch; forages; beef calves; and lambs. Margaret maintains a small, family-sized laying flock and began beekeeping in 2017.

They have one full-time employee and occasional part-time seasonal help. Their current employee is gaining experience to return home this winter and begin his transition to farming organically with his grandfather.

By |2020-01-08T18:12:48+00:00October 6th, 2019|Board|

Tim Schultz

Vice Pres. of Research and Dev. for Lundberg Family Farms

Tim Schultz serves as Vice President of Research and Development for Lundberg Family Farms, a third-generation family business, located in the Northern California community of Richvale. Tim has also been serving on the Board of Directors since 2003. Tim is responsible for New Product Development, which has been a major driver of growth for the company over the past five years. His previous role with the company included oversight of Strategic Planning, Human Resources, Safety and Quality.

Tim has taught Family Business at Cal State Chico and is on the board of directors of the Capital Region Family Business Center, where he focuses on major program development for the 50+ member families. Tim also serves on the OTA Organic Pac Committee, which raises funds to support organic priorities in Congress.

Tim received his bachelor’s degree from Cal Poly, Pomona, and his MBS from the Drucker School of Management. Prior to working with Lundberg, Tim had a 20+ year career in health care, where he worked with physicians, hospitals and managed care organizations.

By |2020-01-08T18:12:48+00:00October 5th, 2019|Board|

Keith Richards

Treasurer / Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group

Keith is currently the Program Director for Southern SAWG, after serving in several other capacities for the organization since 1993.  He has coordinated the development and implementation of thousands of conference sessions and training projects to meet the needs of family farmers and community-based organizations in the South.  Prior to his work with Southern SAWG, Keith was the marketing manager for the Ozark Organic Growers Association, a coop of small organic farmers in the Ozarks bioregion.  In the 1980s he helped develop a sustainable training farm in mid-Missouri and also managed an organic farm in northern California, producing apples, raspberries and Asian pears.  He grew up in a farming community in northern Iowa.

By |2020-01-08T18:12:48+00:00October 4th, 2019|Board|

Dean McIlvaine

Twin Parks Organic Farm

Dean McIlvaine of Twin Parks Organic Farm in Wayne County, Ohio, has operated an 850-acre organic grain farm since 1985. He grows organic corn, soybeans, spelt, oats, wheat, rye, clover, and has recently expanded into a rotating cow and calf grass fed beef operation to add to the farm’s diversity. Dean markets the farm’s products nationally and internationally. Dean’s father, Dale McIlvaine, bought the farm in the mid-70’s and the family farmed conventionally up until 1985. Dean transitioned to an organic operation, following his college dream and his personal beliefs that organic food is healthier and better for the environment.

The farm name—Twin Parks—comes from two Interstate rest area parks located on the farm. Dean is constantly trying new things and exploring new markets. During the OEFFA tour, he showed some plots of organic corn that he grew for the first time, and talked about how he’s using cover crops to help control weeds and keep nutrients in the soil.

By |2020-01-08T18:12:49+00:00October 3rd, 2019|Board|

Bryan Hager

Crager Hager Farm

Bryan Hager and his wife Wendy own Crager Hager Farm, a diversified fruit and vegetable farm in Carroll County, Georgia. Crager Hager Farm sells at farmers markets, local restaurants, and to a regional wholesaler. The farm is certified organic and is working to reduce tillage and use permaculture principles. For the past fifteen years Bryan has been working to promote farms and preserve farm land in Carroll county. He is president of the board of Cotton Mill Farmers Market, served on the Carroll County Farmland Preservation Advisory Committee, the board of Farmers Fresh Food Network, and was a member of the Advisory committee for the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at UGA.

Bryan’s current focus is on improving the sustainability of America’s farming and food system by involving new people in growing food, rebuilding the local food system and developing low impact ways to grow food.

By |2020-01-08T18:12:49+00:00October 2nd, 2019|Board|

Carolyn Dimitri

Associate Professor of Food Studies, New York University

Carolyn Dimitri is an Associate Professor of Food Studies at New York University.  Prior to joining the NYU faculty, Dr. Dimitri worked as a research economist at the Economic Research Service of the US Department of Agriculture. Dr. Dimitri has published extensively on the distribution, processing, retailing, and consumption of organic food.  She earned a PhD in Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a BA in Economics from SUNY Buffalo.

By |2020-01-08T18:12:49+00:00October 1st, 2019|Board|
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