Board

Charlotte Vallaeys

Organic Expert, General Mills

Charlotte Vallaeys is the Organic Expert at General Mills, one of the largest producers of certified organic packaged foods with brands including Annie’s, Cascadian Farm and Muir Glen. She advocates the perspective of the organic community within the company, leads the sustainability strategy for the organic brands, collaborates with partners to advance initiatives that support organic agriculture, and represents General Mills with the organic industry. Charlotte has been deeply engaged in the organic community for nearly 20 years. Prior to joining General Mills, she worked at The Cornucopia Institute, Consumers Union and Consumer Reports, and has served as a consultant for various organizations on a wide variety of food system sustainability issues, including farm animal welfare and regenerative agriculture. She holds master’s degrees from Harvard and Tufts, and is currently working on a dissertation on regenerative and organic agriculture as a PhD Candidate in the Agriculture, Food and Environment program at Tufts University.

By |2023-12-20T22:37:41+00:00December 20th, 2023|Board|

Mike Dill

Director of Advocacy & Sustainability, Organically Grown Company

Mike Dill oversees organic trade advocacy and sustainability for Organically Grown Company, the Northwest’s largest organic produce distributor. He is the lead coordinator for the Organic Produce Wholesalers Coalition, representing organic wholesalers and growers to the National Organic Program, National Organic Standards Board and Legislators. Mike is also Vice-Chair of the Organic Trade Association’s Produce Sector Council and hold seats on the boards of the Oregon Organic Coalition (OOC), Washington’s Coalition for Organic and Regenerative Agriculture (CORA) and the Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF).

Mike’s 16 years of experience in the organic trade includes eight years managing food safety, compliance and policy and two years managing stakeholder engagement and advocacy for OGC, along with five years working as an organic inspector, Fair Trade inspector and certification officer for Oregon Tilth. Mike received his Food Science and Technology degree with minors in Horticulture and Chemistry from Oregon State University in 2007.

By |2024-01-31T14:39:26+00:00December 20th, 2023|Board|

Nichelle Harriot

Policy Director, HEAL Food Alliance

Nichelle Harriot has over 15 years of federal policy experience working on a range of issues from pesticide regulation to building support for sustainable, organic, and agroecological farming systems and research. As policy director at the HEAL Food Alliance, she brings her learned experiences to enact transformative change to the food and farm movement. Nichelle earned her B.S. in Chemistry and Environmental Science at Morgan State University and her M.S. in Environmental Science and Public Policy at George Mason University. She’s currently based in the DC-MD metropolitan area and enjoys spending time with family and taking trips to the beach.

By |2023-12-20T21:45:35+00:00December 20th, 2023|Board|

Darryl Wong

Executive Director, Center for Agroecology

Board Secretary / Vice Chair

Darryl Wong recently began his tenure in the newly created executive director role at the Center for Agroecology (CfA) in the summer of 2022. Previously, he was the CfA Research Lands Manager, a position he had held since 2013. Darryl has worked across the center’s production, education, and research programs, co-managing 10 acres of production fields, instructing beginning farmer and undergraduate agroecology courses, and collaborating on faculty field research.  He is concurrently completing his Ph.D. in the Environmental Studies Department, focusing on soil health, regenerative agriculture and organic no-till systems in California.  Darryl has farmed for over 15 years and spent 6 years owning and operating a diversified organic farm North of Santa Cruz.

By |2024-04-01T19:21:48+00:00April 18th, 2023|Board|

Catherine Greene

Natural Resource Economist

Catherine Greene is a natural resource economist who pioneered and led research on the U.S. organic sector from 1988-2020 in USDA’s Economic Research Service. She initiated USDA’s first organic commodity analysis and farm sector surveys, and led research on organic production, marketing and policy. Catherine has received numerous government awards, including the USDA Plow Honor Award in 2011 and the National Association of Government Communicators Blue Pencil Award in 1995, as well “unsung hero” awards from industry and nonprofit groups. USDA publications include U.S. Organic Farming Emerges in the 1990s and Beyond Nutrition and Organic Labels—30 Years of Experience with Intervening in Food Labels. Catherine has an M.S. degree in Agricultural Economics and B.S. degree in Sociology from Virginia Tech.

By |2023-04-18T20:23:18+00:00April 18th, 2023|Board|

Lou Kozma

President, Hirzel Farms

Board Treasurer

Lou Kozma is president of Hirzel Farms, which is one segment of a five-generation family farming / food processing operation. He is based in NW Ohio, where the farm was established in 1923. Hirzel Farms have been certified organic since 1981 and currently has approximately 1200 acres in organic production.

Lou is currently on the board of the Agricultural Incubator Foundation, working closely with several area universities. Past Board positions include President of the Ohio Vegetable and Potato Growers. Lou’s focus and passion is cover crop combinations to mitigate soil runoff, and to decrease the nutrient loading in the SW basin of Lake Erie. He also enjoys consulting growers about converting parts of existing farms to organic.

In his free time, Lou works with several smaller inner-city and semi-urban growers to improving soil health and biodiversity.

By |2024-04-01T19:20:15+00:00January 31st, 2022|Board|

Mary Phipps

Founder and Farmer, Orchard Pond

Mary Phipps brings over 10 years of experience in sustainable agriculture. She has been operating her USDA certified organic farm since 2008, focusing on organic produce and value-added products produced in the on farm commercial kitchen. Mary has served on boards and councils for the University of Florida, including the Strawberry Growers Advisory Council. She and her husband and their two children were awarded the Farm Family of 2013 award for the Leon County Fair. Mary earned a BS in Landscape Architecture from the College of Environment and Design at the University of Georgia.

By |2024-05-08T14:26:58+00:00January 28th, 2022|Board|

April Jones Thatcher

Founder and Farmer, April Joy Farm

Board President

April Jones Thatcher is founder and farmer of April Joy Farm, a diversified crop-livestock farm near Ridgefield, WA. Her WSDA certified organic farm has served 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, animal welfare, and nurturing community.  In 2019, she co-founded the Farm to Heart Food Justice Initiative.

By |2024-04-01T19:17:55+00:00January 17th, 2020|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 |2024-05-08T14:29:11+00:00December 11th, 2019|Board|

Tim Schultz

Principal, LeadershipOne

Board Member

Tim Schultz is a Principal with LeadershipOne, where he works with multi-generational family businesses as they transition from one generation to the next. His specialty focus is in Governance and Strategic Planning. Tim also directs the Center for Family Business at Cal State Fullerton.

Prior to joining LeadershipOne, Tim served at Lundberg Family Farms for 18 years in various roles, including Board Member, Treasurer, Chair of the Governance Committee and Executive VP of Operations.

Tim has been a long-time supporter of OFRF and served on its board since 2016. He received his bachelor’s degree from Cal Poly, Pomona and his MBA from the Drucker School of Management.

By |2024-03-07T22:12:11+00:00October 5th, 2019|Board|
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