February 22, 2018—Today, longtime board member and organic farmer Jeremy Barker Plotkin, was approved by unanimous vote to serve as OFRF’s Board President.
Jeremy has been a vegetable farmer for 19 years. After earning his M.S. in Plant and Soil Sciences from the University of Maine, he founded Simple Gifts Farm at the New England Small Farm Institute in Belchertown in 1999. Over the next seven years, he grew the farm tenfold, from a half-acre to five. In 2006 he moved his operation to the 37.8-acre North Amherst Community Farm and brought Dave Tepfer in to join him.
The farm provides organic produce from community-preserved land to 250 shareholders. They have also started a new year-round farm store, open seven days a week. 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 won several USDA SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education) grants for on-farm research projects. He works devotedly to manage the farm as an ecological system and still feels excited to witness how much his CSA members enjoy the farm’s wide variety of quality, organic produce.
“We feel very fortunate that Jeremy has taken on this commitment to OFRF,” said Brise Tencer, Executive Director of OFRF. “As both an organic farmer and researcher, Jeremy is well-poised to help lead our mission to foster the improvement and widespread adoption of organic farming systems.”
“I’m proud to be a part of OFRF’s long history of pushing the ball forward on organic farming systems,” said Barker Plotkin. “Organic farming is the future of agriculture and OFRF has a strong role in promoting that advancement.”
Tencer added, “I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank our outgoing Chair, Mary Fund of Amerugi Farm in Nemaha County, Kansas, and welcome our new Chair, Katrina Heinze. We are truly grateful for the commitment of all our board members—most of whom are organic farmers—and the vast knowledge and experience they bring to OFRF.”
Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) is a non-profit foundation that works to foster the improvement and widespread adoption of organic farming systems. OFRF cultivates organic research, education, and federal policies that bring more farmers and acreage into organic production.