Cornucopia Institute Elects New LeadershipApril 16th, 2014
The Cornucopia Institute has elected new leadership following the annual meeting of the organization’s board of directors. The Cornucopia Institute, a tax-exempt nonprofit, is a national organization focused on agricultural research and education. The organization acts as a governmental and corporate watchdog on organic food and farming issues.
Engelbert, Helen Kees and Roger Featherstone
weigh issues at the 2014 annual meeting.
Wisconsin organic beef and fresh-market produce farmer Helen Kees was elected board president at Cornucopia’s March 22 meeting in St. Paul, MN. Kees, a third generation farmer, with her husband Bob and daughter Chris, holds the distinction of being Wisconsin’s first certified organic beef producer. She and her family direct market vegetables and beef (to retailers and at local farmers markets) as well as wholesale to the Organic Valley Cooperative.
New York organic dairy farmer Kevin Engelbert was elected Cornucopia board vice president. Engelbert, along with his wife Lisa and family, was the nation’s first certified organic dairy farmer. Their family farm additionally produces a wide variety of organic cheeses, veal, beef, pork, pasture, hay, corn, soybeans, and vegetables. Engelbert, a fifth generation farmer, is a former member of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), the 15-member panel that determines what materials are allowed for use in organic food and farming and advises the USDA Secretary of Agriculture on organic policy matters.
In addition, Dr. Barry Flamm was elected to Cornucopia’s board of directors. Flamm, who had been a member of Cornucopia’s policy advisory panel, is the immediate past chair of the NOSB with his term concluding in 2012. He operates a certified organic sweet cherry orchard in Montana. Flamm previously served on the Montana Governor’s Council helping develop the Montana Department of Agriculture Organic Certification Program, and he was a founder and vice chair of the Montana Organic Association.
Roger Featherstone was re-elected as treasurer of the Cornucopia board. The long-time environmental activist grew up on a small family dairy farm in Wisconsin that has been continuously operated by his family since 1847. He currently lives in Tucson, Arizona, and is the director of the Arizona Mining Reform Coalition.
Replacing Dr. Flamm, The Cornucopia Institute has added a new member to its policy advisory panel, Mitch Blumenthal, the President and Founder of Global Organic/Specialty Source, Inc. A resident of Sarasota, Florida, Blumenthal purchased ten acres of organic farmland in 1995 and continues to grow vegetables, fruits, herbs, and specialty items at Blumenberry Farms. In 1999, he launched Global Organic/Specialty Source, now one of the most significant organic distributorships in the Southeast United States.
The board formally recognized long-time board member and past president Steven Sprinkel, recently retired from the board. The Ojai, California, resident continues to operate an organic vegetable farm and runs an organic grocery and restaurant with his wife Olivia.
With approximately 10,000 members, The Cornucopia Institute is believed to have more organic farmer members than any other similar organization in the U.S. In 2014, Cornucopia is commemorating its 10th anniversary.