USDA Secretary Vilsack Appoints Francis Thicke to National Organic Standards Board

January 16th, 2013
francis.thicke
Francis Thicke

We haven’t had a working dairy farmer on the NOSB since Kevin Engelbert completed his term and joined the Cornucopia Institute’s Board of Directors.

Cornucopia has been highly-critical over the years of some of the legally-questionable appointments by the USDA to serve on the governing board, overseeing organics, that was set up by Congress. But here’s an appointment of an individual of impeccable credentials. In addition to his experience as a grass-based dairy producer, and years of involvement in the environmental movement, he holds a PhD in soil science.

We want to thank USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, and Deputy Secretary Dr. Kathleen Merrigan, for their choice of a candidate to sit in the seat reserved by Congress for an environmentalist, who is truly of exemplary qualification (please click here for USDA press release).

The organic community will be well served by his involvement in the governance of our industry.

We would also like to take this opportunity to recognize Dr. Barry Flamm who steps down, as board chairman, this month after completing his five-year term on the NOSB. Barry consistently represented the interests of all stakeholders in the organic community in protecting the integrity of the organic label and did so, especially as NOSB chairman, in an exceedingly diplomatic manner.

Mark Kastel
Senior Farm Policy Analyst
The Cornucopia Institute

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