Four seats are open on the 15-member citizen board that advises the USDA National Organic Program. Nominations to fill the vacancies—for an environmentalist, an organic producer, an organic handler, and a retailer—are due May 15. “NOSB members serve a vital role for the organic community advising the Secretary of Agriculture (mostly through the NOP) and being an important link to the USDA,” said former NOSB Chair Barry Flamm, a Cornucopia board member. “The Board needs good people with the necessary knowledge and experience that will support organic integrity in the fullest meaning of organics.”

USDA.PowerGrabCornucopia’s Organic Watergate report calls out the USDA for its history of stacking the Board with corporate agribusiness executives and appointing non-farmers to the organic producer seat.

The Board members whose terms are ending are:

  • Wendy Fulwider, Animal Care Specialist, CROPP Cooperative/Organic Valley – organic farmer seat
  • Jay Feldman, Executive Director, Beyond Pesticides – environmentalist/ resource conservationist seat
  • John Foster, Director of Compliance for Quality, Food Safety & Organic Integrity, Earthbound Farm – organic handler seat
  • Joe Dixon, Food, Organic and Environmental Quality Standards Coordinator, Whole Foods Markets – retailer seat

The NOSB is responsible for reviewing materials and approving for use synthetic and non-organic materials allowed in organics as well as advising the Secretary of Agriculture on other aspects of the USDA organic regulations.

Appointees will serve a 5-year term of office beginning January 24, 2015.

Written nominations, with cover letters, resumes and a required form, must be postmarked on or before May 15. Nominations can also include endorsements or letters of recommendations. All applicable information should be sent to Rita Meade, USDA–AMS–NOP, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Room 2648–S, Ag Stop 0268, Washington, D.C. 20250. For more information, contact Rita Meade at (202) 720-3252; email:

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