Wisconsin organic beef and produce farmer Helen Kees was elected board president at Cornucopia’s March 22 annual meeting in St. Paul, Minnesota. Kees, a third generation farmer, with her husband Bob and daughter Chris, holds the distinction of being one of Wisconsin’s first certified organic beef producers. The family direct markets vegetables and beef as well as wholesales to Organic Valley Cooperative.
New York organic dairy farmer Kevin Engelbert was elected board vice president. Engelbert, along with his wife Lisa and family, was the nation’s first certified organic dairy farmer. Their family farm 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).
In addition, Barry Flamm, PhD, previously on Cornucopia’s policy advisory panel, was elected to the board. A past NOSB chairman, Flamm operates a certified organic sweet cherry orchard in Montana. He also 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 board treasurer. 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 lives in Tucson, Arizona, where he is the director of the Arizona Mining Reform Coalition.
Replacing Dr. Flamm, Cornucopia added a new member to the 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 Southeastern U.S.
The board formally recognized long-time board member and past president Steven Sprinkel, who recently retired from the board. The Ojai, California, resident operates an organic vegetable farm and runs an organic grocery and restaurant with his wife Olivia. His longtime contribution to Cornucopia is greatly appreciated.