The Cornucopia Institute engages in educational activities supporting the ecological principles and economic wisdom underlying sustainable and organic agriculture. Through research and investigations on agricultural issues, The Cornucopia Institute provides needed information to consumers, family farmers, and the media.
The Cornucopia Institute is recognized by the IRS as a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) public interest group. Donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of law.
Cornucopia's Co-Founders - Mark and Will
Mark Kastel cofounded The Cornucopia Institute, 11 years ago, as a populist farm policy research group based in Wisconsin and acts as its Codirector and Senior Farm Policy Analyst. He directs its Organic Integrity Project. Read More
Will Fantle is co-founder of The Cornucopia Institute. He is also the organization's Research Director. Mr. Fantle's previous professional experience is varied Read More
Cornucopia's Board of Directors
The Cornucopia Institute has worked hard to maintain a diversity of perspectives and backgrounds on our board of directors. They represent key stakeholder constituencies within the organic and family farming movements including pioneering organic agricultural producers, consumers, scientists, public policy experts, environmentalists/conservation experts, entrepreneurs and retailers. They hail from almost all regions of the country and they share a common dedication to protecting the economic interests of family farmers, the environment and the quality and integrity of the food we all eat.
Helen Kees, Board President
Ms. Kees is an organic beef farmer and fresh-market vegetable producer. She grew up on a dairy farm near Durand, Wisconsin. A tussle with a neighbor's pesticide overspray in the early 1990s opened her eyes to the health and environmental concerns associated with the use of agrichemicals. She later became the first certified organic beef farmer in the state of Wisconsin.
The cattle are raised on the family farm. She is a direct marketer and a member of the Cooperative Regions of Organic Producer Pools (CROPP).
Kevin Engelbert, Board Vice President
Nichols, New York
Kevin Engelbert is the owner/operator of Engelbert Farms, the first certified organic dairy farm in the US, certified since 1984. He farms about 1,800 acres with his wife Lisa and three sons, and produces organic milk, veal, beef, pork, pasture, hay, corn, soybeans, and vegetables. Kevin is a fifth generation dairy farmer in New York State, and recently completed a five-year term on the USDA’s National Organic Standards Board.
Kevin was involved with NOFA NY (Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York) from the early 1980s until the late 1990s, and helped with the development of NOFA NY’s organic standards. He has hosted many on-farm tours and seminars dealing with organic crop and livestock practices and management intensive grazing, and has spoken at numerous organic farming conferences and meetings around the northeast over the last thirty years. Kevin graduated from Hamilton College in Clinton, NY, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics with a minor in Mathematics. He and his family reside in Nichols, NY.
Barry Flamm, Secretary
Dr. Barry operates a certified organic sweet cherry orchard in Montana. He is the immediate past chair of the National Organic Standards Board, his term concluding in 2012. Dr. 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.
Dr. Flamm is a natural resources and environmental consultant specializing in biodiversity conservation for such organizations as the Asian Development Bank. He led the development of the Mongolian Biodiversity Action Plan, was a team member on the World’s Bank assistance to China to develop its Biodiversity Action Plan, and was Chief of Party for the Nepal Forest Policy Project funded by USAID. He previously served as Chief Forester at the Wilderness Society.
Dr. Flamm served 27 years with the Federal Government as: Director of the Office of Environmental Quality, USDA during President Carter’s administration, and was Senior Staff Member for natural resources and agriculture at the President’s Council on Environmental Quality from Richard Nixon’s to President Carter’s administrations. He was the U.S. Forest Service’s first Environmental Coordinator developing procedures and monitoring the agency’s actions which affected the environment.
Bill Heart, Treasurer
Mr. Heart is a hunter and fishermen and a very active member and officer of a number of conservation, environmental, and watershed protection organizations. He is past president of the Wisconsin chapter of Trout Unlimited. It is our thesis that organic agriculture is the best thing that ever happened to wildlife and he wholeheartedly agrees. A commercial printer by trade, he previously owned a printing company in Ashland and also produces maple syrup on his land in northern Wisconsin.
Goldie Caughlan, recently retired after a long and noteworthy career as a nutrition educator with the nation's largest member-owned food cooperative, PCC Natural Markets in Seattle, is a former member of the national organic standards board.
New Prague, Minnesota
Dave and his wife Florence live on the farm that Dave’s Grandfather bought 85 years ago. Dave is a third generation dairy farmer who stopped using agricultural pesticides in 1974, after a reaction to an herbicide that he was using.
The farm was converted to a grass based dairy farm in the early 90’s, and a direct marketing meat business was started with grass fed and finished beef, pork, turkeys and chickens. This evolved into an on-farm creamery and retail store where extra value was added to the milk. Currently, Cedar Summit milk is distributed throughout the upper mid-west.
Dave has served as Board Member of: Minnesota Institute of Sustainable Agriculture, Minnesota Department of Agriculture—Minnesota Grown program, Scott County Farm Advisory Task Force, University of Minnesota Southern Research and Outreach Center.
In 2007 Dave and Florence were named the Farmers of the Year by Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES).
Cameron Molberg joined Coyote Creek Organic Feed Mill & Farm in 2010, serving as CEO and General Manager. His educational background in institutional management, animal science, and food technology has proven to support his work in various ways at Coyote Creek, the only certified organic feed mill in Texas and the largest organic pasture-based chicken farm in the state.
Cameron is frequently invited to give educational talks on a variety of topics including beginning and advanced poultry-keeping, GMOs in our food supply and in livestock feeds, organic farming and gardening, and the organic certification processes. Known to some as an "encyclopedia in blue jeans," Cameron serves as a resource for farmers, consumers, and organizations across the country, and he always enjoys researching and discussing new topics in agriculture and business.
Cameron served as Treasurer of the Texas Organic Farmers & Gardeners Association (TOFGA) from 2010-2015. He is committed to the organic movement and to supporting others in their quest to support local organic agriculture and food systems.
Cornucopia Staff & Volunteers
The Cornucopia Institute has adopted a progressive approach for staffing our organization-we are "virtually officed." There are six staff members, in six separate offices, in four states. Not only does this model leverage our contributions, so they can be applied to our program work, in support of our mission rather than paying for bricks, mortar, and utilities, but this has also allowed us to cast the widest possible net when searching for prospective staff members. We have some extremely qualified colleagues, located on both coasts, who would not have entertained a position with Cornucopia if they would have had to move to Wisconsin (we might be prejudiced but those of us who are based here love living in America's Dairyland!).
Linley Dixon, PhD
Farm and Food Policy Analyst
Linley Dixon owns a vegetable farm (marketing through a CSA, farm to school, and at farmers markets) in Durango, Colorado, with her husband Peter and 4-year-old daughter Raina. Prior to farming, she spent 15 years studying the impact of farm diversity on plant disease levels. Collecting and studying plant diseases on varied farms throughout the world has provided perspective on the various inputs required given different production practices.
Linley holds a Ph.D. in Plant Pathology from the University of Florida and a Master’s in Plant and Soil Science through West Virginia University’s Organic Farm Project. In addition, she held a 2-year post-doctorate with the USDA’s Systematic Botany and Mycology Laboratory where she used DNA sequencing and cloning techniques to identify fungal plant pathogens from around the world. Linley is actively involved in supporting the local farm movement in Durango and in her spare time enjoys pruning tomatoes to one main stem.
Gayle Nielsen is the membership coordinator. She has a BA in Visual Communications, with a digital design emphasis, from American Intercontinental University as well as an Associate of Science in Electro-Mechanical Technology. With a black belt in several martial arts, she teaches those as well other types of mind/body/spirit movement and exploration through her hypnotherapy practice.
After a sixteen year career with a large corporation in the Information Technology field, she now focuses on her true passion of educating people in healthy, sustainable lifestyles through her practice and through her work with The Cornucopia Institute.
She and her husband live on a small farm near Westby, Wisconsin.
Melody Morrell, Cornucopia's Data Analyst and Research Specialist, has been with the organization since mid-2012. She has over a decade of experience in nonprofit administration and programs, working on issues ranging from gender and developmental disability to sustainable living. Melody earned a BA in Anthropology from the University of Minnesota-Duluth.
Harboring a deep love of the land and living things, Melody, her teenaged children and her carpenter husband live in a tiny house on Peace Lake in Minnesota where they study life and grow food.
Jason Cole is our Research Associate. He is a returned Peace Corps volunteer from Ecuador where he helped small-scale farmers to employ sustainable agricultural practices in order to minimize their impact on highly valuable cloud forest habitat. In partnership with a local NGO, he developed agro-forestry projects that improved pasture productivity and reduced the need to clear virgin forest for new pasture. Prior to his Peace Corps service he worked for the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management in the fields of forestry, botany, and hydrology.
Jason holds a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of Arizona, and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA. He lives in western Wisconsin with his wife and three children.
Mr. Munsch raises organic beef on his farm in western Wisconsin. He is a volunteer for The Cornucopia Institute and is leading the organization's challenge to the USDA's approval of Monsanto's genetically engineered alfalfa. Cornucopia is a party along with several other organizations in a lawsuit contesting the USDA action. Mr. Munsch farms with his family near Coon Valley, WI.
Mr. Cox is a volunteer who has been handling Cornucopia's legal representation before USDA and in federal district courts. A native of Columbus, Ohio, Gary Cox has been a public servant, an organic vegetable farmer, a dad, a civil war enthusiast and very "green" all his life. As an environmental lawyer, Mr. Cox prosecuted polluters for 14 years while with the Ohio Attorney General's office, representing Ohio EPA and prosecuting several of the largest Fortune 500 firms in the country, including lawsuits against Sun Oil Company, General Motors, BP Chemical and Phillips Electronics.
His current law practice includes clients such as small, family dairy farmers producing raw milk that are battling the Ohio Department of Agriculture, a non-profit organization taking on Horizon Dairy, and several individuals battling the Ohio Department of Transportation. Mr. Cox resigned from the AG's office to become an organic vegetable farmer and sold produce at restaurants, farmers' markets and operated a small CSA as well. He enjoys being a soccer dad (yes, he owned a minivan at one time), gardening, the outdoors and has studied the Civil War nearly his whole life. Mr. Cox hopes to return to sustainable farming someday, hopefully near Gettysburg, PA, and living in peace and quiet where he can nurture rather than litigate.
Celeste Gibson acts as Cornucopia staff accountant and serves as an active member of its management team on fiscal issues.
As an independent Certified Public Accountant, Ms. Gibson has provided tax and accounting services to individuals, farms, and small businesses in southwestern Wisconsin since 1994. She holds degrees as a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and a Master of Business Administration, both earned summa cum laude at Minnesota State University-Mankato. She passed the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination in 1984, earning an Elijah Watts Sells Award for grades among the top 1% in the nation.
Ms. Gibson has two daughters, one a senior at Minnesota State University-Winona and the other a sophomore at Viroqua High School. As a licensed foster care provider, she is also raising her foster daughter, a high school freshman. Her extensive community service background includes service as an elected public school board member and as a court-appointed special advocate. Her favorite hobbies are gardening and bicycling. As a lifelong learner whose interest is sparked by all pursuits intellectual, Ms. Gibson is a third-year independent study law student at Taft Law School of Santa Ana, California.
Assistant Membership Coordinator
Therese has over 20 years’ experience in the Office Support, Administration and Customer Service fields. She spent almost a decade in Executive Teleconferencing with AT&T in Minneapolis, MN and earned her Associates Degree from the University of Minnesota.
Therese and her family moved to Southwestern Wisconsin in order to live a simpler and more sustainable lifestyle. There she owned and helped operate a Green Building Supplies business. She is also the proud mother of two wonderful children whom she home-schooled for their first 8 years.
Therese has been an active supporter of local, organic farmers and producers for more than fifteen years. She served as a Chapter Leader for the Weston A. Price Foundation in Viroqua, WI and is an avid foodie who loves to cook from scratch with much love and attention for her friends and family.
Jérôme Rigot, PhD
Farm/Food Policy Analyst
Jérôme lives near Bangor, Maine, with his life partner Renée, an acupuncturist and a Shiatsu practitioner. They recently bought a small house with a very old orchard on five acres of land, which they plan to homestead.
Before coming to Maine, Jérôme managed for several years a small organic vegetable farm in northeast Pennsylvania and was involved in the formation of the now thriving Binghamton Urban Farm.
Jérôme grew up in France in the Vallée de la Loire region. Upon reaching teenage-hood, he moved with his father to a small farm in the southwest of France, near the Pyrénées. There he attended an agricultural high school and helped his father raise free-range lambs. After graduating, he apprenticed with goat dairy farms where he learned, among many other things, to make goat cheese.
At age 21 he had the opportunity to come visit the U.S. He did not know any English; however, after a few months he decided to stay and started working as a dishwasher then a cook in a small French restaurant in Seattle.
Eventually, he decided to go back to school and attended The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. After graduating he worked with the Washington Department of Ecology as a lab technician doing pollutants analysis. That work inspired him to delve more deeply into the environmental sciences and he decided to go to graduate school.
Jérôme did his doctoral work at the University of California, Davis, with the focus on soil bioremediation. His research project was on fungal/plant-mediated soil bioremediation and thus by necessity required an extensive cross-disciplinary approach incorporating analytical chemistry, environmental toxicology, molecular biology, soil and plant science, as well as mycology.
After completing his dissertation, he worked in a marine laboratory in Santa Cruz, California, looking at fungal communities within marine sponges as potential sources of natural products with anti-cancer properties.
From there he worked for several years as a post-doctoral researcher with Ohio State University on a project funded by the OFFER program, Ohio State’s organic agriculture research group, using molecular approaches to compare the microbial diversity between organically and conventionally managed soils. He also participated in several composting research projects. In addition to pursuing his own research, running the lab, mentoring undergraduate and graduate students, and coordinating communication between the various research groups that were also part of the OFFER project, he became increasingly involved in the organic farming community and the local food movement. This interest became a passion and so when Jérôme was given the opportunity to manage a small organic farm in northeast Pennsylvania, he did not hesitate and left academia.
Jérôme has been working the last two years in Maine as an organic farm inspector for MOFGA certification services. He loves to visit organic farms and talk to the farmers. He is always amazed by the ingenuity they demonstrate to solve the daily challenges they encounter in order to produce healthy, tasty and beautiful foods.
Indeed, Jérôme is passionate about good food, preferably home-grown and otherwise locally and ethically produced, organically grown and raised. He loves to cook and bakes French (of course) sourdough bread every week.
Communications and Development Associate
Rachel joins Cornucopia following six years on staff as the program director at Circle Pines Center. There, among other things, she created a local food ordering system, produced an annual music festival, and created programs to educate youth and adults about social justice issues, environmental stewardship, and cooperative alternatives. Fund development and grant-writing are two ways in which Rachel contributes her skills to support the environmental movement.
Rachel is passionate about good food and sustainable farming. She is eager to collectively pursue the mission of economic justice for family farms, and to protect consumer confidence in organics. Somewhat obsessed with goats, Rachel has been practicing animal husbandry by managing a small dairy goat herd for the past seven years.
Rachel was born and raised in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and spent her summers submerged in one of the state's many lakes. An environmentalist since childhood, Rachel is driven by a deep commitment to and spiritual connection with the natural world.
Rachel's educational experience includes an undergraduate degree in biology from Hope College, as well as a Master of Science degree in environmental resource management and administration from Antioch University New England. Her professional background is diverse and includes a focus on environmental activism, nonprofit management, and program development.
Marie Burcham, JD
Farm and Food Policy Analyst
Marie Burcham lives in Portland, Oregon, and enjoys visiting her parents’ organic urban farm in southern California. Marie has a background in Animal Science and English from the University of California, Davis. She also has work experience as an animal technician in both research and industry settings, and has worked with different types of livestock.
Marie Burcham holds a J.D. with a certificate in Environmental and Natural Resource Law from Lewis and Clark Law School. After completing law school and passing the Oregon Bar exam she practiced in the area of animal and agricultural law for a few years before seeking out a policy position where she could pursue her passion for agricultural policy change. She’s always interested in learning more about our food systems, and likes connecting with farmers.
Marie enjoys exploring the outdoors through hiking, photography, and horseback riding. She owns a dynamic chestnut Arabian cross mare named Deli.
Jennifer Hayden, PhD
Communications and Development Director
Jennifer Hayden joined Cornucopia’s staff in 2016 as Communications and Development director. In this position, Jennifer bridges her previous experience as a communications and development consultant for environmental non-profits with her passion and research background in the sociology of agriculture.
Jennifer holds a Ph.D. in rural sociology from Penn State, where her research focused on how farmers make soil management decisions and on labor issues in the U.S. food system. She also holds an M.Sc. from Oxford University in human geography, where she studied the interconnection between local and global food systems as well as how consumer-members experience CSAs. Her research interests dovetail with her work in development and communications, helping to tell the story of the changing landscape of organic agriculture, while ensuring that organic farmers and eaters have the information, networks and support needed to help uphold the integrity of the organic standards.
Jennifer and her partner James are intentionally nomadic, slow-traveling around the U.S while they both have the good fortune to work remotely. She is currently based in the Pacific Northwest.
Cornucopia's Policy Advisors
We are very proud to have some of the most respected thinkers in the organic community and family farm movement among our advisors. In addition to our formal Policy Advisory Panel, dozens of others have generously contributed their time and professional and technical expertise in support of Cornucopia's mission.
Amanda Love, also known as "The Barefoot Cook" is a Certified Healing Food Specialist, Natural Foods Chef, Nutrition Educator, Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF) Conference Chef and recent recipient of the Weston A. Price Food Activist Award. She emphasizes eating fresh, local, seasonal, organic and nutrient rich food. Ms. Love knows food from the seed to the table intimately. All over the United States, farmers, growers, educators, food vendors and chefs know the committed and passionate Barefoot Cook, and appreciate her as someone who also advocates politically for organic growers and consumer rights. She teaches cooking classes and workshops where she empowers others to take healing food into their own hands. She also has a line of organic, herbal iced teas called "Soothin' Infusion". Amanda currently resides in Austin, Texas.
Her website can be viewed at: www.thebarefootcook.com
Tom, with his wife, owns a seventy-five acre farm that is part of the Central San Joaquin Valley in Madera, CA. He has been a farmer since 1980, and T & D Willey Farms has been certified organic since 1987.
San Joaquin Valley, California
Tony T. Azevedo is a second generation dairy farmer. He has been farming for 35 years, the last 12 as an Organic producer. Before making the transition to organics, he was a conventional dairy farmer although not satisfied with the practices.
Mr. Azevedo's father was an immigrant from the Azores Island of Portugal. He came to the Central San Joaquin valley in 1948 at the age of 35. Seemingly late to start a new life but determined to create a better life for his daughters and eventually his son. Being a skilled cooper, or barrel maker, he soon discovered there wasn't much work in that trade. He then went to work as a farm hand, gaining the experience necessary to start his own dairy. In 1951, the senior Azevedo went out on his own with about 20 cows.
The San Joaquin Valley was a difficult environment but the Azevedo family, but they successfully dedicated themselves to creating a fertile, sustainable farm.
Tony Azevedo became the first organic dairy producer in central California. He has been instrumental in helping many other families convert to organic practices. He is the current president of the Western Organic Dairy Producers Alliance.
Michael James was born in New York City in 1942. He was raised in Connecticut on an old onion farm, and while growing up he helped old man Burtche around the farm down the road, feeding livestock and helping with harvesting. He was a member of the 4H club and raised rabbits, muscovy ducks, King pigeons, African Tumbler pigeons, and Bantam chickens.
James was active in sports, playing football at Lake Forest College where he took an interest in politics and social justice issues. In the summer of 1962 he drove a Triumph motorcycle to Mexico City, where he studied at Mexico City College and took photos. An exhibit of these photos, Mexico 1962 has been shown in a number of galleries, and will appear in book form in 2012. James graduated in 1964 and received a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship, going to the University of California, Berkeley where he studied sociology. There James was involved in the Free Speech Movement, and joined Students for a Democratic Society, of which he became a national officer.
James left school in 1966, heading to Chicago's Uptown to organize poor Southern whites in an attempt to build an interracial movement of the poor with an organization known as JOIN Community Union (Jobs or Income Now).
After the Democractic Convention in 1968, James founded Rising Up Angry, a newspaper and organization of poor and working white people, that allied with the Black Panther Party, the Young Lords Organization, the Young Patriots, and the American Indian Movement, collectively known as the Rainbow Coalition.
In 1976 James founded the now legendary Heartland Cafe, a wholesome foods eatery and community center. The Heartland Cafe (www.heartlandcafe.com) is about serving up Wholesome Food for Mind and Body. In addition to the Heartland Cafe, the enterprise now includes the Buffalo Bar, Heartland General Store, the Redline Tap, the No Exit Cafe, and Heartland Cafe on the Lake—altogether adding to the ambience the unique urban enclave of the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago. Through his work at the cafe, he recently won an Illinois Stewardship Alliance "Golden Beet" award for bringing local food to Illinois communities.
James is a host of Live from the Heartland Radio (Saturday's at 9 am on WLUW 88.7 (www.wluw.org), is the publisher of The Heartland Journal (www.heartlandjournal.org), a member of the board of Athletes United for Peace (athletesunitedforpeace.org), President of Chicago's 49th Ward Democratic Party Organization, and an actor, appearing in a number of films, including The Package, The Fugitive, Stony Island, Above the Law, Code of Silence, Under Siege, Chain Reaction, and The Guardian.
He is married to Paige James, a "hellova cook,” and is the father of seven wonderful kids!
John Ikerd was raised on a small dairy farm in southwest Missouri. This was a time when electricity, running water, and indoor plumbing had not reached his part of rural Missouri. However, this also was a time when people of very modest means could afford a college education at a state university. He worked his way through the University of Missouri, receiving BS, MS and PhD degrees in Agricultural Economics. John worked three years with Wilson Foods between his BS and MS, in product merchandising. After finishing his education, he worked in Extension Agricultural Economics positions at North Carolina State University from 1970-76 and Oklahoma State University from 1976-84 and was Head of Extension Agricultural Economics at University of Georgia from 1984-89.
In the 80’s, John had a “conversion” of sorts. During the farm crises of that era, he experienced first-hand the failures of the policies he had been advocating to farmers. John then reoriented his work towards sustainable agriculture and economic sustainability. He returned to the University of Missouri in 1989, under a cooperative agreement with the USDA, to provide state and national leadership for research and education programs related to sustainable agriculture. From 1989 to 2000, in addition to working on several National Sustainable Agriculture Projects with USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education organization, John authored book chapters, journal articles, magazine and trade publications, and conference proceedings on various aspects of the sustainable agriculture movement—farm size, systems thinking, profitability, policy, socio-economic considerations and more—even giving congressional testimony in 1989 and 1992.
John retired as Professor Emeritus from the University of Missouri in 2000. Since then John has written six books on sustainable agriculture and sustainable economics. In 2011, John moved to Fairfield, Iowa. There he has been working closely with the Sustainable Living department at the Maharishi University of Management, co-teaching Sustainable Economics courses, putting on conferences, and working with faculty there to develop the concept of Deep Sustainability—an obvious extension of John’s later work, whereby sustainability’s economic concerns are bounded by social relationships, with both being ultimately bounded by ethical and moral beliefs.
Deep Sustainability goes to the root of unsustainability, questioning the exclusive roles that science and economics play in making decisions about our future, and reintroduces the concept of “purpose” (including human, non-human, and historical) as a way of reorienting sustainability beyond efficiency and substitution to a radical redesign of the human project.
John is also on the board of Jefferson County Farmers and Neighbors, which is a local organization organized to stop the spread of Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs). John’s expertise in this area is global as well as local, with John even traveling to Wales in 2013 to help stop the first industrial dairy in that country’s history.
John has become a leading figure in the sustainability revolution—one who is capable of deep insights but also has the capacity to engage everyone in the conversation and work. He has found himself at the edge of what is possible in the discipline and has turned his efforts to using his voice and position to advocate for radical change and to help others to both understand this necessity and to be able to advocate for themselves.
Jim Gerritsen, along with his wife Megan, is an organic farmer who has owned and operated Wood Prairie Farm in northern Maine for 38 years. Wood Prairie Farm has been a MOFGA-certified organic farm since 1982. The Gerritsens are focused on the production of organic early generation Maine Certified Seed Potatoes, seed crops, vegetables and grain.
In addition to farming, Jim has been active in the organic community with NGOs for four decades. He co-founded and now serves as President of the national farmer-run membership trade organization, Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association (OSGATA). OSGATA is headquartered in Washington, Maine and acted as lead plaintiff in the landmark organic community Federal lawsuit, OSGATA et al v. Monsanto. OSGATA's mission is to develop, promote and protect the organic seed trade and its farmers.
In the past, Jim served as President of the educational and research NGO, Organic Seed Alliance (OSA) in Washington State. Additionally, he served for over twenty years on the Certification Committee of Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA). Last year, Jim helped MOFGA pass the State of Maine’s GMO Labeling law, the second such law passed in the United States. Jim also serves on the MOFGA Ag Services Committee. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the 80-year-old Direct Gardening Association. Jim has served for many years on the Steering Committee of the local St John-Aroostook Resource Conservation & Development Council, formerly an arm of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Jim is co-founder of Slow Food Aroostook and co-founded a local chapter of Organic Crop Improvement Association. He has been a frequent speaker at farmer conferences in the United States and beyond. Jim has cooperated in numerous on-farm research trials with scientists, including those from the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and the University of Maine. He serves as an advisor to the UMO Northern New England Organic Bread Wheat Project. In October 2011, Jim was named as one of '25 Visionaries Who Are Changing the World' by Utne Reader magazine. In January 2014, Jim was a participant in the week long Agrarian Elders Gathering held in Big Sur, California.
The Gerritsens reside on their farm in the Aroostook County town of Bridgewater with their four children.
Jim and Moie Kimball Crawford own and operate New Morning Farm, a 95-acre certified-organic vegetable farm in south-central Pennsylvania. The Crawfords have farmed organically for over 40 years, and from the start, all produce was direct-marketed in Washington, D.C. In 1972, Jim started growing a wide variety of vegetable crops on a small plot of rented land in West Virginia, with practically no capital and little experience. Moie joined him in 1974, and in 1978 they had their son Arlo, followed by daughter Jane in 1982.
In 1976, Jim and Moie purchased the farm in PA, which had been a small conventional dairy operation. With ambitious, innovative financing and much trial and error, they gradually built their soils organically, collected appropriate equipment, and designed and built various buildings for their specific needs.
From vending veggies out of the back of a pick-up truck to organizing and supervising three thriving weekly markets (and launching a fourth in late 2012), the Crawfords have built multi-faceted, successful direct-marketing system. Through the marketing (wholesale and retail) of various locally-produced foods like orchard fruits, cider, and baked goods, New Morning Farm is at the center of the PA-DC foodshed.
To improve local and organic produce marketing in the region, the Crawfords and neighboring organic farmers founded, in the late 1980s, a wholesale marketing cooperative called Tuscarora Organic Growers Cooperative. TOG, which has recently achieved $3 million in sales, coordinates organic farms and growers in central PA to serve restaurants, groceries and markets in the PA-DC region.
The Crawfords and the Tuscarora co-op have both been longtime members of Cornucopia and Jim has been working quite closely of late, with Mark and Tom Willey, on the labeling controversy at Whole Foods Market.
The Crawfords' New Morning Farm is equipped for year-round production with a heated greenhouse, two high-tunnel cold frames, and a packing shed with several refrigerated coolers at appropriate temps for vegetable and fruit storage. The fields contain extensive irrigation lines for the drip system and the overhead watering. Our 300 free-range laying hens live in a house with access to fenced-in yard, where they enjoy pecking in the grass.
New Morning Farm produces approximately 60 different crops, all certified organic. Crops include berries and herbs in addition to most standard garden vegetables. The farm employs six to eight year-round helpers and approximately 25 seasonal workers and apprentices. The farming apprenticeship program is well developed and has helped many aspiring growers launch their own farming careers.
The Crawfords have been active participants in the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture from the planning stages and Jim was a member of the first Board of Directors. Jim and Moie were honored in 2002 with the annual Leadership Award from PASA.
Jim frequently presents at workshops and seminars on topics like profitability, the apprenticeship program, and the growth of TOG. The farm often hosts field-day learning opportunities for PASA and nearby colleges and universities.
Steve Sprinkel has been an adherent of organic farming since the 1960s. Using his 12-acre (CCOF certified) farm in Ojai, CA, Steve trains farmers and educates consumers. Steve is the former president of the Cornucopia Board of Directors and is currently the president of the Ojai Center for Regenerative Agriculture. After attending Harvard for one year, he earned a degree in literature from The University of California at Santa Barbara.
Steve has been active in organic certification and public interest policy in Carpinteria at CCOF, as a Santa Barbara farmers market officer, board member at the Texas Department of Agriculture, founder of the Organic Farmers Marketing Association, Associate Editor at ACRES, USA (1998-2007), organic administrator and inspector for many private organizations in the Midwest, and even an FDA delegate to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization! Favorites: Vegetable - Cucumber; Book - All Quiet on the Western Front; Film – “Dr. Strangelove”
The Cornucopia Institute is a tax-exempt, charitable organization incorporated in 2004 under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. All individual contributions, grants and bequests are tax deductible. Our tax identification number is 20-1075143.
Our work is supported primarily through individual donor contributions from farmers and consumers. We do not solicit or receive any government funds. We are proud of the stewardship of our resources and are happy to share the following information with you.