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 is co-founder of The Cornucopia Institute, a farm policy research group based in Wisconsin and acts as its Senior Farm Policy Analyst and Executive Director. He directs its Organic Integrity Project. Read More
Will Fantle is co-founder of The Cornucopia Institute. He is also the organization's Director Emeritus. Mr. Fantle's previous professional experience is varied. Read More
Cornucopia's Board of Directors
The Cornucopia Institute board of directors represents key stakeholder constituencies in the organic and family farming movements including pioneering organic farmers, consumers, scientists, public policy experts, conservationists, 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-scale farms, the environment and the quality and integrity of the food we all eat.
Helen Kees, Board President
Ms. Kees owns and operates Wheatfield Hill Organics near Durand, Wisconsin, along with her husband Robert, daughter Christine and her family. She was born, reared and resides on the "home" farm of 320 acres which was settled by her grandparents in 1919.
Helen has led a life of farming and environmental activism. Her activism debut ended in a three-day suspension from high school. A picture of her picketing a Dolly Madison dairy plant during a National Farmers Organization (NFO) milk "holding action" in her cheerleading uniform was printed in her regional newspaper. The picture trumped her mother's hand-written note, "Please excuse Helen's absence. She was needed at home." The suspension did not deter her from resisting nuclear power, aerial spraying of pesticides, frac sand mining, and currently, concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs).
It was a neighborhood tussle over a corporate potato grower's use of pesticides in the early 1990s that really opened her eyes to the health and environmental concerns associated with the use of agrichemicals.
Wheatfield Hill specializes in certified organic dairy quality hay, Angus beef, fresh market asparagus, blueberries, sweet corn, melons and raspberries. Wheatfield's certified organic farmstead processing plant produces berry toppings and confectionaries. Wheatfield Hill was issued the first state approved label in Wisconsin for certified organic processed beef in 1999.
Helen is a member of the Cooperative Regions of Organic Producers Pool (CROPP) where a portion of her beef cattle is marketed under the Organic Prairie brand. Helen graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and a minor in political science.
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.
Cameron Molberg, Treasurer
Cameron Molberg is on a mission to increase the infrastructure needed to improve and grow rural economic development. He is co-owner of Coyote Creek Organic Feed Mill and World's Best Eggs, the first commercial organic feed mill in Texas and one of the largest organic pasture-based chicken farms in the state. He served as CEO and General Manager from 2010-2017, before stepping away from the day-to-day to focus on projects in domestic and regenerative organic production systems.
Cameron's educational background is in institutional management, animal science, and food technology. He began working with local farmers in 2007 as manager at a startup organic restaurant chain in Austin, Texas, where he experienced the shortage of local organic products. Cameron has given countless presentations on topics including poultry management, GMOs in our food supply, organic farming, farm business planning, and the organic certification process. Known to some as an "encyclopedia in blue jeans," Cameron serves as a resource for farmers, consumers, and organizations across the country. He is dedicated to supporting others in the local organic agriculture and food movement.
Cameron served as Treasurer of the Texas Organic Farmers & Gardeners Association (TOFGA) from 2010-2015.
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.
Jim Crawford, and his wife Moie Kimball, own and operate New Morning Farm, a 95-acre certified-organic vegetable farm in south-central Pennsylvania. They have farmed organically for over 40 years, and from the start, all produce was direct-marketed in Washington, D.C. New Morning Farm produces approximately 60 different crops, all certified organic
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), they have built a multifaceted, 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.
Jim and neighboring organic farmers also 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.
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.
The Cornucopia Institute is virtually officed. Our staff works from home offices across the country. Not only does this model leverage your contributions in support of good food and farming (rather than paying for bricks, mortar, and utilities), but this has also allowed us to recruit the most qualified colleagues regardless of where they call home.
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.
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.
Associate Director/Chief Operating Officer
Daniel Doyle has over a decade of experience in grassroots community organizing around the promotion, research, and support of sustainable initiatives and community development – in particular, small farm viability, local food system development, food justice, and food/farm policy.
With a background in both education and agriculture, he left the classroom to co-found one of Mississippi's first CSA farms, Yokna (patawpha) Bottoms, in Oxford, MS. Committed to community-centered and ecologically responsible food production, Yokna Bottoms grew to serve over 200 families in the two years under his management.
Doyle has conducted field work for the USDA Soil and Sedimentation Lab and as an Environmental Scientist for Cardno ENTRIX, an international environmental consulting company specializing in water resource assessment, environmental liability and natural resource management. Prior to joining Cornucopia, Doyle served as the Executive Director for the Gaining Ground Sustainability Institute of MS and for the Mississippi Sustainable Agriculture Network (MSAN).
Daniel currently lives in Oxford, Mississippi with his wife and four children as well as a rotating cast of farm animals.
Celeste Gibson, MBA, CPA, JD
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, Celeste has provided tax and accounting services to individuals, farms, and small businesses in southwestern Wisconsin since 1994. She loves having a professional practice in a small town and serving her delightfully diverse clientele, which includes many organic farms and aligned organizations such as the Cornucopia Institute.
Celeste 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 in 1984, earning an Elijah Watts Sells Award for grades among the top 1% in the nation.
Ever a lifelong learner, Celeste pursued a legal education through independent study, earning her JD degree from Taft Law School of Santa Ana, California, in 2013. After passing the California and Wisconsin bar exams, she is licensed to practice law in both of those states.
Celeste has two daughters, both of whom are graduates of Minnesota State University-Winona. 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, hiking, and bicycling.
Celeste is a dual U.S.-Italian citizen. Now that she is done with law school, she is learning to speak Italian. She remarks that when grocery shopping in Italy, one doesn't need to worry about GMOs and other harmful additives because they are illegal.
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.
Chief Development Officer
Devin lives in State College, Pennsylvania with his wife, three children, two cats, and the family dog. They live about a mile from his undergraduate alma mater, Penn State University. Family time and being active are high priorities for Devin, including the kids’ soccer, softball, and basketball teams, as well as his own multiple volleyball leagues. Hiking, traveling, attending theater, and catching live music are other ways Devin likes to find joy in life.
Devin’s fundraising career has included leadership roles at the University of Michigan and the University of Florida, where he also completed his MBA. He also has spent over ten years as a philanthropic and marketing consultant. His clients included large institutions like Boston Children’s Hospital, Stanford University, and the Chicago Botanical Gardens, as well as small organizations like the local United Way and the local Friends & Farmers’ Cooperative.
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.
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.
Anne Ross, JD
Farm and Food Policy Analyst
Anne has an advanced law degree in Agriculture & Food Law from the University of Arkansas, where her studies focused on the federal regulation of pesticides and food labeling.
Before joining Cornucopia in 2017, Anne's research focused on the health effects of endocrine disrupting pesticides and the inadequacies in the laws governing the use and regulation of these pesticides in both the U.S. and Europe.
Anne is an experienced litigator who has handled a variety of cases, including environmental torts and product liability.
A native of rural South Carolina, Anne now lives in San Diego. She is an avid runner and outdoors enthusiast.
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.
Cornucopia's Policy Advisors & Volunteers
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.
I grew up on an organic, vegetable farm in Pennsylvania. My parents founded the farm the year I was born on a small rented piece of land. Like most family farms, it required all hands on deck. Whether us kids were making boxes or thinning seedlings, we all helped during the busy farm season. As I grew up, so did our farm. What started out as a rented 10 acre farmette evolved into 150 acres of owned farmland. A few years later, my father started farming in FL turning Lady Moon Farms into a year-round venture. This was the turning point for the family business and took my parents small farm to the next level.
They always believed that we should make it on our own. There was no talk of taking over the business in the future, and it was a known fact that we would go out into the world to find our own passion. I attended college at the University of Miami and graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Finance and a minor in Spanish. In a tricky job market, I snagged a position in the wine & spirits industry working as an analyst. This job led me to San Francisco where I continued to work my way up the ladder in the wine industry focusing on business strategy and pricing analytics. I fell in love with California and the unique challenges of the wine industry, but I felt something pulling me back to Lady Moon. I started doing consulting projects on the side, which led to discussions about the future of the business.
In 2015, I joined Lady Moon as a full-time employee. What had been a growing business when I left, turned into the largest organic, vegetable grower East of the Mississippi with over 2600 acres in three different states. It was no longer a small family farm, but an exciting and challenging opportunity. I've spent the last 18 months immersing myself in the organic industry, one that has changed significantly since my parents founded the farm 30 years ago. I'm passionate about continuing their legacy, pioneering workers' rights, and preserving the integrity of the organic label.
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.
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.
Dr. John Ikerd
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.
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!
Kendra Kimbirasukas is an Oregon-based farmer and a consultant for the nonprofit Socially Responsible Agricultural Project. SRAP’s grassroots advocacy, organizing, and informational campaigns hold factory farms accountable for the pollution, public health threats, and environmental destruction they create in rural communities across the nation.
Kendra grew up on a Midwestern dairy farm, graduated from Michigan State University and became a community organizer for the Sierra Club. Her anti-factory farm work took her to rural communities in Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, and Minnesota until she moved to Oregon in 2003. There Kendra worked on political campaigns for the Oregon League of Conservation Voters until co-founding the community group Friends of Family Farmers in 2005 to oppose the harmful impacts of Threemile Canyon Farms, a 55,000-head dairy CAFO near the town of Boardman and promote alternatives to the factory farm model of production.
In 2006, she started a small farm and began consulting work for the GRACE Factory Farm Project, later joining SRAP to continue her work to help communities threatened by industrial factory farms. Kendra and her husband currently farm 70 acres near Scio, Oregon where they raise heritage breeds of pigs, goats, chickens, and turkeys.
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: thebarefootcook.com
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.
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"
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.
Dr. Jennifer Taylor
Dr. Jennifer Taylor currently serves as an associate professor in the Florida A&M University (FAMU) College of Agriculture and Food Sciences (CAFS), where she coordinates the FAMU Statewide Small Farm Program through the Cooperative Extension program. Under her guidance, this intiative has assisted and equipped underserved growers and their families by providing access to knowledge about sustainale agricultural production and conservation management practices, building a network of small prodcuers, and sharing information on marketing their products in urban markets, schools, and rural communities.
Taylor also owns and operates a 32-acre certified organic farm, Lola’s Organic Farm, in Southern Georgia. Lola’s, named after Taylor’s grandmother who purchased the land with money earned as a sharecropper, sells organic fruits and vegetables and hosts workshops throughout the year.
From 2011-2016, Taylor served on the National Organic Standards Board and held positions as a member of the NOSB Policy Development Committee and Chair of the Materials Committee. She is a current Board member of the Organic Farmers Association as well as the Real Organic Project.
Dr. Frederick Kirschenmann
Dr. Frederick Kirschenmann has been a champion of sustainable agriculture, soil health, and resilient farming systems for over four decades. He is a Distinguished Fellow at the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University, where he previously served as director, and is a professor in the Department of Religion and Philosophy.
A pioneer in organic farming systems, Kirschenmann manages a diverse crop rotation on his 3,500-acre family farm in North Dakota which has been certified organic since 1976. His farm has been featured in numerous publications including National Geographic, Business Week, Audubon, the LA Times and Gourmet magazine. In 1995 it was profiled in an award-winning video, My Father's Garden, by Miranda Smith Productions, and is still widely used as a teaching tool.
A prolific writer on ethics and agriculture, his collection of essays Cultivating an Ecological Conscience: Essays from a Farmer Philosopher traces the evolution of his ecological and farming philosophy.
Kirschenmann served on the National Organic Standards Board from 1995-2000, including a year as the Chair. In 2014, he received a One World Award for Lifetime Achievement from the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) and was one of the first ten recipients of the James F. Beard Leadership Awards. He is the current Board President of the Stone Barns Center for Sustainable Agriculture and a member of the Advisory Board for the Real Organic Project.
"We are now in a time when it is more important than ever to anticipate the changes that will likely take place, and prepare for them in advance, and that will be especially important with respect to our food and agriculture future."
Dr. Joan Dye Gussow
Dr. Joan Dye Gussow has been a powerful influence in food and farm policy, and as a vocal critic of the industrialized U.S. food system is known by many as the matriarch of the organic, locavore, and small-farm movement. She is currently the Mary Swartz Rose Professor Emeritus of Nutrition and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University and the former chair of their Nutrition Education Department. At Columbia, she created the legendary course, Nutritional Ecology.
Along with her late-husband – artist, author, and environmental activist Alan Gussow – she has been a life-long avid organic gardener, which is chronicled in her numerous books including The Feeding Web, This Organic Life and her most recent, Growing Older: A Chronicle of Death, Life, and Growing Vegetables.
Gussow is a founding member of Just Food, has been on the board of the Chefs Collaborative, was the Chair of the Board of the National Gardening Association and the Society for Nutrition Education, served on the Diet, Nutrition and Cancer Panel of the National Academy of Sciences, served two terms on the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences, the FDA's Food Advisory Committee, the National Organic Standards Board and the Advisory Board of the Center for Food Safety. She currently sits on the Advisory Board of the Real Organic Project and in 2017 received a James Beard Leadership Award.
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