Sep 28, 2020
Five named to National Organic Standards Board
The USDA Sept. 28 named five individuals appointed to serve on the National Organic Standards Board.
The 15-member advisory board considers and makes recommendations on the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances and other issues involved in the production, handling and processing of USDA certified organic products. The group is a federal advisory board created under the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990.
Deputy Administrator Jennifer Tucker, who heads the USDA National Organic Program, said that while outgoing members were certainly appreciated, “It’s always exciting to welcome new members.”
“They always bring so much passion and fresh energy to the table,” she said in a newsletter.
Each member serves a five-year term and represents a specific sector of the organic community. Members attend two in-person meetings each year and participate in bi-monthly subcommittee conference calls. USDA reimburses National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) members for approved travel and associated lodging expenses.
Here are the names and biographies of the individuals recently appointed to the NOSB, according to the USDA:
Amy Bruch is a sixth-generation farmer and president of Cyclone Farms, an organic family farm in Nebraska. She has nearly 20 years of experience in agriculture, including agricultural business management, regulatory compliance, operational improvements, and transitioning farms to new crops and to organic production. Career highlights include interning at the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service, working as a systems engineer at General Mills, and consulting internationally. Bruch holds a BS in Agriculture and Biosystems Engineering from Iowa State University. She has a background and expertise in certification, compliance, crops, and National List materials. Bruch will serve in a Farmer seat.
Logan Petrey is a fourth-generation farmer from South Georgia. She is the southeast organic ranch manager of 2,000 acres for Grimmway Farms locations in Georgia and Florida and has grown over thirty different organic crops. Prior to Grimmway, she worked as an agronomist and organic farm manager with Generation Farms; and as a field technician for Robinson Fresh where she worked with farms along the East Coast and Midwest. She serves on the Board of Directors for Florida Organic Growers and is a member of the United Fresh Working Group. She has a B.A. in Biology from Valdosta State University and a Master of Plant Protection and Pest Management from the University of Georgia. Petrey will serve in a Farmer seat.
Carolyn Dimitri is an applied economist and is currently a member of the faculty at New York University. She has extensive experience with the USDA, working for more than a decade at the Economic Research Service where she authored numerous reports on many aspects of the organic sector, including consumer expectations and attitudes about organic food. She currently serves as an Executive Board member for the Organic Farming Research Foundation, as a scientific advisor to the Organic Center, and is knowledgeable about many of the most pressing issues related to the organic standards and National List materials. Dimitri will serve in a Public/Consumer Interest Seat.
Brian Caldwell has been involved in organic agriculture for more than 40 years as an educator, researcher, and farmer. In 1983, he served as a founding member of the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York (NOFA-NY) and has remained active in the organization serving as staff from 2002-2005, an educator at winter conferences, and a member. He spent many years working for Cornell University, first as the vegetable and fruit specialist for Cornell Cooperative Extension, and then as a field manager and researcher for the Cornell Organic Cropping Systems project. Mr. Caldwell has operated an organic farm in West Danby, NY since 1978 and has a deep understanding of organic standards. As an educator, farmer, and longstanding NOFA-NY member, he understands consumer perspectives well. Caldwell will serve in a Public/Consumer Interest Seat.
Kyla Smith is the Certification Director for Pennsylvania Certified Organic (PCO), a USDA-accredited certifying agent. In this position, she assures that PCO and its mission, programs and services are consistently presented with transparency and integrity to relevant stakeholders in adherence with PCO’s strategic plan, as well as oversees the certification, inspection and material teams. During her 17-year tenure with PCO, she has also worked as an organic inspector, materials specialist, and reviewer; and held leadership positions for six years as the chair and vice-chair of the Accredited Certifiers Association Board of Directors. She has extensive knowledge of the USDA organic regulations and the work of the NOSB. She holds a B.S. in Kinesiology from Pennsylvania State University and a Master of Arts in Transformative Leadership and Social Change from the Maryland University of Integrative Health. Smith will serve in the USDA-accredited certifier seat.