Oct 10, 2019
Organic review board welcomes Deirdre Birmingham
Deirdre Birmingham of The Cider Farm in Mineral Point, Wisconsin, has joined the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) Board of Directors. As a nonprofit organization, OMRI relies on its Board to oversee policy development and governance for the organization. The OMRI Board is comprised of volunteer stakeholders from across the industry, including certifiers, input suppliers, processors, consumer and public interest groups, and growers like Deirdre, to ensure both impartiality in decision-making and a wide range of perspectives.
Birmingham is a certified organic grower specializing in English and French cider apples, used to produce a line of apple brandy and hard ciders. She brings over 20 years’ experience in the organic movement, having been the first executive director of Georgia Organics, and a co-founder and manager of the Midwest Organic Tree Fruit Growers Network. Deirdre has been a board member and chair of the Organic Farming Research Foundation, and a council member and chair of the Citizen Advisory Council for the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems. She holds a B.S. in Agricultural Sciences and a Master’s degree in Soil Fertility from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, as well as a joint Ph.D. in Natural Resources Management and Adult Education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
According to Birmingham, “The real value of OMRI is the transparency it brings to the industry. A system that provides objective, expert, technical reviews of input products benefits not only suppliers, but also growers, certifiers and consumers. I’m looking forward to bringing my own unique experiences and perspective as a certified organic apple grower in the Midwest to the table, and to serving the best interests of the organic community.”
Founded in 1997 by organic certifiers and stakeholders, OMRI provides an independent review of input products to determine which inputs are allowed for organic use. Since its beginning, OMRI has grown to over 7,000 OMRI Listed® products reviewed to the U.S. National Organic Program and/or Canada Organic Regime standards.