National organics board
welcomes six new members

The National Organic Standards Board got its first executive director and welcomed new certifier, consumer and producer members this week.

By Greg Bowman

Moyer brings farming expertise to national organic board role

Jeff Moyer, The Rodale Institute’s farm manager, was recently appointed as a new member of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), by Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns. Moyer has been employed for over 29 years by The Rodale Institute®, a global leader in organic research and education.

“We’re honored that Jeff has been appointed to the NOSB. His years of practical organic farming experience working directly with farmers, extension, and researchers will be a major asset to the Board, and the entire farming community,” said John Haberern, president of The Rodale Institute.

“I have been involved in organic agriculture for many years and plan to bring to the NOSB the same energy I’ve brought to the farm manager position here at The Rodale Institute. Searching for innovative and creative ways to solve the many problems and issues facing the organic industry is a challenge I look forward to tackling,” said Moyer.

The Rodale Institute is a not-for-profit educational and research organization committed to sharing information globally about successful agricultural solutions to health and environmental problems. The Rodale Institute has worked for sixty years to establish and share knowledge about how to achieve a regenerative food system that renews environmental and human health, bringing to life the philosophy of J. I. Rodale, the founder, that "Healthy Soil = Health Food = Healthy People®."

--GB

Posted December 8, 2005 The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) got its first executive director and welcomed six new members this week.

Valerie Frances, who has served as certification director and marketing coordinator at the Maryland Department of Agriculture, will begin work in late January. She will facilitate the work of the NOSB, including handling its recommendations to the secretary of the USDA.

Jim Riddle, immediate past chair of the NOSB, said of Frances, “I believe that Valerie understands the importance of the NOSB serving as the pulse of the organic community and as a gatekeeper for organic integrity and consumer confidence. I am confident that Valerie will do a good job in her new position.”

Riddle, founding chair of the Independent Organic Inspectors Association (IOIA), is leaving the board this month at the end of his term. He noted the NOSB spearheaded work over the past three years to define the executive director job description and secure funding for it.

Starting five-year terms to replace persons whose terms have expired are: certifier member Joseph Smillie; consumer/public interest members Daniel Giacomini, Jennifer Hall and Katrina Heinze; and producer members Kevin Engelbert and Jeffrey Moyer.

Giacomini is an independent dairy nutrition consultant from Middletown, California. Hall, an advocate for anti-hunger policies, is also an organic consultant to Seattle restaurants. Heinze is the manager of global regulatory affairs for General Mills of Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she is responsible for food safety and regulatory matters. Engelbert, from Nichols, New York, is a fifth-generation crop and dairy farmer. Moyer is the farm manager at The Rodale Institute® in Kutztown, Pennsylvania. Smillie, of South Burlington, Vermont, is senior vice president with Quality Assurance International, a USDA-accredited certifying agent that operates globally to certify organic operations to National Organic Program (NOP) standards.

The board’s membership is designed to span the many interests within the organic food and farming sector. It is authorized by law to make recommendations to the “national list” of allowed and prohibited substances, the document used for certification inspections throughout organic production, processing and packaging systems. The board may also provide advice on other aspects of the organic program, such as the current dialogue on enforcement of access to pasture matters.

The NOSB has 15 members representing all the various interests of organic producers and consumers (four producers, two handlers, one retailer, three environmentalists, three consumers, one scientist, and one certifying agent).

To ensure a broad representation of interests on the Board, NOP conducted an aggressive nomination search for the new members, contacting over 11,000 organic certified organic producers and handlers as well as numerous farmer groups throughout the nation.
For details on the National Organic Program, visit www.ams.usda.gov/nop.

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