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USDA Appoints Organic Board Members

AMS No. 272-05

Joan Shaffer (202) 720-8998
Billy Cox (202) 720-8998

WASHINGTON, Dec. 6, 2005 -- Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns today announced the appointment of six new members to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). The following appointees will serve terms beginning January 24, 2006, and ending January 24, 2011:

Certifier: (1) Mr. Joseph Smillie
Consumer/ (1) Mr.Daniel Giacomini
Public Interest: (2) Ms. Jennifer Hall
(3) Ms. Katrina Heinze
Producer: (1) Mr. Kevin Engelbert
(2) Mr. Jeffrey Moyer

The new appointees represent a broad spectrum of expertise in the U.S. organic producing and consuming sectors and bring a wealth of experience to the NOSB. Smillie is with QAI, a USDA-accredited certifying agent that operates globally to certify organic operations to National Organic Program (NOP) standards. Giacomini is an independent dairy nutrition consultant with years of experience in advising farmers and dairies about organic dairy nutrition; Hall is an advocate for anti-hunger policies and provides consulting to restaurants in Seattle seeking to maintain organic integrity; Heinze is the manager of global regulatory affairs for General Mills where she is responsible for food safety and regulatory matters. Engelbert is a fifth-generation crop and dairy farmer in upstate New York, and Moyer is the farm manager at the Rodale Institute in Pennsylvania.

The NOSB includes 15 members: 4 producers, 2 handlers, 1 retailer, 3 environmentalists, 3 consumers, 1 scientist, and 1 certifying agent. Other NOSB members are Rigoberto Delgado, a livestock producer managing one of the first Hispanic-certified organic operations in Texas; Gerald Davis, a California potato producer; Kevin O’Rell, a food scientist and quality assurance expert with Horizon Organic Dairy; Julie Weisman, a handler with Flavorganics; Bea James, whole health manager with Lund’s & Byerly’s Food Stores; Andrea Caroe, an environmentalist with Protected Harvest, a nonprofit organization that promotes sustainable agricultural practices; Nancy Ostiguy, professor of environmental science and food toxins at Penn State; Michael Lacy, professor of poultry science at the University of Georgia; and Hue Karreman, Pennsylvania dairy veterinarian and environmentalist. The 15-member NOSB represents a broad cross-section of the industry’s crop and livestock producers, processors, scientists, and consuming public, who share the growing interest in organic agriculture and products.

The NOSB is authorized by the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990, and makes recommendations to the Secretary about the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances for organic operations. The NOSB may also advise the Secretary on other aspects of the organic program. USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service oversees the NOSB.

The NOP is pleased to announce the appointment of Ms. Valerie Frances as the new Executive Director for the NOSB. Frances has experience in the organic arena in both private and public sectors and is well respected in the organic community. She recently worked with the State of Maryland’s organic program. Frances will report to the Associate Deputy Administrator for the NOP, but her primary responsibility will be to facilitate the work of the NOSB, including the Board’s materials recommendations to the Secretary of Agriculture.

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  Last Modified Date: 12/06/2005