Western Organic Dairy Producers Alliance
Mr. Nathaniel Lewis: Organic Trade Association. Mr. Lewis provides staff support to OTA’s Farmer Advisory Council. He also provides on-the-ground outreach to OTA’s organic farmer membership community, and analysis of policy issues that affect organic crop and livestock producers. Prior to his current position, Nathaniel served as Certification Coordinator for Washington State Department of Agriculture’s organic certification program. He managed WSDA’s material review program and gained certification experience in all scopes of organic production. Nathaniel’s responsibilities at WSDA also included coordination of their periodic residue sampling program. Nathaniel holds a Bachelor’s of Science from The Evergreen State College with a focus in agricultural science and organic chemistry.
Mr. Nathaniel Lewis: http://www.ota.com/index.html
Mr. Albert Straus: Founder and CEO of Straus Family Creamery, is an outspoken advocate for organic, non-GMO dairy production, environmental stewardship and small family farms. The Straus family farm became the first certified organic dairy west of the Mississippi River, which led the way for many other small dairy farms in California to follow suit and convert to organic. Straus Family Creamery, which Albert Straus founded in 1994, is a leading producer of highest-quality, organic milk, yogurt, butter, sour cream and ice cream and was the first certified organic creamery in the United States. On the farm, Albert Straus began testing certified organic feeds for GMO contamination in 2005, and effectively implemented an in-house testing system to preserve the integrity of the organic milk supply. When the Non-GMO Project emerged in 2010, Straus Family Creamery became the first and only creamery in the country to carry the Non-GMO Project Verification seal. This verification extends to the family farm and the eight other organic milk suppliers of Straus Family Creamery. The many additional sustainability programs that Albert Straus has implemented at the dairy and creamery include methane-digester technology to convert dairy waste into energy, an extensive water-reuse system and production of milk in reusable glass bottles.
Albert Straus: http://strausfamilycreamery.com/
Mr. Robert Burroughs: After graduating from Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo in 1982, Robert worked for seven years with two large national accounting firms in the San Francisco Bay Area in their audit and tax departments, spending the last two years as a tax manager for KPMG Peat Marwick.
Robert moved to Modesto in 1989 to be more involved with agricultural clients and joined Genske, Mulder & Co. in 1992. Genske, Mulder & Co. LLP specializes in serving the accounting, tax and estate planning needs of a large number of dairy farmers across the United States as well as other agricultural producers. The firm’s clients produce more than 10% of the entire nation’s milk supply.
Having been born on a dairy that was started by his grandfather in the early 1900s, Robert very much enjoys working with conventional and organic dairies, providing financial statements accompanied by industry standards to assist dairy owners in evaluating and improving their operations.
Mr. Robert Burroughs: http://www.genskemulder.com/
Mr. Dave Pratt: Dave Pratt is one of the most sought after speakers and respected authorities on sustainable ranching in North America. His programs, which include the Ranching For Profit School and Executive Link, have benefited thousands of families and millions of acres. As a Range and Livestock Advisor with the University of California Cooperative Extension Service for 14 years, Dave researched management intensive grazing and strategic issues impacting the profitability of ranches. He earned a reputation for innovative teaching with a practical edge and helped hundreds of farmers and ranchers develop and implement strategies to increase profit. Dave co-founded the Sustainable Ranching Research & Education Project, a large-scale, long-term effort to develop, research and demonstrate economic, environmental and socially sustainable ranching practices. He also co-founded the California Grazing Academy, which provided ranchers with hands-on experience applying management intensive grazing.
In 1991 Dave began working with Dr. Stan Parsons, who created the Ranching for Profit School and founded Ranch Management Consultants. Dave started teaching the Ranching for Profit School in 1992. He has taught the Ranching for Profit School in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia and Africa. Dave and his wife Kathy bought RMC from Dr. Parsons in 2001. As President and CEO of RMC, Dave carries on the RMC mission by helping people transform their farms and ranches into sustainable businesses.
Dave Pratt: http://www.ranchmanagement.com/
Hubert J. Karreman, VMD: Hubert Karreman has been involved with organic agriculture since 1988 when he was a herdsman at an organic/Biodynamic farm in Pennsylvania. He saw homeopathic remedies, botanicals and biologics work so well that he decided to go to veterinary school to learn "the real thing" in order to mix and match modes of treatment as each patient would need. He was a full-time dairy veterinarian from 1995-2010 working primarily with organic cows in Lancaster, PA. He served 5 years on the National Organic Standards Board. He has been an invited speaker for farmer and veterinary groups across the US, Canada, the EU and Asia. He splits his time between being at the Rodale Institute, leading educational classes and applied research with various farm animal species, while also owning Bovinity Health, LLC a company providing science-based and holistic solutions for commonly encountered dairy cow problems. Huebert Karreman: http://www.hubertkarreman.com/
Mr. Marcus Benedetti: President and CEO of Clover Stornetta Farms was born and raised in Petaluma, and attended St. Vincent grammar and high schools. Marcus continued his education in Alaska where he studied in Business Administration at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. Upon completion of his studies he returned to Petaluma where he started his work at Clover. Marcus started at Clover full time in the chilled warehouse in 2000. He moved on to a route delivering milk to schools, then later products to restaurants in the Sonoma area. As a sales representative he called on accounts in Sonoma and Mendocino Counties, and as demand for Clover products grew, he looked forward to helping get Clover established in new markets like Sacramento and the L.A. basin. Marcus became President and CEO in January 2006. Marcus is past President of the Dairy Institute of California. He also sits on the board for the Association of Independent Dairies of America, California Independent Grocers Association, Community Foundation of Sonoma County, Agricultural Sustainability Institute at UC Davis, and honorary board member of the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts and Social Advocates for Youth. Marcus is also involved in Petaluma Rotary, and was the past Chairman of the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk. Marcus is married to Mary Beth Nowak of Chicago. They love spending time with their three children: sons Jack and Henry, and daughter Maeve. In their free time, the Benedetti’s love the outdoors and spending time with family and friends.
Mr. Marcus Benedetti: http://cloverstornetta.com/
Mrs. Ruth McClure:Upon graduation from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Ruth began her career with the Farm Credit system. She is a Vice President with American AgCredit in the Petaluma office and has been lending money to dairies for 30 years in the North Bay area. She started her career lending to conventional dairy operations but has seen and financed the transition to organic production by many local dairies. The majority of her dairy customers now have organic dairy operations. Ruth grew up in agriculture and has a strong background in the agriculture industry. She serves on several local ag related boards and committees. She resides on the family’s organic dairy farm in the Point Reyes National Seashore.
Mrs. Ruth McClure: http://www.agloan.com/
Mr. John Kennedy: Bluehill Ag Consulting - Bio Coming Soon
Dr. Cynthia Daley: Dr. Daley is the program director for the Organic Dairy Teaching and Research Facility at California State University Chico. The program is focused on building knowledge and skills in organic dairy production through hands-on learning and applied research. The College also supports the program with the first Organic Dairy Production & Management course to be offered on a University campus. Dr. Daley provides technical and research support to a variety of sustainable livestock practices through her work to establish the nutritional benefits of pasture-based systems on lipid and antioxidant profiles in grass-fed meats and milk products. Her research, supported by the a Western Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education fund, was recently published in the Nutrition Journal and continues to provide justification for “value added” nutritional labeling for farmer direct marketing of grass-fed products. In addition to the lipid research, Cyndi has been working to develop sustainable feeding strategies by enhancing forage quality through soil amendments and recently completed research on the effects of fodder feeding on rumen function. When she's not teaching class, managing the dairy, or doing research related activities, she’s writing, or providing support to the on-line educational database eOrganic (www.eorganic.info) where much of the most relevant work in organic dairy production is supported. Please check our new website at www.chicostateorganicdairy.com and www.csuchico.edu/grassfedbeef/
Mr. Mark Kopecky: Mark is the Soils Agronomist for Organic Valley and CROPP Cooperative. He has spent most of his life working in agriculture. After serving in the Marine Corps, Mark attended the University of Wisconsin-River Falls where he earned a Bachelor of Science in soil science and a minor in agronomy. He worked two years as a soil scientist with the Soil Conservation Service and then attended graduate school at UW-Madison where he completed a master’s degree in soil science. Mark worked for over 24 years an agriculture agent for UW-Extension providing education to farmers throughout Wisconsin, focusing on crop and soil management. In 2012, he accepted his current position, where he helps cooperative members and others to improve their crop and soil management skills. He and his family have operated a small grass based dairy farm in northern Wisconsin for over 20 years and have been members of Organic Valley since 2007.
Mr. Mark Kopecky: http://www.organicvalley.coop/
Dr. Timothy J. LaSalle: Dr. Timothy J. LaSalle is one of the most sought-after speakers on organics and sustainable farming today. As founder/director of New Era Agriculture, Tim LaSalle championed his science-based hope for a regenerative food system that will mitigate climate change and prevent famine. While serving as a professor at California Polytechnic State University, he also started and operated his own dairy farm and became involved with the California Agricultural Leadership Program. LaSalle soon became its CEO, where he arranged educational leadership programs in more than 80 countries with heads of state, ministers, community leaders, and became exposed and a student of many of humanity’s global challenges. LaSalle previously served as the first CEO of Rodale Institute, Executive Director of the Northwest Earth Institute an international organization dedicated to grassroots movements and he was the Executive Director of the Allan Savory Center for Holistic Management, an international non-profit who mission is to restore and regenerate deteriorating landscapes.