Western Organic Dairy Producers Alliance

Robert Mensonides (wodpadairy@gmail.com)

Robert joined the WODPA organization in Febuary 2019 as the Executive Director. 

Rob grew up on a dairy farm in Western Washington and is the eldest of four bothers

and the son of a Dutch immigrant.  Rob studied at Washington State University and

earned a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture Economics with an emphasis in Animal

Science and marketing.  While attending WSU, he played football and baseball for the

Cougs and served as President for FarmHouse Fraternity, he also had the opportunity to be a member of CUDS (Cooperative University Dairy Students) where he helped manage the University Dairy herd.

Rob meet his wife of 21 years, Kami, at WSU while studying the same degree.  They have a daughter, Mika, in her senior year at WSU now, and a 13-year-old son, Robbie, who is eating everything they can put in front of him and drinking a lot of Organic milk!  In 2005, Rob and Kami started their own small organic farming operation in Eastern Washington on the farm Kami grew up on.  They grow organic hay, corn, silage and small grains.  

After graduation from WSU in 1997, Rob worked as a feed consultant for Cargill Feeds in Washington, and then in California.  When the opportunity came up to move a little closer to the Pacific Northwest, Rob took a nutrition feed consultant position with Land O’Lakes Purina Feeds in Idaho in 1999.  In 2006, Rob joined Agri-King and soon after entered a management position, where he helped grow the brand in the new PNW area. Working as a consultant with Dairy Nutrition Management Consulting and ISF also kept him connected with the dairy industry over the past several years.

Rob has been active with important organizations such as the Washington State Farm Bureau, Washington State FFA Foundation Board, Washington State Hay Growers Association Board, and the Washington Ag Forestry Leadership Program as a Class 37 graduate. These experiences has helped lay a great foundation for his position as Executive Director for WODPA.  

Ward Burroughs, California (vista@fire2wire.com)     
Ward dairies in Merced County with his wife Rosie, daughter Christina and her Brian Bylsma and son Zeb and his wife Meridith Burroughs. Ward is on the board for his thrid time, previously serving as second vice president from 2007-2010. He is a 1974 graduate in Farm Management from Cal Poly, SLO. California Cloverleaf Dairy and Full Circle Dairy ship their milk to Organic West.
Sean Mallett,  Idaho 
208-308-2590 (seanmallett@msn.com)
Sean Mallett and his wife Staci own Harmony Organic Dairy in Twin Falls, Idaho. They have been certified organic since 2007 and  producing organic milk since January 2008. Harmony is a grazing dairy utilizing Management Intensive Grazing (MIG) practices on diverse pastures.  Like the pastures, the cowherd is filled with diverse breeds suitable for the grazing .  In his free time, Sean enjoys spending time with his children - Spencer, Sawyer and Savannah - out in Nature.  Sean's Motto: "Treat the Earth Well...It was not given to us by our Grandparents, but lent to us by our children."

Richard Mathews (rhmathews51@comcast.net)

 (717) 457- 0100

Richard joined WODPA as its first Executive Director on May 15, 2013. He has nearly 34 years of experience serving American Agriculture through various USDA positions and programs. He was the lead regulation writer responsible for the second proposed rule and final rule establishing the National Organic Standards. Shortly after publication of the organic final rule, Richard was promoted to the Program Manager/Associate Deputy Administrator of the National Organic Program. He also researched and wrote pasture and other livestock provisions providing clarity and specificity to the NOP livestock standards. 

Executive Director

Upon graduating from California State University, Chico in 2006, Darby became manager of the newly transitioning organic dairy at the Chico State University Farm. The Chico State Organic Dairy milks 85 cross bred cows and uses a seasonal calving, grass based system.

Ex Officio

Tony Schilter, Washington (sunny@localaccess.com)
Tony and his wife Sunny, dairy in Lewis County, in Chehalis, Washington with their son Lonny and his wife Michelle, who are partners in the family business. Lonny is a graduate of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Lonny and Michelle plan to carry on the family dairying tradition. They milk about 250 Holstein cows and run about 250 head of young stock. Tony and Lonny focus heavily on milk quality and have had many years of success. They started shipping to Horizon Organic in 2006. Tony has served on several Boards throughout the years including Farm Credit Board of Directors, Dairgold Board of Directors, and has more than 30 years of service with the USDA Soil Conservation Board. Tony was nominated as Treasurer of WODPA in the Fall of 2013. Tony and Sunny have two sons and one daughter. Wendy, their daughter attended Cal Poly San Lois Obispo, then received her Masters from the University of Florida. She now lives in Illinois and is a counselor at Freeport Community College. Tony and Sunny's youngest son, Monty is a graduate of Virginia Tech where he studied Agriculture Economics, he is now in upper management within Darigold. 



Darby Heffner, California (WODPA@outlook.com)   

2nd Vice President

Vice President



Jennifer Beretta, Santa Rosa, CA

Beretta Dairy is located in Santa Rosa, CA. They milk about 300 Holstein and Jersey cows. We have about 400 acres 
total, 150 are designated for the endangered flowers so we are unable to irrigate those, but are able to irrigate 250 acres for pasture. We are able to make silage our self and also are able to cut hay on some of our ground for a 2nd and 3rd cutting. We are able to irrigate the pastures in the summer which allows grazing through the summer where many dairies around the area are not able to because they are dependent on rainfall. The dairy has been in operation for 55 years, we have been shipping organic milk to Wallaby for 8 years. 

Policy Consultant 

Ryan Mensonides, Enumclaw WA
Ryan, a 5th generation dairy farmer, is the son of a Dutch immigrant and has a long history of farming in
his background.  He is a Washington State University graduate who holds a degree in Public Relations and a minor in Marketing.  He spent 15 years in the dairy feed sales and nutrition business in the states of California and Washington before starting his own dairy.     
Ryan and his wife Haylee, along with their 4 sons: Luke (9), Noah (8),  Jacob (5), and Titus (2) have owned
and operated Providence Farms since 2012.   Providence Farms is now a 300 cow organic dairy farm nestled in the foothills of Mount Rainier in Washington State. The bulk of the herd are Jersey cows with some Holstein and Normandy cattle mixed in. The Mensonides family started on a rented farm that they then purchased in the summer of 2017.  Providence Farms has been a member of Organic Valley since conception in 2012.  We focus heavily on pasture and milk quality and are passionate about education and promoting the value of dairy to our community.