OMRI Board of Directors
The OMRI Board of Directors broadly represents the constituencies of the organic industry with members selected from the community of certifiers, farmers, suppliers, processors and handlers, and organizations serving consumer and environmental interests. The board is the highest governing body at OMRI. It determines OMRI policy and standards and plays an active part in guiding OMRI in its public service role and in carrying out its mission, but rarely considers individual products. While board members may have vested interests in OMRI Listed suppliers, applicants, or potential applicants, board members recuse themselves from discussions and decisions related to products or companies where a conflict exists.
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Chair, Roxanne Beavers, Quality Assurance International (QAI), Ontario, Canada
Roxanne is a Senior Reviewer and Inspector at Quality Assurance International (QAI), where she learns more every day while working with organic food producers in Canada, the U.S. and around the world. She holds a Master of Science (Agriculture) from Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, gained from working on research with the Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada. She is an IOIA-trained organic inspector for farms and handlers in Canada, and worked for several certifiers prior to joining QAI in 2014. Roxanne has been a member of the Canadian Organic Standards Technical Committee, with a current focus on Processing and Handling Materials. Her passion for helping growers source allowable inputs grew during her work with the Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network, supporting farmers transitioning to organic.
Vice Chair, Chris Grigsby, MOFGA Certification Services, Appleton, Maine
Chris is currently the Certification Director for MOFGA Certification Services (MCS), holding the position since 2016. Born and raised in Maine, Chris settled back in his home state after college and began managing food production and distribution businesses. For seven years he was the General Manager at the Belfast Co-op, Maine's oldest and largest retail cooperative. Chris is a strong advocate for local and regional food systems, as well as the integrity of the USDA organic standards. He has represented MOFGA, MCS and Main organic producers at National Organic Standards Board meetings, recently presenting to the board as part of a technical panel on marine materials. Chris and his wife operate a small certified organic blueberry operation, Appleton Fruit and Flower.
Secretary, Leslie Touzeau, Quality Certification Services, Florida
Leslie is the Material Review Manager for Quality Certification Services (QCS), where she enjoys working with and learning from organic producers and her colleagues in the organic industry. Based in DeLand, Florida, but born and raised in Missouri, Leslie holds a Master’s degree from the University of Missouri, where her research explored the experiences and barriers to entry into agriculture for young Black farmers in the Midwest and Southeast. Leslie has more than 10 years’ experience in organic agriculture, first as a certified organic vegetable and livestock producer, then as a researcher, grant writer and educator. Leslie is an advocate for organic producers, and she has served on the Farmer Rancher Grant Review Committee for North Central Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education, founded a chapter of the National Young Farmers Coalition in Missouri, and represents QCS producers at National Organic Standards Board meetings.
Treasurer, Rick Geise, Darling Ingredients, Inc., Cincinnati, Ohio
For over 20 years, Rick has managed Nature Safe Natural & Organic Fertilizer for Darling Ingredients, Inc. (formerly Griffin Industries), based in the Greater Cincinnati area. His responsibilities include product and market development, customer service and marketing in the support of organic agriculture, golf course and sports turf maintenance, lawn care, nursery/greenhouse needs, and both domestic and international merchandising. He has worked with OMRI since the 1990s, listing many different organic fertilizer products. Rick believes that the role OMRI plays in ensuring product integrity is critical to building the consumer confidence necessary for the continued growth of organic agriculture.
Silvia Abel-Caines, Ph.D., Organic Valley, Hanover Park, Illinois
Dr. Silvia Abel-Caines is a veterinarian with a Ph.D. in Ruminant Nutrition. She has assisted organic farmers for more than twelve years, addressing the challenges of farming in harmony with nature. She has been a staff technical consultant for Continental Grain, Wayne Feeds and Hubbard Feeds, and currently works with Organic Valley. She has authored and co-authored research papers on improving milk fatty acid profiles, and the nutritional value of grass-fed milk. Her professional objective is to provide national and international audiences with education on the value of growing food using regenerative practices, with the end goal of increasing the access of rural and urban communities to nutrient-dense food. Her whole-farm approach to solving animal health and nutritional challenges are rooted in soil health and high-quality forage production. Dr. Silvia also owns a certified-organic farm, leads a local community garden, and is an international volunteer with USAID, NCBA, CRS Farmer-to-Farmer and Train-the-Trainer programs.
Deirdre Birmingham, Ph.D., The Cider Farm, Mineral Point, Wisconsin
Deirdre is a certified organic grower in Wisconsin, specializing in English and French cider apples used to produce a line of apple brandy and hard ciders. She has been involved in the organic movement for 20 years, having been the first executive director of Georgia Organics; a co-founder and manager of the Midwest Organic Tree Fruit Growers Network; 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. Deirdre 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.
Becky Gretebeck, All Seasons Farm, Cashton, Wisconsin
Becky and her husband own and operate All Seasons Farm in southwest Wisconsin, a 100% grass-fed, certified organic dairy farm that is home to cows, llamas and goats. She has strong roots in the dairy industry, having grown up on the same farm. This adds to her big-picture perspective on supply chains, from the soil to the shelf. In addition to their dairy operation, Becky, her husband and two children spend summers showing livestock and operate a pick-your-own pumpkin patch in autumn. Becky holds a B.S. in Food Science, and is currently the President of a feed company. She has more than 15 years of operations experience, including research and development, procurement, commercialization and supply chain oversight. Throughout her career, she has worked for Century Foods (now owned by Hormel), Organic Valley, Brookside Flavors, and Good Culture. She is also an avid runner and likes to participate in Ragnar relay races, half marathons and marathons.
Keith Jones, Biological Products Industry Alliance (BPIA), Vienna, Virginia
Keith Jones currently serves as Executive Director of Biological Products Industry Alliance (BPIA). Previously, he was executive director of a land trust focused on watershed protection and environmental education. He has served as general counsel to several organizations, including a national environmental trade association, and one of the largest public water utility companies in the United States. Keith has published articles in various academic journals and speaks regularly around the world on a variety of topics. He holds a B.A. in Communications from Rider University, a J.D. from the Temple University School of Law, and an M.S. in Environmental Studies from the University of Pennsylvania.
Matt Landi, Vermont Way Foods, Vermont
In August 2021 Matt returned to his home state of Vermont to take on the newly created role of Director of Brand and Business Development for Vermont Way Foods. Matt attended the University of Vermont, earning a degree in Political Science with a minor in Environmental Studies. It was there, in the late 1990s, where he also discovered what would become his livelihood of working in the organic food and agricultural trade. Since that time, Matt has served the organic trade through a diverse array of activities on both the east and west coast of the United States. His stops have included retail work at City Market/Onion River Cooperative (Burlington, VT) and New Leaf Community Markets (Santa Cruz, CA), as well as distribution at Organically Grown Company (Eugene, OR) and Awe Sum Organics (Felton, CA). At one point, he also authored a monthly column on food and agriculture for the Santa Cruz Sentinel called “County Bounty.” Throughout his career, Matt has worked to support business practices that encourage a positive outcome for every link in the supply chain, working with organic growers of many scales and focus areas from tree fruit to row crops.
Scott Rice, Organic Trade Association (OTA), Washington, DC
Scott Rice has more than 20 years’ experience in the organic industry. He currently serves as the Organic Trade Association’s Regulatory Director, where he is the lead on issues related to organic certification, accreditation and material review. Previously, Scott worked with the Washington State Department of Agriculture Organic Program, where he coordinated the program’s USDA accreditation, conducted input material reviews, and aided certified businesses in navigating international trade challenges. He served a five-year term as the certifier representative on the National Organic Standards Board, and as chair of the Accredited Certifiers Association. Scott lives in Portland, Oregon, where he enjoys the region’s rich organic bounty.