Phillips Mushroom Farms, Kennett Square, PA
Tina is a mycologist and the Technical Director of Phillips Mushroom Farms, a certified organic farm in Kennett Square, PA since 1995. She has served on the Board of Directors of several organizations including PCO, OMRI, NOSB, and USDA FVIAC. She lives and gardens with her farmer husband and various pets in beautiful Chester County, PA.
Lazy Dog Farms/Tuscarora Grain Co. LLC, PCO Certified, Mohrsville, PA
Andrew grew up working on his family farm in Central Pennsylvania. He attended Delaware Valley University and after working in the family business, he lived in Alaska for 3 years. Upon returning, Andrew took a position as an organic agronomist working to transition land in Pennsylvania. He then moved into marketing organic grain and began an agronomic consulting business. Andrew is a Certified Crop Advisor. Andrew is farming 50 organic acres and lives in Berks County with his wife, Kim and 3yr old son, Lukas.
Penn State Senior Project Associate, University Park, PA
Ron’s agricultural experience began with his upbringing on the family dairy, grain, and potato farm in Cambria County, PA. He now owns and operates a 50-acre hay farm that specializes in the horse hay market. Ron earned a BS in Agronomy from Delaware Valley University, and an MS in Agronomy from Penn State. He served as staff on Penn State’s Agronomy Department, then as staff at the University of Florida’s Plant Pathology Department before returning to Penn State in 2001. Ron currently coordinates on-farm research at Penn State in the Plant Sciences Department. Ron has a sound understanding of crop production practices in which organic farmers are engaged as well as a strong grasp on the numerous challenges faced by organic producers. Ron volunteers with the PA Agronomic Education Society, the Centre County Ag Land Preservation Board, the Knights of Columbus and the Collegiate Farm Bureau and Agronomy clubs at Penn State.
Kitchen Table Consultants, Bala Cynwyd, PA
Ted LeBow is the managing principal and co-founder of Kitchen Table Consultants, a growing 15 person, national, food and farm business management consulting firm, founded in 2009. They have provided advisory services to nearly 300 farms, food hubs, co-packers, e-commerce, DTC food marketers and non-profits in the local food sector. His roots are in farming; his first business was a farm in Idaho and his degree is from Cornell’s ag school. He’s a serial entrepreneur and has run 12 small businesses, owning all or part of six. His passion is helping business owners understand how they make a profit.
Professor, Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology, Penn State, University Park, PA
Beth has twelve years of extension and research experience in vegetable cropping systems. Her extension and adaptive research program focuses on the identification, epidemiology and management of important and emerging diseases of major vegetable crops in Pennsylvania and the Northeast region. She received her B.S. in Horticulture and M.S. and Ph.D. in Plant Pathology at Penn State. Before returning to Penn State in 2008, she was a post-doc at Cornell working with vegetable crops and soil health for four years. Beth is actively engaged with vegetable industry stakeholders across the state and has served in leadership roles with her Penn State Extension team as well as the Northeast Division of the American Phytopathological Society. She is also very engaged with mentoring graduate students and is currently serving as the Director of the Plant Pathology Graduate Program.
Penn State University, University Park, PA
Kristy grew up on a small family beef and poultry farm in Upstate New York and pursued formal education in sustainable agriculture on the east and west coast. Kristy currently serves as the Sustainable Agriculture Extension Educator and the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NE SARE) Coordinator for Pennsylvania at Penn State University. Kristy’s professional interests focus on diversifying cropping systems to manage soil fertility and plant nutrients in order to maintain soil and water quality. Her goal is to make science-based information about agroecosystems and value-added crop enterprises accessible. Kristy is also enthusiastic about improving knowledge about food production and human nutrition in rural and urban communities.
MOMs Organic Market – Gaithersburg, MD
Lisa has worked at MOM’s for the past 20 years and has been a driving force behind the growth of this independent chain of organic grocery stores. Her expertise includes organizational strategy, major initiative implementation and change management, employee engagement & development, category management, and merchandising & pricing strategies. Lisa has also had the unique opportunity to spearhead and implement various environmental initiatives, helping MOM’s drive its mission. Lisa earned her BS from the University of Vermont in Environmental Studies & Political Science, and her MBA from Johns Hopkins University. Outside of work Lisa enjoys teaching Tai Chi and traveling.
As Director of Agronomy and Field Process for Entoura CBD, Ross oversees farm relations, guides agronomic initiatives, and coordinates many aspects of Entoura’s hemp cultivation and harvest process. Hemp is a crop that is new to the US and fits well in any organic farming operation be it vegetables, hay, or grain crops. Ross’ background growing upon a dairy farm, teaching high school social studies, and farm management at Glasbern Inn and Rodale Institute, has provided him with keen insight and experience into working hemp into just about any farming operation. Ross has also taught classes at Delaware Valley University focusing on organic livestock, food, and fiber production and he has spoke at many conferences on theses subjects. Ross also raises a flock of grass-fed sheep with his family in Bucks County.
Bob Eberly has been involved with the organic food movement since the 1980s and has shown dedication to PCO’s mission from the time of its inception in 1997. A charter member of PCO, Bob has served as Board President, Board Member, and Standards Committee Member. Until June 2013 Bob served as the President of Eberly Poultry, an organic and specialty poultry business, family owned and operated since 1947. Bob has extensive experience in organic food processing, distribution, retail marketing and exporting. Bob takes great pride in his passionate tie to the organic movement as a longstanding member of the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture, the Organic Trade Association, PennAG and PCO.
Penn State University, University Park, PA
Betty Harper is an assistant director of learning outcomes assessment in the Office of Planning and Assessment at Penn State University. She supports faculty, program coordinators, and administrators across Penn State to develop and execute plans to assess student learning. Immediately prior to accepting this position December 2018, Betty served as PCO’s executive assistant, where she gained an understanding of PCO’s mission, organizational structure, and strategic goals, as well as working directly in support of its Board of Directors. Although Betty recently accepted an invitation to return to Penn State, where she previously worked for 19 years, her commitment to PCO, its staff and members, and its vision remains and she would very much like to continue to contribute to the pursuit of that vision.
Homestead Farms, Inc., Millington, MD
Luke and his wife Alison own and manage Homestead Farms Inc. of Millington, Maryland. They grow organic vegetables, grains and hay on approximately 450 acres of which 77 is owned. Their farm currently markets its produce through a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), local restaurants, farmers markets, and wholesale markets. Luke is also self-employed as a consultant for the organic industry. He has helped in marketing soil amendments and organic commodities throughout the east. He has worked with several national companies helping them with organic research, certification, sales and marketing. He recently finished his term as a Queen-Anne County Planning Commission member and has served two terms as a member of the Maryland Agriculture Commission. He is also a LEAD Maryland Fellow.
Rodale Institute – Kutztown, PA
Sam is the Lead Organic Crop Consultant with the Rodale Institute, an agricultural research and education center based in Kutztown, Pennsylvania. He is part of a new, collaborative effort to help farmers transition their agricultural operations from conventional to certified organic systems by providing direct consultations to farmers that need support throughout the transition period. This service is currently free to farmers in Pennsylvania. Sam has approximately 12 years of farming experience in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New York.
Oberweis Dairy, Newville, PA
Joe was raised in south-central PA. He began working for local farmers and selling produce when he was 14 years old. Since that time, much of his career has centered around food production and processing. In 2009 Joe joined a small creamery in Pennsylvania to market and sell their organic milk and other dairy products throughout eastern US. By 2019 they grew from a brand presence in approximately 150 stores to their products being sold in over 1,700 locations. Today, Joe is working with several food brands to develop their marketing and grow sales opportunities in an ever-changing retail environment.
Boyd Station, LLC, Danville, PA
Spencer Miller currently works as the organic grain/oil seed merchandiser at Boyd Station LLC in Danville, PA. Spencer holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Agribusiness Management and a minor in Poultry Sciences from Penn State University. He has been involved with organic grain and feed ingredients for over 5 years and has managed organic chicken farms. Spencer’s areas of expertise include organic soybeans, organic corn, and organic grain marketing. Spencer plays an important role in the organic grain industry by supporting organic grain farmers and is committed to the continued growth of organic acreage in Pennsylvania. Spencer lives in Reinholds, Pennsylvania.
Proximity Malt, Milford, DE
Mike Spangler was raised in the small town of New Freedom, PA. While Mike did not grow up on a farm, his parents owned a Nursery and Garden. Center and Mike worked for the farmer that tended the land. This experience established Mike’s interest in agriculture and in 1996 he started studying at Penn State University focused on an Agricultural Business Management degree. Upon completion, and for the next 17 years, Mike worked for various agricultural companies such as Perdue AgriBusiness, Lansing Trade Group, and Cargill Animal Nutrition. Mike held manager/director positions in grain trading, handling, pro-cessing, and business development. Mike is currently with Laurel Grain Company.
Kristy Borrelli, Ross Duffield, Beth Gugino, Betty Harper, Luke Howard, Ronald Hoover, Ted LeBow, Mike Spangler
Lisa de Lima, Bob Eberly, Tina Ellor, Samuel Malriat, Joe Miller, Spencer Miller, Andrew Smyre
Advisory board members serve a 3-year term, with a limit of 2 consecutive terms.
Our policies require that no more than half the board members can be PCO-certified (or related in a way that violates the conflict of interest provision in the NOP regulations). That allows us to have a maximum of 7 certified producers on the board, plus a minimum of 8 others who are independent.
For the non-certified seats, we can invite organic producers who are certified by another agency, someone from Penn State Ag Extension or NRCS, another non-profit ag organization, consumer or environmental group, a college, ag supply company, consumer, veterinarian, inspector, etc.
Nominations can also be made by PCO members and PCO advisory board members. PCO will accept nominations via mail, email and phone.
Board members are selected by the membership at the Annual Meeting.
Advisory board members should be good communicators and be willing to contribute to the organization, chair committees, help at events, etc.
Advisory board nominees must submit an advisory board application by November 15th prior to the next election.
The next advisory board term begins on the first board meeting following the election.
The advisory board meets quarterly. Typically, meetings take place at the PCO office in Spring Mills, PA or at other venues in the central PA area. In-person attendance is preferred but members may attend by phone or web connection. (Travel expenses are reimbursed upon request.)
PCO typically holds an overnight strategic planning retreat in conjunction with the fall board meeting.
PCO participates in training events, field days, trade shows, and other events. PCO expects advisory board members to participate in events when possible.