Our advisors include leaders in the organic food and agriculture community who see our work as critical to the success of organic food systems.
Matthew Dillon, Seed Matters
Matthew is co-founder of Organic Seed Alliance and was OSA's first executive director from 2003-2007. He worked with staff to launch the Organic Seed Growers Conference and other educational seed programs, as well as the first participatory organic plant breeding program in the U.S. Dillon went on to serve as OSA’s Director of Advocacy, expanding OSA's work on addressing seed concentration and contamination, and developing new support for farmer-based organic seed systems. In 2010 he co-authored State of Organic Seed, a report to assess and address opportunities and challenges of organic seed systems. He currently leads the Clif Bar Family Foundation initiative -- Seed Matters -- an innovative collaboration between OSA, Organic Farming Research Foundation, and the Center for Food Safety to protect and improve organic seed and genetic diversity, promote farmers’ roles and rights as seed innovators, and reinvigorate public plant breeding.
Frederick Kirschenmann, Ph.D., Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture
Fred is a longtime leader in national and international sustainable agriculture and Distinguished Fellow for the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University. From July 2000 to November 2005, he served as the Center's second director since its creation in 1987. Kirschenmann came to the Center from south central North Dakota where he operated his family's 3,500-acre certified organic farm. Kirschenmann holds a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Chicago, and has written extensively about ethics and agriculture. He has held national and international appointments, including the USDA's National Organic Standards Board. He also is a board member for the Food Alliance, Silos and Smokestacks National Heritage Area, The Nature Institute, and the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture at the Rockefeller Center in New York. He chairs and is a charter member of the Whiterock Conservancy, a nonprofit organization that manages a 1,300-acre conservation area in west-central Iowa.
Bob Scowcroft, Consultant
Bob has successfully transitioned from a “retirement” state of mind into a more active composition of consultant, volunteer and advocacy oriented activities. He currently serves as a Trustee of the Nell Newman Foundation Inc and sits on four non-profit advisory boards. He previously served as Executive Director of the Organic Farming Research Foundation, a national organization, based in Santa Cruz, California. It was co-founded by Bob and two certified organic farmers in 1990. In the nearly 20 years Bob directed OFRF, it awarded over $2,400,000 in support of over 320 organic research and education projects. The results of which were shared with over 15,000 organic farmers and ranchers throughout North America. During Bob’s tenure OFRF had an active policy, research, and publishing program, and it disseminated information on all sectors of the organic product industry to the public at large. Bob averaged 200 media interviews and over 15 conference presentations on all subjects “organic” annually. He sat on five Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) advisory boards. He resigned and retired from OFRF at the end of 2010. Prior to working for OFRF, he was the first full time Executive Director of California Certified Organic Farmers (1987-1992); before that he served in the Friends of the Earth’s San Francisco office as their national organizer with a primary focus on pesticide reduction and organic farming advocacy (1979-1985).
Mike Dickerson is Executive Vice President and a co-founder of Craft3. Mike has over 35 years of experience in community development and non-profit management. Since joining Craft3 in July 1994, he has focused on fisheries, agriculture, food systems, Indian Country and community/organizational capacity building. Mike and Craft3 have been a collaborator, partner and advisor of OSA for a number of years and previously assisted in development of our last two business plans.
From 1989 to 1994, Mike was Executive Director of the Washington Association for Community Economic Development. From 1984 to 1989 Mike was Manager of Program Development for the Seattle/King County Private Industry Council. Previous experience includes Director of a community development corporation, Alaska DNR, and small business owner. Mike attended The Evergreen State College where he majored in Public Policy and Economics.
Craft3, a non-profit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), was founded in 1995 with a mission to strengthen economic, ecological and family resilience in Pacific Northwest communities. Craft3 currently manages approximately $175 million in total assets and has invested over $243 million in people and communities of the Pacific Northwest. Learn more at www.craft3.org.
“We know system diversity is one of the foundation stones to successful organic production and we have seen a demonstrated commitment from OSA to build that component of diversity relating to seed. I want to ensure my dollars to on-the-ground projects, a place where an emphasis to make an enduring difference is part of the mandate and where my dollars can be leveraged to build a stronger, healthier food system around the world.”