Sebastian Aguilar, Board President
Sebastian operates Chickadee Farm with his wife Kelly in Talent, OR, where they grow organic vegetable and flower seed for several national seed retailers. Sebastian and Kelly have operated their farm since 1998 and have three children. Sebastian is also assistant director of the Organic Farm School on Whidbey Island, which teaches beginning farmers small-scale organic commercial vegetable production and business skills. Sebastian has worked with OSA since 2008 through variety trial and breeding work, and as a volunteer board member.
Amy Grondin, Vice President
Since 1993, Amy Grondin has worked on boats in the Alaska Salmon industry as a fish buyer, micro-processor of wild salmon and a commercial fisherman. When not on the water, she is a Sustainable Seafood Consultant and Commercial Fishing Outreach Specialist. A long time member of Slow Food and the Chefs Collaborative, she advocates for sustainable local food systems and has great concern for the sustainability of ocean resources
Adrienne Shelton, Board Secretary
Adrienne is the Northeast Organic Product Specialist for Vitalis Organic Seeds. She earned a masters degree in Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics and a doctorate in Environment and Resources at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research included plant breeding for organic farming systems and intellectual property rights for public cultivars. Adrienne is proud to have participated in the breeding and release of Who Gets Kissed?, an open-pollinated sweet corn bred for and with organic farmers. She helped to organize the first Student Organic Seed Symposium in Vermont in 2012, and has been actively involved with the group ever since. Adrienne has been engaged with the organic farming movement as a farmer, organizer, seed saver, and researcher for 15 years.
Heron Breen, Board Member
Born, raised, and residing in the small central Maine town of Saint Albans, Heron’s plant “roots” derive from childhood chores in his family’s large back-to-the-lander gardens and high school summers spent working (or pretending to) on a local organic vegetable farm. An ongoing 19 year career at Fedco Seeds has engaged him in diverse elements of the retail seed business including various daily operations, managing trial programs, and catalog writing. His day job has run parallel to establishing a personal farm operation which focuses on seed production and plant breeding. Sharing the experiential skill sets and relevant history of seed work in the Northeast is Heron’s passion, and is proud to be a co-organizer of the Northeast Organic Seed Conference. He is honored to serve the seed community as an OSA board member, valuing the model of “alliance” as our greatest strength.
Zea Sonnabend, Board Member
Zea has been an organic farmer, gardener, inspector, educator, policy specialist, organizer, and consumer for the past 35 years. She farms 20 acres of mixed fruits and vegetable seed in Watsonville, CA (Fruitilicious Farm). Previously she grew older, wiser, and organic figs in Tehama County, CA, from 1982 – 1989. She is also currently an organic farm inspector and materials policy specialist for California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF). She helped write the first certification handbook and materials list for organic farming in California, is a founder of the Organic Materials Review Institute, and has worked for the USDA and NOSB as a contractor to develop the National List. She also just completed five years on the National Organic Standards Board. She is a lifetime member of Seed Savers Exchange and has taught classes in seed saving at the UC Davis Student Farm and at the UC Santa Cruz Farm and Garden. She has an M.S. in Plant Breeding from Cornell University.
Ira Wallace, Board Member
Ira is a worker/owner of the cooperatively managed Southern Exposure Seed Exchange where she coordinates variety selection and seed grower contracts. She is committed to increasing the number of small organic seed growers and supporting the formation of a southeastern seed growers cooperative. Ira is a member of Acorn Community which farms over 60 acres of certified organic land in Central Virginia, growing seeds, alliums, hay, and conducting variety trials for Southern Exposure. She is also a principal organizer of the Heritage Harvest Festival at Monticello, was involved with the SARE-sponsored Saving Our Seeds Project and organizes and presents at events sponsored by the Virginia Association of Biological Farmers (VABF), Virginia Master Gardeners, Carolina Farm Stewardship Association (CFSA), and Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (SSAWG).
Adam Wagner, Board Member
Adam Wagner is a native Oregonian. After college he spent several years as an organic farmer in Deadwood, Oregon, selling his crops to Organically Grown Company (OGC). After moving to Eugene he accepted a plant breeder position with Fall Creek Nursery, where he bred blueberries for ten years. During this time Adam continued farming, working with an experimental crop of late season blueberries via an Oregon specialty crops grant. In 2010, Adam brought his passion for organic agriculture back to OGC, this time as a sales representative. He also coordinated variety trials with OGC growers and seed companies. Adam recently returned to blueberry breeding by joining Oregon Blueberry Farms and Nursery as their head breeder. He serves as vice president of OSA’s board of directors.