Emily Rose Haga, Board President
Emily Rose Haga is a gardener, seed saver, and plant breeder. Her love for plants was sown by her Appalachian grandmother, whose stories and foodways imprinted her heart with seeds that quickly sprouted into a healthy curiosity about where food comes from and how it’s grown. This early interest was further nurtured while working at local CSA farms and health food co-ops in Wisconsin, which inspired her to pursue a BS in Horticulture and MS in Plant Breeding & Genetics at UW-Madison. After graduating, she went on to create new and improved varieties of peppers and tomatoes at Johnny’s Selected Seeds, helping meet the needs of mixed market farmers and avid home gardeners by selecting specialty types for organic adaptations. She then served as the Executive Director at Seed Savers Exchange, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and sharing America’s heirloom and open-pollinated garden heritage. Currently she continues to support the organic seed community as an advisor and plant breeding consultant, also volunteering her time to UW-Madison’s WARF/WCIA/CALS Germplasm Committee in support of public plant breeding and OSA’s board to help further their mission in advancing ethical seed solutions.
Amy Grondin, Board 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
Benjamin Uchitelle-Pierce, Board Secretary
Benjamin Uchitelle-Pierce was born in Illinois, USA and is honored to be of service to the OSA community. He believes seeds hold the shared story of our past, and the keys to our collective future. Benjamin works with HarvestPlus to build resilient and nutritious food systems by bridging the gaps between agriculture, nutrition, and health. He works collaboratively to tackle hidden hunger on a global scale.
John Foster, Board Treasurer
John has been active in the organic community and industry for 30+ years. He spent 12 years working in organic inspection and certification throughout North America and 11 years with Earthbound Farm, starting with the founders and ending his time there as the Director of Supply Chain Strategy under ownership by Danone NA. John has served on various industry Boards and Committees since 2000 and served on the National Organic Standards Board as a Handler Representative from 2010-2015. In the last several years, he has consulted in Strategic Business Development, Change Management, Organic R&D, Carbon Sequestration, and Climate Change Mitigation. In 2020, he partnered with Bill Wolf and Wolf & Associates to build out the capacity and reach of the firm’s business. John is best known for his un-stereotyped problem-solving skills, thirst for applicable knowledge and esoterica alike, appreciation for absurdity and abstraction in all their forms, and squeezing in quotes from The Big Lebowski into everyday conversations. He revels in bringing the benefits of organic theory and practice to as many as possible and serving as a catalyst for positive change.