Board of Directors

The MOSES Board of Directors provides governance to the organization.
A majority of the members are certified organic farmers.

David Abazs
David and his wife, Lise, own Round River Farm, a solar- and wind-powered farm and CSA in Finland, Minn. They direct Shalom Seed Sanctuary, a nonprofit organization for seed preservation. In addition to his fapmily farm, David manages Wolf Ridge Organic School Farm, which supplies produce for Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center, a K-12 school focused on environmental education. David and Lise were named “Lake County’s University of Minnesota Farm Family of 2013.”

Mike Bollinger
Mike and his wife, Katie, own and operate River Root Farm, a certified organic diversified produce and seed farm located near Decorah, Iowa. Their operation includes unheated high tunnels. They partner with Seed Savers Exchange and A.P. Whaley Seed Company to provide quality transplants, seed stock and new trial varieties. Mike has extensive experience in providing training and technical assistance in all aspects of organic farming. Mike is also the Co-Founder and Agriculture Specialist for Four Season Tools.

Sylvia Burgos Toftness
Sylvia and her husband, David, own and operate a 72-acre farm in western Wisconsin where they raise grass-fed beef. Sylvia has extensive public relations experience across many realms. She currently produces and co-hosts Deep Roots Radio, a show that connects the dots between the food on our tables and how it’s grown. She also writes From the Bronx to the Barn, a blog about her journey from city life to farming.

Dave Campbell
Dave and his wife, Mary, own and operate Lily Lake Organic Farm in northern Illinois. They grow a variety of small grains, along with corn, soybeans, and hay on their 224-acre certified organic farm. Dave recently completed a term on the SARE administrative council. He has served on a number of boards in the past, and has been very active with organic research and outreach activities throughout the Upper Midwest.

Darlene Coehoorn, Board Treasurer
Darlene, along with her husband, Dan, and their family, operate Viewpoint Organic Acres in Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin. They manage a 55 cow dairy along with 500 acres of cropland on which they grow all their feed as well as a variety of other crops, including vegetables for processing. Darlene is also the Midwest Regional Dairy Director for the National Farmers Organization.

Carmen Fernholz, Board President
Carmen and his wife, Sally, have a 400-acre certified organic farm, growing corn, soybeans, and various small grains including oats, wheat, barley and flax. His most recent activities, besides farming, center around a half-time appointment to the University of Minnesota as statewide Organic Research Coordinator. Carmen is also Vice Chair of Organic Farming Agency for Relationship Marketing (OFARM). He has served on a number of boards related to organic and sustainable agriculture.

Melinda Hemmelgarn, Board Secretary
Melinda is a Registered Dietitian, award-winning writer and host of the nationally syndicated Food Sleuth Radio show. She connects the dots between food, health and agriculture, and analyzes food and farming media messages to promote “food system literacy.” She is a member of the Organic Farming Research Foundation Board, and former Food & Society Policy Fellow. Melinda and her husband live in Columbus, Mo.

Nick Olson
Nick and his wife, Joan, own and operate Prairie Drifter Farm, a certified organic diversified vegetable farm in Litchfield, Minn. Nick is an organizer with Land Stewardship Project (LSP) where he works directly with beginning farmers through the Farm Beginnings program. Currently this work is focused on affordable secure land tenure and racial justice within our food and farming system, as well as leading LSP’s Farm Beginnings class component.

Margaret Smith, Board Vice President
Margaret and her husband, Doug Alert, manage a 950-acre organic farm in Iowa with row crops and small grains for food, feed, and seed; hay; and beef cows. Their two sons recently added pigs and sheep to the mix. Margaret also works for Iowa State University Extension with value-added agriculture, and beginning farmers transitioning to organic or other value-added enterprises. She also works internationally on behalf of women with small-scale farms. Margaret currently serves as an advisor to the board of the Iowa Organic Association.

Carla Wright
Carla is the Executive Director of the Organic Processing Institute. Prior to that, she worked in state government, including work in the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ Green Tier program. She is President of the Natural Heritage Land Trust, and serves on the board of 1000 Friends of Wisconsin. Her home in Dane County, Wis. is on 76 acres, part of which she permanently protected from development with a conservation easement.

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