Goehring appoints four to organic advisory board

BISMARCK – Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring has appointed Heidi Demars, Bismarck; Daneen Dressler, Richardton; Wayne Mittleider, Tappen; and Theresa Podoll, Fullerton, to the North Dakota Organic Advisory Board.

“The board provides the North Dakota Department of Agriculture with information and ideas to better identify and meet organic industry needs,” Goehring said. “The members represent organic producers, processors, retailers, consumers and certifiers.”

Demars is a consumer representative on the board. She is a 2013 Bush Fellow currently organizing the BisMan Community Food Co-op.

Representing processors, Dressler is vice president and co-owner of Stone Mill, Inc., Richardton, and farms near Richardton, raising cattle and cash crops.

Mittleider, the chairman of the North Dakota Chapter 2 Organic Crop Improvement Association (OCIA) represents organic certifying agencies. He farms near Tappen, raising organic spring wheat, oats, flax, barley, buckwheat, lentils, corn and cattle.

Podoll represents specialty crop/vegetable producers. She is co-owner of Prairie Road Organic Farm in Fullerton, producing organic garden seeds, as well as seeds for rye, oats, millet and buckwheat for the organic grain market.

Middleider and Podoll will serve full, two-year terms; Demars and Dressler will fill out vacancies on the board.

The 16-member advisory board was established in 2006, following the publication of a federally-funded study, “The Status of Organic Agriculture in North Dakota.” The full text of the report is available at http://www.nd.gov/ndda/sites/default/files/legacy/resource/StatusOrganicAgND.pdf.

As of 2008, North Dakota ranked third among U.S. states in certified organic cropland acres. More information on the organic agriculture industry in North Dakota is available at www.ndorganics.nd.gov.