A founding member of the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York (NOFA-NY), Brian Caldwell, was recently appointed to a five-year term on the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Organic Standards Board (NOSB).
The NOSB is a 15-member volunteer board of organic industry representatives. Established by the Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA), the NOSB makes recommendations on issues related to the production, handling, and processing of organic products. The NOSB also has sole statutory authority to recommend adding or removing materials from the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances, which dictates the inputs that can be used in organic production.
Brian Caldwell has been farming organically since the 1970s, when he founded Hemlock Grove Farm in West Danby, Tompkins County, New York. He has worked in several roles with Cornell University, including as an Extension Agent and as a field manager for the Cornell Organic Cropping Systems Project.
Caldwell currently serves on advisory boards for the Groundswell Incubator Farm and the Ithaca Youth Farm, as well as on the board of the New York Tree Crops Alliance. He is the author of two books and numerous journal articles on organic cropping systems, organic vegetable production, and organic pest and disease management.
Caldwell will serve on the board in a public/consumer advocate role. The NOSB is composed of four organic producers, three consumer advocates, three resource conservationists, two handlers or processors, one retailer, one scientist, and one USDA-accredited certifying agent. NOSB members are appointed by the US Secretary of Agriculture for a five-year term.
Founded in 1983, the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York (NOFA-NY) is a statewide organization dedicated to organic agriculture. NOFA-NY provides education and outreach to farmers, consumers, and gardeners; advocates for a fair food system at the state and federal levels; and is the largest USDA-accredited organic certifier in New York State. More information can be found on their website.