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BOARD MEMBERS

The board of directors provides overall management of the fund. The board is made up of organic farmers, funders, Prairie government organic specialists, Prairie organic association representatives, a researcher and a member-at-large.
James Robbins
President/Farmer, SK
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Vacant
Vice President

Jim farms with his wife Nettie Wiebe near Laura, SK. Their farm has been certified organic since 1998. Jim and Nettie produce cereals, pulses, hay and finished cattle on 2400 ac. Jim is currently President of the Organic Federation of Canada. He is past President and Chair of OCIA International and is the current Chair of TCO Cert's Finance Committee. 

Janet Galarneau, Treasurer
Funder/PHS
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Vacant
Secretary

Janet, together with her husband, manages an organic farm operation. Her current position in the family business, Prairie Heritage Seed (PHS), is as Organic Liaison Officer. She has a background in accounting and started her 25 year career in agriculture as a lender. Janet is also on the Board of Directors of Organic Connections.

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Marika Dewar-Norosky
Manitoba Organics

Marika is the Executive Director of the Manitoba Organic Alliance. With a degree in Biosystems Engineering from the University of Manitoba and a strong connection to organic farming, Marika brings a unique blend of expertise and experience.  
 

Growing up on an organic grain farm in Western Manitoba, Marika developed a deep-rooted passion for sustainability and a strong desire to feed the world responsibly. Marika advocates for regenerative farming practices, promotes organic certification, and fosters partnerships within the industry. Beyond their professional achievements, Marika finds joy in exploring nature and actively participating in community initiatives. Continuously expanding their knowledge in sustainability, they stay at the forefront of advancements in the field

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Vacant
Organic Alberta
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Michelle Beckett 
Sask
Organics

Michelle grew up in a farming community in east central Saskatchewan that her parents converted to organic in the 90s. The farm has been certified organic for grain production continuously since then, and when her brother took over operations, he maintained organic certification. Michelle attended the University of Saskatchewan and earned a BA in Political Studies. In the years following, she moved to Calgary and began a career in digital media and marketing.

In 2017, Michelle moved back to Saskatoon and in 2018, founded a tech and digital media company. When she left the company in 2023, she took on a new challenge that brought her closer to her roots as Executive Director of SaskOrganics. With her background in business and media, Michelle hopes to help our producer members spread the good word of organics across the prairies.

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Jim Schoepp
Farmer, AB

Jim lives in Stony Plain, AB where he is a fourth generation farmer and entrepreneur. Jim began organic farming in 1996 with OCIA Chapter #1. Jim crops approximately 1200 ac of organic land and owns an organic retail store called Homegrown Foods Ltd. which now has 9 employees and has grown into 8000 sq ft of retail space. 

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Scott Shiels Funder/ Grain Millers

Scott Shiels has been in the grain industry since 1992, and has been the Canadian Grain Procurement Manager for Grain Millers since 2017. Scott grew up in the small farming community of Killarney, in southwestern Manitoba, and started his career with Paterson Grain in that same area of the province. He has been in Saskatchewan since 1996, and recently moved to an acreage outside of Yorkton. He and his wife Jenn have 5 children, along with 3 dogs and 3 cats.  

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Carrie-Anne Palmeri
Funder/Nature's Path

Carrie-Anne Palmeri resides in northern Vermont & central Mexico and currently serves as Organic Program Manager for Nature’s Path Foods, North America’s largest organic breakfast and snack food company, which produces Organic & Regenerative Organic Alliance certified foods sold around the world.  Carrie-Anne has devoted her career to furthering regenerative & organic agricultural development on a global scale, with particular focus in Latin America, through diverse roles in the private & governmental sectors of organic regulation, public advocacy & public education.  In her free time, she finds deep pleasure in mountaineering & gardening.

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Joanne Thiessen Martens
Researcher

Joanne Thiessen Martens is an assistant professor of soil chemistry and fertility in the Department of Soil Science at the University of Manitoba. Her research focuses on nutrient flows in agroecosystems, especially phosphorus dynamics in soils and plants as well as nutrient dynamics in all kinds of diversified farming systems. Much of her research and extension work has targeted organic and low-input systems, including phosphorus management and nutrient budgeting on organic farms. She lives in Winnipeg with her husband and two young adult children and enjoys reading, gardening, and spending time in the great outdoors.

Laura Telford
Government, MB

Laura is an Organic Industry Development Specialist with Manitoba Agriculture & Resource Development. She has a PhD from Queen's University in Kingston, ON and has been working in the organic sector since 2003. Her previous position was as national Director of Canadian Organic Growers in Ottawa, ON. Laura currently resides in Portage la Prairie, MB and works with the organic sector to build capacity and resilience.

Dunling Wang
Government, SK

Dunling is the Provincial Specialist, Alternative Cropping Systems in the Crops and Irrigation Branch of the Ministry of Agriculture in Regina. His major responsibility is to provide advice and technical support to alternative cropping systems producers, particularly those who are farming organically. His expertise includes soil fertility management, crop rotation and organic crop rotation design. Dunling obtained a BSc in soil science from Nanjing Agricultural University in China and received an MSc and PhD from the Department of Soil Science at the University of Saskatchewan. Prior to Government, Dunling worked as a research scientist at the Natural Research Council of Canada on water treatment and quality monitoring in municipal water infrastructure.

Marla Carlson
Grants Co-ordinator

Marla has worked in the organic sector in Saskatchewan since 2006 and has been an organic consumer since the mid-1990’s. She is a passionate advocate for healthier, more just and sustainable food systems across the Canadian Prairies. Marla has taken on many leadership roles in the agricultural sector including being SaskOrganics first Executive Director. Before moving back to Saskatchewan, Marla lived in England and worked for Bristol City Council as its first Democratic & Statutory Services Manager.
 

Marla is currently working with the Prairie Food System Vision Network a Rockefeller Foundation Food Systems Top Visionary Prize winner, a thirty-year project with a vision to decolonize the food system on the Canadian Prairies. She is also serving as President of Organic Connections and a Director on the boards of The Vilicus InstituteIFOAM Organics North America and Responsible Organic Customer Association (RoCA).

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