Executive Board


Robert Edmiston

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Julia Barton

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Charles Merinoff

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Glenn Murer

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Anna Jones-Crabtree

Vilicus Farms Learn More ➔

Jesse Buie

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Hugh Kent

King Grove Organic Farm Learn More ➔

Liz Graznak

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Paul Muller

Full Belly Farm Learn More ➔
Francis Thicke, a white man, stands in field

Francis Thicke

Radiance Dairy Learn More ➔

Dave Chapman

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Other Boards

Advisory Board

Standards Board

REAL grey letters

Why the Real Organic Project exists

The Real Organic Project is a farmer-led movement created to distinguish soil-grown and pasture-raised products under USDA organic. In response to the lack of enforcement of some vital USDA Organic standards to protect soil health and animal welfare, organic farmers rallied together to fight to protect the integrity of the organic label. Organic farming has always been based on “feed the soil, not the plant.”

Real organic farming relies on the microbial activity of the soil to slowly release nutrients to the plant. In recent years, many organic farmers have grown distraught over USDA decisions that have negated this fundamental truth, even though growing in soil is original to the USDA Organic standards. Further, rules have been overlooked regarding the proper care of grazing animals resulting in cruel and unhealthy circumstances.

Where things stand today

The lobbying efforts of Big Ag ultimately won, allowing the input-dependent confined animal operations and hydroponic industries to bend the rules for their own benefit. Family farmers meeting the letter and spirit of organic law are suffering while consumers are once again in need of transparency in the market place.

Our Team


Caroline Wright

Midwest Regional Inspector Learn More ➔

Melissa Phillips

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Aaron Flamini

Sales & Marketing Director – Joint Venture with Naturland Learn More ➔

James Longanecker

Director of Certification Learn More ➔

Averil Lemper

Certification Coordinator/Inspector + Special Projects Assistant Learn More ➔

Brandon StCyr

Video Producer Learn More ➔

Jenny Prince

Podcast Producer Learn More ➔

Jessica Roberts

Associate Director of Certification Learn More ➔

Lauren Boling

Database Administrator Learn More ➔

Dave Chapman

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Linley Dixon

Co-Director Learn More ➔