2018 PCO Board Ballot

PCO Members

Participate in PCO 2018 Voting!

………..Due Date Extended………..

………..to January 19th, 2017………..

PCO Board Members:

PCO’s Board of Directors is comprised of an Advisory Board and Managing Board. The Advisory Board has a maximum of seven members, including those who are PCO certified or otherwise have a conflict of interest with the organization. The non-certified board members comprise the Managing Board, whose members must not have any conflicts of interest and has a maximum of eight members. We have designated certified and non-certified nominees in the biographies.

Current Board Members whose terms have not expired are listed for reference but do not appear on the ballot. Only new nominees and board members for re-election are included on the ballot.

Farmer’s Advisory Council:

As a member of the Organic Trade Association (OTA), PCO recently also became a member of OTA’s Farmers Advisory Council (FAC). FAC provides the OTA Board of Directors and staff with input from organic farmers and ranchers on matters pertinent to the advancement of organic agriculture. Established in 2013, FAC was designed to formalize and improve communication between OTA and organic producers. The responsibilities of the council representatives are to attend and participate in FAC meetings. There are usually 2-3 conference calls per year, and one in-person meeting in Washington D.C. in conjunction with the OTA Policy Conference. PCO has filled 2 of the 3 available seats on the council and the membership may vote on the 3rd representative. There are no nominees for this seat so write in’s are welcome. This is a great opportunity to represent PCO and engage with farmers from across the country.

If you have questions about voting, please contact Diana Underwood, Diana@paorganic.org, 814-422-0251 or any governance committee member listed below. Thank you very much for your participation in this important task!

Best regards,

PCO Governance Committee

Ron Hoover, Chair 814.777.4785

Bob Eberly: 717.940.6384

Luke Howard: 414.708.3105

Michael Ranck: 717.363.1078

~Board Ballot follows bios~

2018 PCO Board Biographies Nominee Biographies


Ross Duffield

Rodale Institute, Kutztown, PA

As Farm Manager at the Rodale Institute, Ross oversees the Farm Operation and Facilities department and leads a team of nearly a dozen staff with expertise in orchard and vegetable production, small and large grain production, livestock management including honeybees, and general construction. Ross teaches workshops and classes including a three credit course titled Organic Livestock Management at Delaware Valley University where he is an adjunct professor. Ross travels to conferences and speaking engagements where he provides presentations supporting organic production and research at the institute.

Tina Ellor

Phillips Mushroom Farms, Kennett Square, PA

Tina is a mycologist and the Technical Director of Phillips Mushroom Farms, a certified organic farm in Kennett Square, PA since 1995. She has served on the Board of Directors of several organizations including PCO, OMRI, NOSB, and USDA FVIAC. She lives and gardens with her farmer husband and various pets in beautiful Chester County, PA.

Andrew Smyre

Anchor Ingredients/Precizion Ag LLC Marketing and Consulting, Mohrsville, PA

Andrew grew up working on his family farm in Central Pennsylvania. He attended Delaware Valley University and after working in the family business, he lived in Alaska for 3 years. Upon returning, Andrew took a position as an organic agronomist working to transition land in Pennsylvania. He then moved into marketing organic grain and began an agronomic consulting business. Andrew is a Certified Crop Advisor and has his Pennsylvania Nutrient Management License. Andrew is farming 50 organic
acres and lives in Berks County with his wife, Kim and 1yr old son, Lukas.


Beth Gugino

Penn State University, University Park, PA

Beth has twelve years of extension and research experience in vegetable cropping systems. Her extension and adaptive research program focuses on the identification, epidemiology and management of important and emerging diseases of major vegetable crops in Pennsylvania and the Northeast region. Beth is actively engaged with vegetable industry stakeholders across the state and has served in leadership roles with her Penn State Extension team as well as the Northeast Division of the American
Phytopathological Society. She is also very engaged with mentoring graduate students and is currently serving as the Director of the Plant Pathology Graduate Program.

Ronald Hoover

Penn State University, University Park, PA

Ron is a Senior Project Associate and affiliate instructor in the department of Plant Sciences in Penn State University’s College of Agricultural Sciences. He coordinates the on-farm research program that provides Pennsylvania farmers the opportunity to participate in applied research on their farms. Ron also teaches a grain crops management course. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Pennsylvania Agronomic Education Society and the Halfmoon Township Open Space Preservation Board. He is co-advisor for the Penn State Collegiate Farm Bureau Club and actively participates in the Knights of Columbus fundraising committee, the Good Shepherd Catholic Church fundraising committee, and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Nittany Mountain chapter fundraising committee.

Luke Howard

Homestead Farms, Inc., Millington, MD

Luke and his wife Alison own and manage Homestead Farms Inc. of Millington, Maryland. They grow organic vegetables, grains and hay on approximately 650 certified organic acres of which 300 is owned. They also contract grow about 700,000 organic chickens per year. Luke is also self-employed as a consultant for the organic industry. He has worked with several national companies helping them with organic research, certification, sales and marketing. He recently served as a member of the Maryland Agriculture Commission and the Queen-Anne County Planning Commission. Luke is currently President of PCO and has served on the board for two years.

Ted Lebow

Kitchen Table Consultants, Bala Cynwyd, PA

Ted LeBow is a serial entrepreneur, has a BS from Cornell’s Ag School, has run 14 businesses, and owned all or part of 8. His first business venture (in 1980) was a farm in Idaho where he bought his first tractor, signed his first loan with the Production Credit Association and started waking up in the middle of the night worrying about the rain ruining his hay crop. He runs and co-founded Kitchen Table Consultants a business management consulting practice that serves sustainable food and farm related companies. Ted’s passion is financial sustainability.

Ponniah Selvakumar

Gaps EcoSys, Broomall, PA

Dr. Selvakumar is a CEO of GAPS EcoSys in Broomall, PA. GAPS EcosSys is focused on providing organic materials for horticulture and food grade coconut oil to the human and pet industry. Dr. Selvakumar is trained as a cancer biologist and has 70 research publications in the field of cancer biology and microbial food enzymes (food processing). Dr. Selvakumar has worked in Japan, Canada and USA and delivered presentations at various associations/horticultural clubs including PennState Master Garner’s club, Tri-state orchid societies, CannaCon, and CannaGrow.



Current Board Members

Advisory Board:

Preston Boop

Briar Patch Organic, Mifflinburg, PA

Tina Ellor

Phillips Mushroom Farms, PCO Certified, Kennett Square, PA

Tim Joseph

Maple Hill Creamery, Stuyvesant, NY

Joe Miller

Trickling Springs Creamery, Newville, PA

Michael Ranck

Charvin Organic Farm, PCO-Certified, Mifflin, PA

Tony Ricci, Managing Board

Green Heron Farm, Three Springs, PA

Mike Spangler

Earth Source Trading, Lancaster, PA

Managing Board:

Kristy Borelli

Penn State University, University Park, PA

Robert Eberly

Stevens, PA

Beth Gugino

Penn State University, University Park, PA

Dave Hartman

Penn State Extension, Bloomsburg, PA

Ronald Hoover

Penn State University, University Park, PA

Luke Howard

Homestead Farms, Inc., Millington, MD

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