Ashley Swaffar of Arkansas Egg Company has been appointed by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). Swaffar’s appointment has drawn the applause of the Organic Egg Farmers of America (OEFA), which believes Swaffar, with her broad expertise and deep commitment to organic food production, will serve the organic sector well in her new role.
“OEFA looks forward to the experience and leadership Swaffar will bring to the board. She has extensive knowledge of organic practices in poultry and crop production and is truly dedicated to the advancement and growth of organic agriculture. Swaffar’s broad and in-depth expertise will ensure that she will do an excellent job representing the interests of organic livestock and poultry operations and farmers alike,” said John Brunnquell, Secretary of OEFA and President of Egg Innovations, LLC.
As director of special projects for Arkansas Egg Company, Swaffar has been involved in all aspects of organic egg production, including organic certification, managing operations, and plant food safety audits. Swaffar, who is based in Fayetteville, Arkansas, holds a Bachelor's Degree in Poultry Science from the University of Arkansas and serves as the current President of OEFA.
Arkansas Egg Company owns and manages a diversified egg operation producing free range, organic and pastured eggs and are committed to ensuring that their organic birds have access to healthy pasture and are allowed to roam freely. Arkansas Egg Company also owns and operates the only dedicated organic feed mill in Arkansas.
David Bruce, Vice President of OEFA and Director of Organic Eggs, Meat and Produce at Organic Valley applauds USDA’s decision, remarking that “Ashley’s pasture-based organic egg production offers a great example of a farm that embodies the definition of organic farming, as a system that fosters cycling of resources and promotes ecological balance.”NOSB was created through the Organic Foods Production Act in the 1990 Farm Bill. The board is charged with the task of assisting the Secretary of Agriculture in developing standards for substances to be used in organic production. The 15-member Board is comprised of four farmers, three conservationists, three consumer representatives, two processors, one retailer, one scientist, and one certifying agent. Swaffar will fill one of the open producer seats and was one of four new members that will serve a five-year term beginning on January 24, 2015, working to develop policies and standards for substances used in organic production.