Board of Directors

The commitment, vision and dedication of our volunteer board members are invaluable to growing and strengthening the organic movement in Iowa.  Thank you for sharing your time, talents and commitment to growing awareness and support for organic production and practices.  

If you or someone you know is interested in serving on the IOA board and representing organic interests in your community and for Iowa – please email Roz Lehman for more information.

IOA Board of DirectorsDr. Margaret Smith, President, Harlan
Margaret co-manages a 600 acre organic grain, forage, and livestock farm near Hampton with her husband, Doug.  She also works as an agronomist for Albert Lea Seed to market organic and non-GMO seed.  Prior to moving to Albert Lea Seed in 2018, she worked for Iowa State University as a Value Added Agriculture Extension Specialist for over 25 years. Her education includes a Masters from Iowa State in Crop Production & Physiology and a PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Crop Ecology & Production. Margaret has been involved in a variety of projects from working with African farmers in Uganda and Swaziland, Annie's project, course development and on-farm research.

Jack Knight, Vice President, Luana
Jack grew up in Postville, IA working with his father in the farm co-op. Jack is a University of Northern Iowa graduate in sociology. After a career in many aspects of farming, horticulture, and forestry, Jack became an NOP inspector in 1999 in the upper Midwest.  He sits on six county and regional boards and three non-profit boards, including work as a soil and water commissioner in Allamakee County.

Cindy McCollough, Treasurer, Webster City
Cindy was raised in Cedar Rapids, Iowa with family roots in the Fayette area. She attended Iowa State University, where she graduated with a degree in Animal Science with an emphasis in Business. After time in the pharmaceutical industry, she moved to the human health and management. Cindy and her husband have brought up two children in the Webster City area, where she manages a small farm with milking goats and a few chickens in addition to her primary business Bluestem Enterprises, an organic feed mill and warehouse. In addition to complete poultry and livestock feeds, she also sells organic seed.

Dr. Ai Wen, Secretary, Cedar Falls
Ai Wen grew up in the metropolitan area of Beijing, China. She moved to New Jersey for graduate school and received her Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Rutgers in 2010. Currently she is an adjunct professor at University of Northern Iowa in the field of conservation biology. Her research interests focus on wildlife in the agroecosystem.  Her specialty is on the interaction between wild animals and human in the agriculture landscape.

Kim Andersen, Brighton
Kim is an organic farmer at Zihlman Family Farms and Blueberry Bottom located in Southeast Iowa, near Brighton, Iowa.  Kim is a long-time educator currently teaching for Southern New Hampshire University.  Kim and her husband, Steve, grow organic corn, soybeans, oats, hay, blueberries, chestnuts, hazelnuts, paw paw and persimmon.

Lonica Kufner, Fairfield
Lonica has 25+ years of experience working with clients from the USA and, internationally, including CPG food companies, co-manufacturers, brokers, grocery retail stores, e-commerce, technical scientists, farmers and consumers.  Having started one of the first organic stores in the country, Lonica's passion has led her to enjoy working with entrepreneurs to help bring more organic products to the market.  As a consultant, Lonica's focus is on the area of sustainable business development strategy including organic and non-GMO certification, product development, private label, sourcing, manufacturing, pricing, branding, marketing, retail and food service.  Lonica is an avid organic gardener, baker and mother of four.  

Eric Madsen, Audubon
Eric lives in Audubon, IA and has been involved within organic agriculture for 20 years – as an organic farmer, organic seed dealer and by conducting organic product research with Practical Farmers of Iowa (PFI).  Currently, he is transitioning 240 acres for his own operation; and the family farm has been certified since 1998 and is either all organic or in transition.

Paul Mugge, Sutherland
Paul Mugge is an organic farmer as well as a winner of the Spencer Award and Master Researcher Award in Iowa.  He grew up on the farm where he now lives and works.  Paul attended Iowa State University and worked as an engineer before returning to the family farm in 1976.  He is a life-long environmentalist and his farm management has been a progression from conventional, to sustainable, to completely organic since 2001.  In addition to farming, Paul substitute teaches at a local high school and is active in his local church and many organic, sustainable ag and environmental organizations.  He has been married to Karen Mugge for over 40 years and has three children and seven grandchildren.

Denise O'Brien, Atlantic
Denise is an organic farmer at Rolling Acres in Atlantic, Iowa.  Denise and her husband, Larry, have been involved with organic production and cultivating local food for over 36 years. Denise is also founder of Women’s Food and Agriculture Network, was a candidate for Iowa Secretary of Agriculture in 2006, and former agriculture adviser in Afghanistan, and founder of the Women, Food and Agriculture Network.

Mark Schuett, Cherokee
Mark and Julie Schuett founded American Natural Processors, LLC in 2000.  The Company began by processing organic and non-GMO soybeans without the use of chemicals or preservatives into high quality soybean meal and edible vegetable oil.  Since its inception, American Natural Processors has grown to be one of the largest organic ingredient processors in the U.S. with processing plants in Hartley, Cherokee, Galva and most recently Sioux City, Iowa. Today the Company processes a wide variety of organic grains and oil seeds including soybeans, canola, flax, hemp, pumpkin, sunflower and rice as well as complete organic livestock feeds.  Mark has served on the Iowa Organic Advisory Board and is currently president of the Natural Oilseed Crushers Association.

Noah Wendt, Huxley
Noah and his farm partner, Caleb Akin, started A&W Farms in 2006.  Their farm is located near Cambridge, IA.  As a farm team, they feed cattle, produce conventional corn and soybeans on 1,100 acres and also grow a variety of organic grain on 1,800 acres.  Noah has been active in organizations such as IOA, PFI, Rodale Institute and OFA.  He is also part owner of an organic grain elevator in Altoona, IA.  Noah owns a farm real estate brokerage and crop insurance agency in Huxley, IA, where he resides with his wife, Erin, and their two children, Harper and Daphne.  In his spare time, Noah enjoys working out, attending kid's events, fishing, gardening and boating.