Iowa Organic Association Board of Directors:
Scott Ausborn, President and Retailer Representative
Scott grew up on a small diversified farm near Ida Grove, IA. Along with row crops, his family also raises beef cattle and sheep. Scott graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in Environmental Science, focusing on soil and water conservation. Scott became employed with Blue River Hybrids Organic Seed in the summer of 2008. He has held various job roles from inventory coordinator to regional sales management. He currently is the Business Development Manager for Blue River, working with organic producers across the nation. Scott and his wife Melissa make their home in Ames, IA and enjoy fishing, camping, and various outdoor activities
Kent Boyum, Education/Research Representative
Kent is an experienced businessman, project manager, educator, and environmental scientist with over 35 years of experience. He has worked for the City of Maharishi Vedic City for twelve years, and is part of a small team of people who have grown the newest city in Iowa from about 85 residents to 1,400 during his tenure. His diverse education includes a MA in biology from Mankato State University, MBA in business from Maharishi University, and a Ph.D. in Biology/Ecology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He currently holds two titles at the City, Director of Government Relations and Director of Economic Development. He is on the Board of Directors, and part of the management, of a non-profit (MWPVO) that owns and operates a three-acre USDA certified organic greenhouse operation primarily producing organic vegetables and organic flowers.
He has been awarded grants from the US Department of Energy (USDOE), US Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR). He is a board member of three non-profit organizations; the Iowa Organic Association (IOA), the Iowa Association of Energy Efficiency( IAEE), serving as the Vice Chairman; and the Maharishi World Peace Vedic Organics(MWPVO).
Gary Huber, Consumer/Advocate Representative
Gary farmed in northeast Iowa from 1974 to 1980. He holds a BS degree with a Public Service and Administration in Agriculture/Agronomy double major from ISU as well as a masters in Rural Sociology. After graduating, Gary worked for the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation on water quality projects for four years, and later for Practical Farmers of Iowa on a wide range of food and farming projects from 1991 to 2010. Gary has served as the General Manager of the Iowa Food Co-op since 2010. Currently he lives in Ames with his wife Penny and son Daniel.
Jack Knight, Consumer/Advocate Representative
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 five county and regional boards including work as a soil and water commissioner in Allamakee County.
Eric Madsen, Farmer Representative
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.
Cindy McCollough, Treasurer and Handler/Wholesaler Representative
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.
Paul Mugge, Vice President and Farmer Representative
Paul Mugge is an organic farmer from Sutherland, 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 teaches part-time 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 five grandchildren.
Patti farms with her husband George in Churdan, IA growing non-GMO and organic corn and soybeans, oats, hay, and cider apples. Patti speaks and writes about agriculture, farm justice, and the principles of food sovereignty. She is on the Sierra Club Iowa Chapter's Executive Committee, is a board member of Wisconsin-based Family Farm Defenders, and served on the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture's task force.
Dr. Margaret Smith, Education/Research Representative
Margaret works for Iowa State University as a Value Added Agriculture Extension Specialist in addition to co-managing an organic grain, forage, and livestock farm near Hampton, Iowa. 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
Dr. Ai Wen, Secretary and Education/Research Representative
Dr. 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.