Seasoned organic specialist Nate Lewis joins Organic Trade Association team

Crops and livestock expert will develop organic producer engagement

Contact: Barbara Haumann (; 802-275-3820)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 9, 2014) — Nathaniel (Nate) Lewis this past week joined the staff of the Organic Trade Association (OTA) as its Senior Crops and Livestock Specialist. Lewis most recently served as Organic Certification Coordinator at the Washington State Department of Agriculture’s (WSDA’s) Organic Program.

In this new OTA position, he will serve as the primary staff to OTA’s Farmers Advisory Council (FAC), helping to maximize the impact of the council and pursue strategic alliances to expand and grow FAC. In addition, he will serve as lead technical expert on issues related to crop and livestock input materials and residue testing in organic standards. He will be based from his home office in Galvin, Washington.

“The addition of Nate is part of OTA’s multi-year strategic focus on farmers as being the foundation for the organic sector and for the association. This is a move to add critical capacity to meet members’ needs and to support the further development of our Farmers Advisory Council,” said Laura Batcha, OTA’s CEO and Executive Director.

A seasoned organic specialist, Lewis has proficiency in all scopes and aspects of organic certification, and experience in periodic residue sampling programs. During his tenure at WSDA, he contributed to the wider organic community through comments to the National Organic Standards Board and National Organic Program (NOP) proposals, and was an active participant on OTA Task Forces, including co-chairing OTA’s Food Safety Task Force with Gwendolyn Wyard, OTA’s Regulatory Director for Organic Standards and Food Safety.

In addition to his regulatory experience, Lewis and his wife have hands-on experience with organic production, managing a small-scale certified organic diversified livestock operation in Washington State.

OTA members attending the upcoming NOSB Spring meeting in Texas or OTA’s Policy Conference & Hill Visit Days in D.C. in May will have the opportunity to meet Lewis.

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is the membership-based business association for organic agriculture and products in North America. OTA is the leading voice for the organic trade in the United States, representing over 6,500 organic businesses across 49 states. Its members include growers, shippers, processors, certifiers, farmers' associations, distributors, importers, exporters, consultants, retailers and others. OTA’s Board of Directors is democratically elected by its members. OTA's mission is to promote and protect the growth of organic trade to benefit the environment, farmers, the public and the economy.