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Pesticide Action Network

PAN North America Announces Farmer as New Board Chair

For Immediate Release: July 5th, 2017

Atlantic, Iowa – Pesticide Action Network (PAN) North America’s Board of Directors announced earlier today that farmer and community organizer Denise O’Brien will serve as PAN’s new Board President, replacing termed-out board chair Susan Baker.

“Food and agriculture are critical to the well-being of our society and should be at the heart of a national conversation. PAN’s commitment to serving farmers and agricultural communities in Iowa and across our country is reflected in its ability to build unity and grassroots power. Challenging corporate control and consolidation of our seeds, food, farms and the overuse of harmful chemicals is of utmost importance in today’s political climate,” said O’Brien.

O’Brien has a long history of leadership on agricultural issues and gender equity. She is the founder of the Women, Food and Agriculture Network, served as president of the National Family Farm Coalition, directed the Rural Women’s Leadership Development Project at Prairie Fire Rural Action, and served as a USDA agriculture advisor in Afghanistan.

O’Brien ran for Iowa Secretary of Agriculture in 2006, received the 2005 Practical Farmers of Iowa’s Sustainable Agricultural Achievement Award and the 2004 Iowa Farmer Union’s Lifetime Achievement Award, among many other accomplishments. She and her partner Larry Harris have farmed fruits and vegetables certified organic by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship in Western Iowa for over 40 years.

The board president change follows another recent change in leadership, as in June, Judy Hatcher departed as Executive Director after five years, and was replaced by Kristin Schafer, PAN’s former program and policy director.

Contact: Paul Towers, 916-216-1082, ptowers@panna.org

Photo: Why Hunger

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Pesticide Action Network

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