Home > About Us > Board of Directors
Board of Directors
  • President: Gary Matteson
    VP Young, Beginning, Small Farmer Programs and Outreach,
    Farm Credit Council

    Gary Matteson works for the trade organization of the Farm Credit System in Washington, DC as Vice President, Young, Beginning, Small Farmer Programs and Outreach. This includes policy work on local foods, sustainable agriculture, and direct-to-consumer agriculture. Until recently, Gary was a small farmer operating a greenhouse business in New Hampshire growing anemones for the wholesale cut flower market and raising beef cattle. Gary also serves on the board of the Boston Flower Exchange, Inc., the premier wholesale flower market in the Northeast. A former agricultural entrepreneur, Matteson has served on the board of directors of his local Farm Credit lending cooperative. He holds a BS in Agronomy and a BA in Biology from the University of Connecticut. He has over 30years of experience in the farming and agriculture industry.

    President: Gary Matteson
  • General Charles Kruse
    Brigadier General, Missouri National Guard (retired)
    Past President, Missouri Farm Bureau

    Charlie Kruse received a BS in Agronomy from Arkansas State University in 1967, and a Master’s of Science in Plant Genetics in 1974 from the University of Missouri. Charlie was appointed by Governor Kit Bond to the University of Missouri Board Of Curators in 1983 and in 1985 Governor John Ashcroft appointed him as Director of Agriculture for the State of Missouri. In 1992 he was elected President of the Missouri Farm Bureau, and he held that position until he retired in 2010. During that time he served on the American Farm Bureau Board of Directors as well as the Executive Committee. In 1966, he enlisted in Dexter’s 1221nd Army National Guard Company as a Private. His military career spanned 26 years and he retired with the rank of Brigadier General.

    General Charles Kruse
  • Secretary: Larry Jacobs
    Founder/President, Jacobs Farm Del Cabo;
    Founder, Farm Fuel, Inc;

    Larry Jacobs has extensive experience as a grower/shipper of organic produce. He and his wife Sandra Belin, founded Jacobs Farm in 1980, a successful northern California organic farming operation, specializing in culinary herbs. In 1986, they launched Del Cabo, with a unique vision for social change and sustainability. Through the teaching of organic growing practices and by providing funding, management and organizational skills, Jacobs Farm/Del Cabo connects over 1,200 family farms in Mexico with North American consumers, bringing economic opportunities to individuals in eight communities. Larry recently started Farm Fuel Inc., and shortly after, Jacobs and Belin were awarded the prestigious Organic Trade Association’s (OTA) 2007 Organic Farming Leadership Award. Larry is on the board of Peninsula Open Space Trust protecting open space, farms and parkland in and around Silicon Valley and served on San Mateo County Agricultural Advisory Board from 2005 to 2012.

    Secretary: Larry Jacobs
  • Treasurer: Poppy Davis
    Co-founder USDA Taskforce 4 Veterans, Reservists and National Guard Working Group,
    Public Service Fellow, Juris Doctor Candidate
    Drake University Law School

    Poppy Davis is the former National Program Leader for Small Farms and Beginning Farmers and Ranchers at the USDA Office of Advocacy and Outreach. She has co-founded such programs as, USDA 4 Veterans, and Reservists & Military Families Working Group. She was also a member of the management team for Secretary Vilsack’s “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food” initiative. Her prior not-for-profit experience includes a year as the Executive Director of the Ecological Farming Association, and service on the boards of organizations including The Carrot Project New England, Red Tomato, The Center for Land Based Learning, and The Community Alliance with Family Farmers. She is a past fellow of the California Agricultural Leadership Program with a BS in Agricultural and Managerial Economics from the University of California at Davis and a Masters in Journalism from Georgetown University.

    Treasurer: Poppy Davis
  • Dr. Weldon Sleight
    Dean Emeritus, Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture;

    Weldon Sleight was appointed Dean in 2006 and served in that capacity until his retirement in 2012. Prior to this position, he held several different positions at Utah State University including College of Agriculture Associate Dean for Academic Programs, Agricultural Systems Technology and Education Department Head, and Associate Vice President for University Extension. He earned a BS and MS from Utah State University and a PhD from Iowa State University. During his 32 year tenure at Utah State University he was instrumental in the development of telecommunication systems, branch campuses, centers and outreach degree programs throughout Utah, several western states, and Asia. During his tenure at NCTA he was instrumental in the infusion of entrepreneurship across the entire curriculum. This theme was the catalyst in the development of the 100 Beef Cow Ownership Advantage, 100 Acre Farm, and the NCTA Business Builder programs.

    Dr. Weldon Sleight
  • Garrett Dwyer
    USMC Veteran (OIF) and cattle rancher;

    Garret Dwyer grew up in Nebraska on his family ranch, which has been in his family name for over one hundred years. Garrett joined the United States Marine Corps in 2004, where he served as an Infantrymen (0311) throughout his entire military career. Garret has deployed twice, once to Okinawa, Japan and the other to Ramadi, Iraq. After getting discharged from the Marine Corps in 2008 he attended Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture (NCTA) and graduated with a degree in Agriculture Production. He has since then returned to his home to take over his family’s ranch operation.

    Garrett Dwyer
  • Ambassador Stanley L. K. Flemming, MD
    Brigadier General, United States Army (retired)
    Peach Acres

    Stan Flemming is a former Brigadier General in the United States Army. In 1976 at the University of Washington, he received his bachelor’s in Zoology. During his tenure he served two combat tours of duty. In 2012, he was appointed Ambassador to the United States Army Reserves. Stan is a former member of the Washington State House of Representatives, the Founding Mayor of the City of University Place, a current member of the Pierce County Council representing District 7 and is the Pierce County Executive Pro-Tem. Stan received his Masters in Human Relations and Social Psychology from Pacific Lutheran University; a Masters from the United States Naval War College in National Defense and Strategic Planning; and his Doctorate in Osteopathic Medicine from Western University of Health Sciences. He is likewise a graduate of the United States Air War College, the United States Army War College Defense Strategy Program, and completed the Harvard University’s Physician Executive Program.

    Ambassador Stanley L. K. Flemming, MD
  • Kathy Hadley
    Executive Director, NCAT/ATTRA

    Kathleen Hadley is the Executive Director for the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), a national nonprofit organization founded in 1976. NCAT’s largest program is the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service called ATTRA. Kathy helped design and manage the ATTRA program since its inception. Kathy has more than 25 years of nonprofit management experience focused primarily on Sustainable Agriculture, Sustainable Energy and Communities. She reports to a 15 member national Board of Directors, Manages an organizational budget of approximately $6 million and a staff of 75 organized in five regional offices across the country. Kathy has served on numerous boards, committees and commissions. Kathy has a BS and MS in Biology from the State University College at Buffalo and lives on a working Ranch in Montana where she and her husband raise grass and wildlife.

    Kathy Hadley
  • Dr. Bill Field
    Executive Director, National AgrAbility Project,
    Purdue University, Department of Agricultural & Biological Engineering,

    William Field received his BS from the State University College at Buffalo, New York, and his MA and Ed.D from the University of Minnesota. He began as extension safety specialist and assistant professor in Agricultural Engineering at Purdue in 1977. Bill provides leadership for both the department and Purdue University's agricultural health and safety programs. He also supervises the Breaking New Ground Outreach Program. Bill received the first Hoosier Safety Council Award in 1987, the USDA Superior Service Award in 1989, and the Eric G. Sharvelle Distinguished Extension Specialist Award in 1989. He also received the Distinguished Service Award from the American Agricultural Editor's Association and in 2002, he received the Sagamore of the Wabash from Indiana's Governor. In 2004 he was the recipient of the M.L. King Spirit of Justice Award for his work with farm families impacted by disability.

    Dr. Bill Field
  • Dr. Tasha Hargrove
    Assistant to Dean for Outreach, Tuskegee University

    Tasha M. Hargrove has over 10 years of experience in working with small, limited, and resource farmers. Tasha has worked as the Assistant to the Dean for Outreach in the College of Agriculture, Environment and Nutrition Sciences at Tuskegee University since 2012. Tasha has helped to develop outreach and service programs which focus on the sustainability of small farmers and rural communities. Tasha is a retired MSgt in the United States Air Force Reserves. She served twenty-two distinguished years as a Health Services Support Specialist. She received a BS in AG Econ from Fort Valley State University in 1994, a MS in Ag Econ from Tuskegee University in 1997 and a Ph. D. in AG. Ext. Education, from Iowa State University in 2002.

    Dr. Tasha Hargrove
  • DonnTeske
    President, Kansas Farmers Union,

    Donn Teske is a fifth generation farmer from Northeastern Kansas in Pottawatomie County. His farm has been a certified OCIA organic operation. Donn and his wife raise Soybeans, Grain Sorghum, Red Clover, Wheat, Oats, etc. Currently, Donn is on his twelfth year as Kansas Farmers Union president. He previously worked for the Kansas Rural Center for five years and also for Kansas State University Ag Econ as a farm analyst for five years. In the summer of 2010 he had the opportunity to work with the village of Keur Ali Gueye in Senegal Africa on their millet production. Don currently sits on the board for National Farmers Union board of Directors, Ks. Rural Center executive board, Kansas North Central SARE advisory board, Midwest Agency Insurance board of directors, Ogallala Commons advisory board, (Formerly) Governors Wind Energy working group, KHCC executive board, Kansas Graziers Association executive board, BAAC advisory board, North Central Region SARE Advisory committee, and Farmer & Rancher Advisory board to the EPA.



 “I found working with livestock to be an incredibly rewarding experience and very therapeutic. I found I could live life fully again, have a sense of belonging, purpose, self-worth and joy. Things that were missing for far too long after my injury and during extended rehabilitation.” – David Beardi