For more than 40 years, Lehigh Valley Organic Growers founder Tom Harding has traveled the globe as an advocate for Certified Organic food and agriculture.
The founding President of the Organic Trade Association (OTA), and 2015 recipient of OTA’s Organic Leadership Award, Tom grew up on an organic farm on Maryland’s Eastern Shore and served in the U.S. Navy as an officer aboard a nuclear submarine. After a number of years serving as a CEO in management, Tom turned his attention back to his roots – food and agriculture. Knowing something could be done to improve our food system, Tom’s work has since focused on helping producers, manufacturers, traders and brands grow the U.S. and international markets for Certified Organic food, fiber and related products.
Tom is a leader in public policy and regulatory affairs, and was influential in the original passage of the 1991 Organic Food Production Act, and continues to be an active member of OTA’s Political Action Committee.
He also serves as a Board Member of the Rodale Institute, advancing organic farming research and education, and the Grain Place Foundation, preserving organic farming in the Midwest.
Tom served as President of the Organic Crop Improvement Association (OCIA), and Board Member and President of IFOAM Organics International, based in Bonn, Germany.
A founder of Agrisystems International, an internationally recognized organic certification and inspection consultancy, Tom also founded the nonprofit Brice Institute, where he dedicates his time to organic advocacy and education.