Lynn Coody Papers, 1986-2002 (bulk 1995-1999)


Lynn Stockton Coody was born in 1952. She graduated from Colby College with a B.A. in biology and environmental studies in 1974, and from the University of Oregon with a M.S. in biology with a specialty in systematic ecology in 1978.

From 1978 to 1983, she taught biology at a community college, where she developed a course on organic farming. During this time (1978-1986) she also served as general manager of an organic farm that introduced community supported agriculture in Oregon. In 1982 Coody founded Organic Agsystems Consulting, which provides consulting services and technical advice to the organic food industry. She served on the Executive Committee (1982-1987) of the Tilth Association, a five-state organization supporting organic agriculture research and education, and served as President for two years. She also acted as technical advisor (1989-1990) to Kathleen Merrigan, an aide to Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) who introduced the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990.

Coody served on the Materials Review Committee (1992-1996) sponsored by Oregon Tilth and California Certified Organic Farmers and the Materials Evaluation Committee of the Organic Foods Production Association of North America (OFPANA, 1986-1991). She continued her involvement with OFPANA's successor organization, the Organic Trade Association (OTA), also noted here. From 1988 to 1999 she co-authored and served as principal lobbyist for the Oregon Organic Food Law (Senate Bill 400). She served in various capacities at Oregon Tilth, a statewide organization that supports organic agriculture: founding President (1984-1987); chair of the Agricultural Policy Committee (1988-1995); Agricultural Policy Director (1995-1999); Director of Technical Programs (1993-1999); Advisory Committee Convening Chair, Secretary, and member (2012-2015); and worked on writing its first organic standards in 1987. She was also a member of the Oregon Department of Agriculture's Advisory Committee on Organic Farming and chair of the Materials Subcommittee (1989-1991).

She served as a member of the Technical Advisory Panel (TAP) for the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) from 1994 to 2000 and participated in its review of materials under consideration for the National List of approved and prohibited substances for use in organic agriculture. From 1996 to 1998 Coody served as founding policy director of the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI), an independent evaluator of inputs for organic agriculture production, processing, and handling. She also served on the Standards Committee of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM, 1996-1999), and was an officer of IFOAM's 2002 General Assembly.

In 1999 she was one of the authors of the American Organic Standards (AOS), a project initiated by the Organic Trade Association that attempted to establish a unified, community-based, national organic standard that was developed in response to the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Proposed Organic Rule, and was built on existing OTA guidelines for organic production (including crops, livestock, processing, handling, and labeling). It also sought to establish certification and accreditation guidelines, to comply with the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 and recommendations of the NOSB, and to represent a codified position, based on organic stakeholder input, in anticipation of the next USDA Proposed Organic Rule. The AOS project was managed by OTA's Quality Assurance Committee, its Organic Certifiers Council, and a representative from the Campaign for Sustainable Agriculture's Organic Working Group. Coody's other leadership roles in the OTA include: Accreditation Subcommittee member and co-chair (1999-2001), chair (2002-2005); Certification Subcommittee member (1999-2005); Quality Assurance Council (standards setting body) member (1999-2005).

She served as founding chair (2005-2009) of the Oregon Organic Coalition, and wrote its articles of incorporation and other organizational documents, as well as acting as organic policy representative on its Leadership Council (2005-present). Coody also worked on the National Organic Action Plan (NOAP) project as a writer and committee member (2005-2009). From 2002 to 2014, she acted as technical advisor to the National Organic Coalition and from 2004 to 2012 as an assessor and technical expert for the National Voluntary Conformity Assessment System Evaluation program of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Coody has given numerous presentations at professional conferences, and testimony before government agencies including the National Organic Standards Board, House and Senate Committees, the Environmental Protection Agency, and various departments in the state of Oregon. She has written or co-written numerous publications, and served as U.S. correspondent (2002-2010) for The Organic Standard, a trade journal published in Sweden.

Included among several honors and awards Coody has received are: Organic Gardener of the Year (1985) from Organic Gardening Magazine; Safe Food Trailblazer (1990) from the Center for Science in the Public Interest; Organic Activist of the Year (1993) from the Oregon Organic Council; Tilth Pioneer (2004) from Tilth Producers of Washington and Oregon Tilth; Exemplary Service Award (2009) from Oregon Tilth; and Award for Excellence: Organic Policy (2010) from the Oregon Organic Coalition.

Currently, in addition to operating her firm, Organic Agsystems Consulting, she serves as a policy analyst and compliance consultant with the Organically Grown Company (since 1992), a policy advisor for the Organic Produce Wholesalers Coalition (2006-present), and a visiting professor in a post-graduate program on international certification and accreditation systems for organic agriculture in Bari, Italy (2006-present).