The June issue of the Organic Materials Research Institute (OMRI) newsletter, OMRI eNews, featured review panel member George Kuepper. Kuepper was horticulture manager at the Kerr Center for nine years, retiring in 2016.
According to its website, ” OMRI is the only independent, nonprofit organization dedicated exclusively to inputs. OMRI lists input products such as fertilizers, pest controls, and livestock care products that are compliant with organic standards. Allowed products are “OMRI Listed®” and may display the OMRI seal. OMRI verifies input products intended for use in organic production. By focusing exclusively on inputs, OMRI provides essential expertise to support the organic certification process.”
“OMRI’s External Review Panels consist of individuals selected by the Board of Directors to provide expertise in the review of input products…. All Review Panels make final decisions for newly applying products and selected products that undergo re-review.”
The feature on Kuepper read, in full:
George Kuepper first joined OMRI’s Crops Review Panel in 1999. According to George, “OMRI has been a fun and rewarding part of my career, and I’m glad to have the chance to continue. Not only is OMRI changing and growing, but the products are always changing. The industry is full of innovation. It’s interesting to look at new ideas and ask ourselves, ‘does this fit with organic?'”
George grew up on a small dairy farm outside of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Geography and a Master’s in Agronomy from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He recently retired from a long career, mostly in the nonprofit sector, as a researcher, educator, producer and consultant. He worked for NCAT (the National Center for Appropriate Technology) on the ATTRA Project, and served as NCAT’s Midwest Office Director in Lewis, Iowa. There he focused on organic agriculture, specializing in compliance, certification, and transition issues.
George was Horticulture Manager at the Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture from 2008 through his retirement in 2016. There, he directed the development of the Kerr Center’s organic horticulture program, the Cannon Horticulture Project. This involved the conversion of former bermudagrass pasture to organic vegetable production – an accomplishment that drew no small amount of notice from the regional organic community. It also established the Kerr Center as the only certified organic nonprofit demonstration farm in Oklahoma.
George now makes his home in Fayetteville, Arkansas, where he lives with his wife, Dee, and an ever-changing number of pets.