Secondary Menu

Home > Use of Plastics in Organic | Speakers

Use of Plastics in Organic | Speakers


Amber Sciligo, PhD | Director of Science Program at The Organic Center (discussion leader)

Dr. Amber Sciligo is the director of science programs at The Organic Center where she directs projects associated with communicating and conducting research related to organic agriculture. During her tenure at The Organic Center, Dr. Sciligo has worked closely with researchers, industry, farmers, and policymakers to identify organic research needs, and she has collaborated on a diverse range of research programs.

Dr. Sciligo heads The Organic Center’s grant writing program and FFAR funding partnership which offers organic research funding and prizes for outstanding organic extension efforts. She also leads the center’s signature conference event, Organic Confluences, which brings together policy makers, researchers, farmers, industry members, and other non-profits to address and overcome challenges faced by the organic sector. Dr. Sciligo brings the organic voice to communities at international, national, and local levels by serving on boards and advisory committees for ISOFAR, FFAR and the Organic Association of Kentucky, the state in which she resides.



Dr. Carol Miles | Professor at Washington State University, and Director of the Washington State University Mount Vernon Northwestern Washington Research and Extension Center

Carol Miles is a Professor in the Department of Horticulture at Washington State University, and is the Director of the Washington State University Mount Vernon Northwestern Washington Research and Extension Center. Carol is the Horticulture Specialist and specializes in vegetable crop production as well as cider apple production, and has a strong interest in alternative crops, sustainable cropping systems, and organic production. Carol has her Ph.D. in vegetable crops from Cornell University.




Dr. David Gonthier | Assistant Professor in the Department of Entomology at the University of Kentucky

Dr. David Gonthier is an assistant professor in the Department of Entomology at the University of Kentucky. His research seeks to find solutions to environmental challenges in agriculture while balancing socio-economic concerns of farmers, farmworkers, and other stakeholders. His current research seeks to identify alternative pest control practices that are organic compliant, profitable, and reduce the reliance on insecticide use in fruit and vegetable production.  






Camille Herrera | Sustainability Programs Manager at Driscoll’s of the Americas 

As the Sustainability Programs Manager for Driscoll’s of the Americas, Camille supports GHG emissions reductions, renewable energy developments, and guides packaging sustainability with a life cycle perspective. For packaging, her work includes establishing a supply chain to close the loop on PET clamshell recycling and evaluating alternative packaging materials and packaging-related legislation. She has a B.S. in Graphic Communication from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and earned a Master of Environmental Science and Management (MESM) from the University of California, Santa Barbara.  





Renaud des Rosiers | Director of Sustainability at Amy's Kitchen

Renaud des Rosiers is the Director of Sustainability at Amy's Kitchen where he drives operational resource efficiency, renewable energy procurement, and waste reduction in company operations while partnering with stakeholders across the value chain to optimize complex environmental systems. He also leads the company’s long term packaging transformation work focused on designing, qualifying, and commercializing functional circular packaging for Amy’s products. Renaud has served on the Board of Directors of the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) since 2018 where he advocates for the advancement of renewable packaging materials—and associated infrastructure development, labeling requirements, handling best practices, and policy support—to increase the beneficial reuse of organic materials. 




Dr. Kelly Nelson | Research Agricultural Economics at USDA Economic Research Service 

Dr. Kelly Nelson is a research agricultural economist with the USDA Economic Research Service, where he works in the Structure, Technology, and Productivity Branch on topics related to science policy, research and development, and transportation. Kelly has a PhD in economics from North Carolina State University. He is an adjunct lecturer in applied economics at Johns Hopkins University. 





Jason Cleaver | Business Development Executive of Columbia Basin Onion

Jason Cleaver is the Business Development Executive for Columbia Basin Onion and a fourth-generation farmer. He is responsible for managing the strategic distribution relationships for Columbia Basin Onion and Western Mountain Onions. The relationships that Jason has formed represent several major retailers and distribute over 100,000 tons of Organic and Conventional product annually between the 2 facilities. Prior to returning to the family farm over 10 plus years ago, Jason spent over 20 years in the technology industry working with national businesses selling and implementing technology solutions on an enterprise scale. In this role, he developed extensive relationship building skills, strong business acumen and the ability to open doors to new ideas. Jason’s strength in building relationships, opening people’s minds to new ideas and a passion for success has enabled him to develop a strong retail customer relationships. He believes in continuing to focus on the family farming business to carry the investment and success of the prior generations through his generation and on to the future generations of his family.


Back to Organic Week