SFA board welcomes new members, interim chair

Farm Forum

The Sustainable Farming Association (SFA) Board of Directors welcomed four new board members and an interim president and said goodbye to its outgoing president at a meeting April 13 at the College of Saint Benedict in St. Joseph.

Joining the board were four new chapter representatives: Eric Ament of Duluth (Lake Superior), Dayna Burtness of Northfield (Cannon River), Marie Petry of Wolverton (Lake Agassiz), and Wes Tennis of Hayward (South Central). Also, Vice Chair Jim Chamberlin (right, from Central Chapter) has stepped in as interim Chair upon the departure of John Ostgarden, who resigned his position and stepped down from the board.

John Mesko, SFA Executive Director, said he was confident the board would proceed seamlessly.

“John Ostgarden has been an unwavering advocate for sustainable ag and SFA,” Mesko said. “However, Jim Chamberlin is a veteran board member and will be an effective Board Chair. I’m excited to work with him as well as get to know the new board members.”

Chamberlin and his wife, Audra, own a diversified farm near Deerwood and raise livestock, fruits, vegetables and maple syrup as well as operate a managed timber lot. He said he is eager to keep SFA’s Farmer-to-Farmer Network moving in a positive direction.

“I want to see a board and organization that is cohesive and effective, with direct, honest, and respectful dialogue,” he said. “Understanding your strengths and those of others can help us achieve that.”