President & Director
Central Region Representative
Ward Middleton and his wife Jo-Anne operate as Midmore Farms, managing 750 acres just North of Morinville, Alberta. After purchasing the family farm from Ward's father in 1994, they became certified organic in 1999 as part of a business strategy to make agriculture the primary source of income for their family. Ward worked off the farm in oilfield and forestry until 2009. Regular crops at Midmore Farms include wheat, barley, rye, peas, canola, flax and sweet clover seed, with some less traditional crops such as borage, and milk thistle seed. Midmore Farms is also a member of the Woodlot Association of Alberta and their farm also includes a 1/4 section custom grazing silvipasture, and an 80 acre managed woodlot.
Central Region Representative
Sam has been farming since 1979, and became certified organic in 1997. He has been the president of the Alberta Organic Producers Association (AOPA) and has been on the AOPA board for several years. Sam has been serving on the Organic Alberta board for many years and is currently the chair of the oat committee and the beef committee.
Treasurer & Director
Danny and his wife Miranda own and operate The Organic Box in Edmonton, a local organic food home delivery service. Danny has had a long-time passion for real food and is delighted that so many families in the Capital Region have decided to make a long term commitment to eating sustainable, local organic food and he is passionate about changing our food economy one family at a time. Danny was born and raised in Calgary, and earned his BSc at the University of Calgary. He spent 10 years living and working in Ontario, California and the United Kingdom. He has a business degree from the University of Oxford and firmly believes in grassroots-level business development for the Alberta organics industry. Organic Alberta is a key part of promoting and developing this market. Our early success with The Organic Box has proven that the sky is the limit for Alberta organic products and I would love to bring my background in business and product development to bear for Organic Alberta.
Secretary & Director
Member at Large Representative
Erin Paulson is the mother of three beautiful little boys and has been involved in the organic industry since she was 10 raising Organic poultry and other livestock with her parents, Ron and Sheila Hamilton, on their farm near Camrose. She grew up selling at local farmers markets and building relationships with the consumer. At 17 Erin and her future husband started a 3 acre Organic strawberry farm. This experience provided the foundation on which Blush Lane (the retail operation owned by her husband Matt and his business partner) is built on.
From 2010 – 2011, Erin ran her own business, Blush Food for Fitness which involved making nutritionally balanced meals using as many locally sourced organic ingredients possible. In 2010 she also wrote and published, in collaboration with a friend, an allergy free cookbook. A second cookbook is currently in the works. Erin believes that eating clean whole food is an important component of being healthy. She is an organic consumer with a direct line into the retail world who dreams of farming again someday.
Northern Region Representative
Janice & Ty Shelton own Sand Springs Ranch which uses a blend of Certified Organic, Biodynamic, and Holistic farm practices in the management of 5000+ acres. They run a Certified Organic Market Garden, a Grass-fed Cow/ Calf Beef operation, and a Free-Range Chicken and Pork operation; all of which incorporate their own grain and vegetable seed production. They are currently implementing a CSA Farm Share Program and are involved in two Food Hubs. They also attend the local Farmers Market. There are four generations involved in various aspects of their farm.
Vice-President and Director
Northern Region Representative
Heather is Mom to two sons and two daughters, and a Grandma to six. She and her husband, John, operate a family farm and grass/legume cleaning plant near Fairview, Ab with their oldest son and youngest daughter, making it a fourth generation farm. In 1982 they started their seed plant, Golden Acre Seeds. The plant has been certified organic since 2005 and their farm since 2010. They produce organic oats, wheat, barley, peas, alfalfa, and clovers. A few years ago they expanded the operation to include leafcutter bees to pollinate their alfalfa fields. Heather has 20 years of leadership experience with agricultural organizations, including serving as treasurer of the Peace Region Forage Seed Association and current President of Forage Seed Canada, a national forage seed producer board representing all forage seed producers in Canada.
Southern Alberta Representative
Trevor has been farming organically since 1989 when he worked on his dad's market garden near Coaldale, Alberta. His mom's name is Bea so they called the business "Busy Bea's Market Garden". In 1999 Trevor took over the business and continues to farm near Fort Macleod. He mainly grows potatoes, onions and garlic on 10 acres for wholesale markets in Calgary, and has recently returned to the Exhibition Park Farmers' Market Saturday mornings with a variety of vegetables. He and his wife Cindy have six children aged 4-16. Trevor's 'real' job is teaching full time at a Calvin Christian School.
Lawrence started his career with food at the age of 13 working in the produce department of the local market in his hometown of Drayton Valley. His career path has come full circle. For the last 15 years Lawrence has been working in whole sale produce distribution in both food service and retail produce sectors in Calgary. His career has seen him involved in all aspects of whole sale distribution working from procurement, logistics, quality control, sales and marketing and organic program development. Lawrence's vision is to create a positive network for smaller producers to have a wholesale distribution channel.
Southern Region Rep
Tim Hoven is a fourth generation Alberta Farmer who raises some of the best organic beef around. From the Hoven Farm, near Eckville, AB, Canada, Tim, Lori and their 8 children grow certified organic beef and sell it directly to consumers through their little butcher shop at the Kingsland Farmers Market.
Becky Lipton has been working with the organic industry in Alberta since 2008. Originally brought on to coordinate the Alberta Organic Harmonization Project, she is now the Executive Director of Organic Alberta. Becky brings her experience in organizing, strategic planning, facilitation, and program coordination to the position. She also brings her expertise from past work including from her Masters’ degree (women and agriculture), her work with the New Rural Economy research group, and her experience on farms, with farmers’ markets, and agriculture education. Becky is a high energy person who is full of determination and passion for a form of agriculture that she believes has the potential to transform and cultivate a healthy food system – a system that is sustainable for our farmers, our eaters, and everyone in between.
Executive Office Manager
Debbie joined Organic Alberta in January 2015, bringing with her many years of organic involvement at the Prairie, National and International levels. Her experience spans everything from working in organic certification at the local, national and international levels, to the development of the Canadian organic standard and regulation, past board member of the Organic Ag Centre of Canada and many other boards and committees. She is a founding member and President of Organic Connections, and also serves on the IOAS (International Organic Accreditation Services) accreditation committee. Debbie and her late husband, Ian, converted their farm in the rolling hills of southern Saskatchewan to organic production in 1990, and never looked back. Although Debbie has served as editor of the Organic Alberta magazine for several years, she is very excited to be in Edmonton working full time with the amazing team at Organic Alberta.
Marketing Program Coordinator
Dana strives to support inspired thinking and action in agriculture and rural communities. By thinking broadly and deeply about the systems upon which our society depends, Dana sees us better positioning the industry and our communities for the future. Dana’s work with the University of Alberta’s There’s a Heifer in Your Tank and with Leadership Edmonton has been foundational in developing her passion for creating resourceful, resilient, responsible and adaptive people. Dana’s formal education was in Animal Science, earning a B. Sc. from the U of A but her much-valued informal learning came from hanging out in chicken barns, working with horses and teaching kids (and teachers, parents, etc.) about agriculture. Her and her partner also run C & E Meats at Lacombe, Alberta. They believe that grazing livestock and poultry can heal our planet.
Organic Livestock Program Manager
Melisa has always been interested in and passionate about the local food movement. She has worked in a variety of positions in Alberta, Yukon, Montana, and Washington State that have covered a wide spectrum of learning and living... from experiencing and contributing hard labour in fields and greenhouses, to building collaborative initiatives for farm direct businesses and market managers. She received a master's degree in Sustainable Food and Agriculture Development in 2010 from the University of Montana and she continues to immerse herself in the study and promotion of the local food movement.