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Meet Our Board—Nickie Salyer

by Gaea Denker |

Nickie Salyer is the Organic and Quality Systems Manager at Lundberg Family Farms. She serves on the CCOF Board.

Nickie Salyer grew up surrounded by agriculture. The year she was born, her father and grandfather started a hybrid sunflower seed company that filled her childhood with manufacturing and crop production. “I saw how sunflower seeds are produced, cleaned, and packaged—all those good things,” Nickie recalls. “My family would give me a dollar an hour if I swept the warehouse.”

Her early exposure to the cycle of crop production guided Nickie into a life of agriculture, and soon she earned her ag degree at Chico State. After graduation, she found work managing certification for a local ranch—which happened to be certified organic by CCOF. “It was an 18,000-acre ranch,” Nickie says. “It was really big. We raised organic crops, cattle, and hogs.” The ranch also had dedicated nearly half of its acreage to wildlife restoration. Nickie loved knowing that the ranch placed so much importance on protecting wildlife.

During the eight years she worked on the ranch, she learned about what it takes to be an organic livestock and crop producer. “I learned all about following the standards and how to enforce them and record everything,” Nickie says. “I’m naturally detail-oriented; I’m a big list person and love being organized, which made me a perfect fit.”

Nickie next took her passion for organic agriculture and certification standards to Lundberg Family Farms, where she has worked for the past seven years. “That means I’ve had about 15 years of working with CCOF-certified clients,” she observes. “I’ve loved working for Lundberg. They’ve been certified by CCOF for over 30 years. They’ve been a part of the movement from the beginning.”

“It feels good to do this work,” Nickie says. “I know how crops are produced and I know that producing them organically is better. Organic production methods are better for the world, better for the natural environment, better for the employees working in the fields, and better for consumers to put into their bodies. It’s just a better way.”

When a previous CCOF board member (Renee Thresher, vice president of supply chain operations at Lundberg Family Farms) was stepping down after a number of years, she recommended that Nickie run to take her seat. Nickie ran for the seat and was elected to represent the CCOF Processor/Handler Chapter. “I love being involved with the process, the decision-making, and the direction,” Nickie says. “I’ve especially enjoyed being involved with policy direction and getting to work with the CCOF policy team at the state level. I think that’s what will get us to organic finally becoming the norm. But there’s always more work to do.”

Nickie enjoys her role on the CCOF Board. “As a certified client for 15 years, I really want to stress that CCOF has been my education. I don’t think I’ve ever had a negative experience with a single staff member in 15 years. Every single staff member I’ve dealt with has helped me learn and grow in my roles. Now as a board member, I feel like part of the family, and that’s a true honor.”


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