We work together for the benefit of all.
Board of Directors
Mark founded the Raw Milk Institute (RAWMI) in 2011 to assure that farmers had a resource to assist them in producing very low risk raw milk for their consumers. Mark is passionate about “grass to glass” risk reduction management on the farm, and he believes that raw milk cannot emerge as a trusted food unless it is very low risk. He is certified in HACCP management from Chapman University and has developed and implemented award winning Food Safety Plans including Raw Milk Risk Analysis & Management Plans (“RAMP”).
Mark co-founded the World’s largest organic raw milk dairy in 1999 named Organic Pastures Dairy. Today, it sells it’s raw products safely across the United States of America in over 900 store locations. The raw brand estimates to feed over 50,000 families in California, alone. Mark has worked with state regulators and industry leaders to develop the business’s Test & Hold custom food safety program.
Mark is a premed-trained retired EMS Paramedic and acute care medical educator with a background in organic farming. In 1997, Mark was awarded the Best of the West grower award for being the first farmer in the USA to initiate an “on farm audited HACCP type risk management system” with the Odwalla juice company. Mark has lectured on the safety and gut biome benefits of raw milk at USC, Stanford, UCSB, Rutgers, University of Guelph, UVIC BC Canada, UCLA, CSUF, Chico State and other Universities and medical schools in Australia, USA and Canada.
Sarah is a homeopath, homesteader, and homeschooling mother of two. Sarah has been studying nutrition and health since 2005, and has been writing about real food and health on her website (Nourished and Nurtured Life) since 2011. She is the author of two eCookbooks, Nourishing Eats (2012) and Nourished Cooking (2013), and her health articles have been featured in Real Food and Health magazine and the Price-Pottenger Journal of Health and Healing. As a homeopath, Sarah works with children and adults to heal acute and chronic imbalances, leading to healthier, happier lives.
Sarah has a BS in Mechanical Engineering and previously worked as a NASA aerospace engineer for ten years. She was awarded the prestigious Silver Snoopy Award by the NASA astronaut corps for direct contributions to flight safety and mission success, and she received an Award of Merit from ASTM International for her work on developing tests and standards for materials in oxygen-enriched atmospheres. She co-authored the book Safe Use of Oxygen and Oxygen Systems, and taught classes on oxygen safety throughout the USA.
Peg Coleman, MS, MS, trained as a medical microbiologist at the University of Georgia’s College of Veterinary Medicine. She began work as a microbial risk assessor in the US federal government in 1992, and continued that work as founder of two professional organizations focused on microbial risks, one the woman-owned small business Coleman Scientific Consulting. Her knowledge of ‘Microbes and Microbiota’ (title of her new blog www.colemanscientific.org/blog) and experience with scientific support for HACCP and establishing safe levels of microbes in air, food, and water align beautifully with the RAWMI mission of educating and training farmers and consumers about microbial risks and benefits. She serves as an international leader in documenting benefits of the microbiota of raw milks to ‘human superorganisms’ (Homo sapiens plus partners in health, the microbiota).
Peg’s passion for science and recent advances in knowledge of the microbiota and its mechanisms benefitting humans is obvious to readers of her technical manuscripts and blogs, as well as diverse audiences who enjoy her informative and challenging presentations. Notable recent works are the webinar Peg presented through the Society of Risk Analysis (SRA) on the benefits and risks of the microbiota of milks and a manuscript published in the October 2018 issue of the SRA journal Risk Analysisentitled Microbiota and Dose-Response: Evolving Paradigm of Health Triangle.
Joseph Heckman, Ph.D, is professor of Soil Science at Rutgers University, where he teaches courses in Soil Fertility, Organic Crop Production, and Graduate Student Seminar. He conducts research and extension programs on optimizing nutrition and soil quality in support of plant, animal, and human health. Dr. Heckman has authored numerous publications on soil fertility and organic farming. He was the lead author of a chapter on Soil Fertility in Organic Farming published by the American Society Agronomy. He is co-author of books on Fresh Milk Production, The Cow Edition and Fresh Milk Production, The Goat Edition. Most recently he published a review and analysis of the raw milk movement: Securing Fresh Food from Fertile Soil, Challenges to the Organic and Raw Milk Movements.
Dr. Sylvia Onusic
Nutrition Specialist and Licensed Dietitian-Nutritionist
Dr. Sylvia holds a PhD in Public Health, is a board-certified nutrition specialist (CNS), state licensed dietitian-nutritionist (LDN), and a certified school teacher (PA). After completing a Fulbright in Slovenia in the field of Public Health, she worked for six years at the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Slovenia (an E.U country) under the auspice of the World Health Organization office. Slovenia is known for it’s fine dairy products, raw milk and artisanal cheeses. Sylvia was first introduced to the automatic raw milk machines in the main market in Ljubljana, the capitol of Slovenia, and has written and spoken extensively about the phenomenon, including regulation and inspection of the machines. She is involved in research comparing nutritional aspects of raw milk versus pasteurized-homogenized milks.
Alma comes to the Raw Milk Institute with 19 total years in banking and book keeping. Alma worked for Bank of America for 14 years, starting as a teller and working her way up to Account Manager. After a long tenure with Bank of America, Alma was recruited to move to work at a credit union, where she was solely responsible for assuring all accounts were balanced and reconciled and handled customer relations. Alma currently works full time for Organic Pastures Dairy as the Accounts Receivable Manager.
The Advisory Board members provide public outreach and academic support to the Board of Directors of the Raw Milk Institute.
The beliefs, opinions, and positions of any individual Advisory Board member may not be endorsed or shared by the Raw Milk Institute; however, all members of the Advisory Board support the mission of Raw Milk Institute.
Dr. Ted Beals, MD
Board Member, Farm-to-Consumer Foundation and former Chief of Pathology
Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride
Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, M.D. holds postgraduate degrees in neurology and human nutrition. She is the creator of the term GAPS, or Gut and Psychology Syndrome, and Gut and Physiology Syndrome, which establishes a connection between functioning of the digestive system and functioning of the rest of the body.
Filmmaker, director/producer of the documentary Farmageddon: The Unseen War on American Family Farms
Martha Herbert, PhD, MD
Martha R. Herbert PhD, MD is a systems thinker, writer, neuroscientist and child neurologist. Her core interests are described in the Mission and Rationale of the Higher Synthesis Foundation which she founded, relating to commonalities across systems solutions to complex health, food and ecosystems problems. Her father’s dairy farm and former grass-fed beef farm, which she inherited, got her deeply interested in food production and the challenges faced by small farmers. She is the Founder and Director Emeritus of the TRANSCEND Research Program at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School. TRANSCEND is an acronym for Treatment Research And NeuroScience Evaluation of Neurodevelopmental Disorders. She is presently the Scientific Director and Principal Investigator of the Documenting Hope Project, a consultant on research design for a variety of integrative and systems-oriented clinicians, the author of the book The Autism Revolution: Whole Body Strategies for Making Life All It Can Be and of many papers, and has been a thought leader in a whole body approach to the brain.
Prof. Dr. Johan Garssen
Full Professor of Immunopharmacology at Utrecht University, Head of the Division Pharmacology at the Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences, and registered Immunologist in The Netherlands. He leads research teams that use life science, food science and technology to pioneer nutritional solutions for those with special nutritional needs and to develop new product concepts that provide clinically substantiated health benefits. Immuno-pharmacology is focused on the relationship between immune cells and their mediators in the development/maintenance and inhibition of immune-related diseases such as (food) allergy, asthma, COPD and inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). See further at: https://www.uu.nl/staff/JGarssen
Dr. David Getoff
Naturopath and board-certified Clinical Nutritionist
Journalist, author, and blogger for www.thecompletepatient.com
Abby Rockefeller is the founder of Churchtown Dairy in Hudson, New York. She is a lifelong advocate of organic and biodynamic farming and whole food nutrition. Abby is working to save small farms by expanding raw milk as a valuable food for farmers and their customers.
Farmer and Canadian raw milk activist
Organic farmer and raw milk dairyman, founder of The Family Cow
Owner of Champoeg Creamery in St. Paul, Oregon, certified Nutrition Wellness Educator, and raw milk dairy farmer and educator
Board of Directors Emeritus
The Raw Milk Institute gratefully acknowledges the contributions of the past directors.
Dr. Cat Berge PhD, DVM
Anna Catharina (Cat) Berge is Swedish veterinarian and epidemiologist with expertise in food animal production from farm to fork. Cat was a founding director for the Raw Milk Institute, and she served on the Board of Directors from 2011-2018. Her training and experience as a veterinarian and state certified epidemiologist were formative to grounding RAWMI in science. Cat always assured that every farmer thought about real world biosecurity as part of their RAMP plan.
Dr. Ton Baars
Ton Baars is a Dutch scientist with degrees in biology, ecology, social science, and grassland science. He served on the Raw Milk Institute Board of Directors from 2015-2018. Ton brought RAWMI a deep understanding of research and the beneficial immune actions of raw milk. It was his published lab work that discovered that raw milk was excellent for allergies as shown in mice models. A quiet and very powerful thinker, Ton assisted RAWMI to conduct studies using raw milk consumers as the test group to collect data on raw milk benefits.
Elaina Luther was a founding RAWMI director and served between 2011 and 2015. She is a chef and founder of Culture Club 101 in Pasadena CA. Her knowledge of food nutrition and the consumers of raw milk were key to forming the mission and vision of RAWMI.
Ram Basu was a founding director at RAWMI and served between 2011 and 2015. Ram provided technical support to build the first RAWMI website. His understanding of social media and consumer interest in raw milk assisted RAWMI in the very beginning. Ram worked at Cal Tech University in IT and assisted with RAWMI farmer training days.
Bill Anderson was a founding director at RAWMI serving from 2011 to 2012. His knowledge and passion for raw milk cheese helped in developing the first Common Standards.