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Beth Rota

Beth works behind the scenes to ensure the QCS organic program meets accreditation requirements and keeps pace with regulatory and policy updates while providing a valuable service to our clients. She also engages in the organic policy process through certifier collaboration and by representing QCS certified operation through public comments to the USDA and National Organic Standard Board.

Before working for QCS, Beth earned a master’s degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana where she served as a research fellow with the Grow Montana project. Her research explored producer-owned cooperatives as a mechanism for strengthening local food systems.  While a graduate student, she directed the education program at the Program in Ecological Agriculture and Society (PEAS) Farm in Missoula, Montana. Beth is based in wild and wonderful Morgantown, West Virginia. She enjoys spending free time in her garden and kitchen and exploring the outdoors with family and friends.

Brian Rakita

Brian has been working with organic farming for the past 32 years in all capacities – from working for an organic nut butter producer in the Ozark Mountains in the early 1990s to running a Community Supported Agriculture program which supplied fresh organic veggies from his farm to local families. In 1998, Brian took over management of an organic seed catalog and then proceeded to spend years working for the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association where he trained farmers to raise organic seed.

Brian has been with QCS since 2009 and has enjoyed working with organic farmers to ensure organic integrity is maintained in the marketplace.

Ramkrishnan Balasubramanian

Ramkrishnan (Ram) Balasubramanian earned his Ph.D. in Crop Sciences, Masters in Agricultural Engineering, and Masters in Ecological Agriculture. He also holds a Masters in Business Administration.

Ram is a ISO 9001 Lead Auditor with extensive food safety/GAP and organic auditing experience. Additionally, Ram specializes in organic aquaculture standard and curriculum development. He has collaborated with the Produce GAP Harmonization Initiative, Global Food Safety Initiative, and GLOBALG.A.P. scheme training material and small holder guides.

Ram is a FSPCA Lead Instructor for the Foreign Supplier Verification Program and Lead Certified Trainer for the Produce Safety Rule. Ram has served in on numerous boards of directors including serving as the Organic Material Review Institute Board Chair. He has has farming roots with experience in producing both crops and livestock. Ram is a firm believer in family values and family first and, in his free time, he loves swimming, spicy food, and organic gardening and growing rare exotic and medicinal plants.

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