Dr. Francis Thicke

Radiance Dairy
Fairfield, Iowa
United States

Focus Areas

Food Systems
Food Systems
Environment & Sustainable Development


An organic farmer for over 30 years, Dr. Thicke currently operates an 80-cow, certified organic dairy in Fairfield, Iowa, producing milk, cream, yogurt, and cheese for sale at local grocery stores and restaurants. He is active in many environmental organizations including the Iowa Environmental Protection Commission, the Leopold Group Sierra Club in Southeast Iowa, the Iowa Environmental Protection Commission, and Food Democracy Now. Previously, Dr. Thicke served as a National Program Leader for Soil Science at the USDA Cooperative Extension Service, and has worked extensively in water quality and sustainable agriculture programs. He was named the 2012 Farmer of the Year by the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service, and is a current member of the Cornucopia Institute’s Policy Advisory Panel. As a scientist specializing in soil fertility, Dr. Thicke also has a solid working knowledge of agricultural and food chemistry. Given the NOSB’s role in vetting substances to be used in the production and processing of organic foods, his unique blend of on-farm and scientific expertise will add significant depth to the NOSB. Francis earned a Ph.D. in Agronomy/Soil Fertility from the University of Illinois in 1988, a Master’s degree in Soil Science from the University of Minnesota in 1984 and a Bachelor’s degree in Music and Philosophy from Winona State College in 1972.