USCC Electing New Board Members

If you’re a member of the United States Composting Council (USCC), you may be aware that we’re currently voting on new board members.

To make it easy for you to research candidates, we’ve compiled their information.

Our Methodology

  1. We have watched each candidates’ application video and considered the answers they wrote in their applications.
  2. We have summarized their answers as bullet point lists.
  3. If you wish to learn more about each individual candidate, make sure to click the link to their application PDF.

Candidates in the category “Compost Manufacturers”

To be eligible as a Compost Manufacturer candidate, a candidate must be either a compost manufacturer or part of a public agency that runs a compost facility. You can vote for up to two compost manufacturer candidates.

Travis Bahnsen / A1 Organics



  • President of A1 Organics
  • Comes from a finance and accounting background


  • Establish a national standard for compostable packaging
  • Create a strategy to establish compost recycling programs, including identifiable marks for the consumer to properly manage waste
  • Promote USCC membership for packaging producers

This is how Travis thinks the USCC can strengthen the industry

  • Compostable packaging should have a national standard about how to sort packaging and keep it out of the waste stream
  • The USCC should standardize the parameters about how to identify packaging, etc.

Lorrie Loder-Rossiter / Veransa



  • A USCC member since 2005, holds a Compost Operations Manager certification
  • Has served on the Board of Trustees for the Compost Research and Education Foundation for over 12 years


  • Make Compost University the place to go for industry training
  • Continue to drive membership, involvement, and chapter growth
  • Plan for succession to ensure continued growth for the organization

This is how Lorrie thinks the USCC can strengthen the industry

  • Help our members get low-interest loans to build or expand existing facilities to handle the volume of organic materials
  • Expand the Seal of Testing Assurance program to ensure the regulations are upheld

John Niedecken / New Earth



  • Began at New Earth Soil and Compost in the early 2010s and held multiple roles, including Business Analyst, VP of Admin, and COO
  • Currently involved in USCC Planning Committee


  • Screen political candidates to understand which ones are compost-friendly
  • Develop a cost analysis guidebook after performing basic testing on equipment so composters can be more aware of the differences between models/machines
  • Educate the public about the water-conservation benefits of compost

This is how John thinks the USCC can strengthen the industry

  • In light of the upcoming election cycle he proposes information to the membership regarding what candidates are friendly to composting (be it on a local level or broader than that)
  • More targeted education events, etc to specific groups (large-scale or small-scale)

Candidates in the category “Affiliate”

Affiliate candidates are all other member types that are not compost producers. You can vote for just one affiliate candidate.

Dan Aronson / Elevate Packaging Solutions



  • Has served as the Vice Chair of the Target Organics Committee for 2 years
  • Has attended several conferences and participated in panel discussions


  • Spread awareness of USCC to his compost-friendly client base, while improving compost marketing efforts
  • Reduce contamination in compost
  • Focus on extended producer responsibility by getting large corporations on board

This is how Dan thinks the USCC can strengthen the industry

  • Maximize the value, sale, and profit of finished compost by creating sales and marketing strategies, tactics, and assets
  • Build a customer base that spans all uses of compost and match them with producers

Jeff Bradley / Vermeer Corporation



  • Has been a member of the composting industry since 2002 and a USCC member since 2017
  • Currently serving on the board at the Iowa state chapter


  • Explore new ways to develop or grow end markets for compost
  • Develop training programs according to operational size
  • Follow Europe and Australia by implementing a tax on waste going to landfills

Unfortunately, there was no video or response from Jeff regarding how he thinks the USCC could strengthen the industry.

Allison Lee Forstmann / ReCultivateNY



  • Assembled stakeholders to repurpose organic waste directly on NY lands as part of ReCultivate NY
  • Member of USCC, NYSAR3, Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture, etc


  • Focus on legislative matters regarding the compost industry
  • Implement better compost education and grading practices
  • Incentivize compost and stakeholder collaboration

This is how Allison thinks the USCC can strengthen the industry

  • Look beyond the most obvious use of compost
  • Utilize all the powers of compost (ie: to help with land restoration and minimize erosion)

Brian Gray / Astec Industries



  • USCC member for the past 6 years
  • Member of the Forestry Resource Board of Directors


  • Create USCC-endorsed best practices for processing operations
  • Implemented USCC-endorsed best practices for equipment maintenance
  • Form USCC-endorsed best practices for finished goods at composting facilities, discussing the advantages and disadvantages of each option, ROI, etc

This is how Brian thinks the USCC can strengthen the industry

  • Continue working on meaningful legislation and remove barriers to entry
  • Attract more mid-size producers to the USCC

Matthew Karmel / Offit Kurman



  • Comes from a legal background as an environmental lawyer
  • Helped form the NJ Composting Council


  • Provide additional resources to state chapters by exploring ways to allow state chapters to pool resources
  • Prepare guides for small business owners (RE: ops, financing, contracting, etc)
  • Advance additional resources and policy proposals relating to PFAS

 This is what Matt thinks USCC can do to strengthen the industry:

  • Help professionalize and leverage what’s happening in the state chapters
  • Obtain executive directors that could work across state chapters to free up the front line

Jenny Trent / Iowa Waste Reduction Center


Jenny’s Background

  • Masters in Geography (quaternary soils);
  • currently building a program to reduce organic waste in landfills
  • Formed and is the Director of the Iowa chapter of USCC

Jenny’s Goals

  • Get traditional farmers on board about composting by promoting it as the sustainable alternative to fertilizer
  • Raise funds to sponsor studies on the science of PFAS
  • Conduct research on textile composting to see if it’s a sustainable alternative

Jenny’s thoughts on what the USCC can do to strengthen the composting industry:

  • Implement a new EPA food hierarchy based on the type of food waste
  • Grow the Corporate Compost Leadership Council and use funds on research (ie: PFAS)

Happy Voting to USCC Members!

Remember to vote for your candidates by midnight EST on October 25 so that your vote will be counted.

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