Mark Keating has been working in organic, sustainable and local agriculture since 1988. He spent four years with the USDA National Organic Program where he assisted in writing the federal organic crop and livestock production standards. He served an additional two years with the USDA Marketing Services Branch working to promote farmers markets and other direct-to consumer initiatives. He has conducted nearly three hundred organic farm inspections over the past five years and is actively involved in academic research on organic production systems. A New Jersey native, he received a B.A. in History from Yale University and an M.S. in Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development from the University of Wisconsin.