Dirk Drost received his Ph.D. in Agronomy from the University of Wisconsin in 1982. His retirement from Syngenta Crop Protection in 2019 marked 37 years of employment in the crop protection industry. During that time, Dirk represented Syngenta as a Liaison to the IR-4 Project and collaborated to initiate and complete many research projects resulting in new uses of existing and new crop protection chemicals being extended to specialty crops and minor uses. Yet, Dirk still remains active in the minor use industry through involvement as a board member of the Council for Agriculture Science and Technology and Board Chairman of the Minor Use Foundation. Dirk enjoys fishing, gardening, traveling and singing in a local Chancel Choir.
Michael Braverman earned his Ph.D. in Horticulture at the University of Florida and is a former Fulbright Scholar to Thailand. He joined IR-4 in 1999 directing field and laboratory residue studies and subsequently managed efficacy and regulatory affairs with biopesticides. He currently manages international capacity building programs, facilitates harmonization of regulations, and integration of biopesticides for conventional and organic systems. Successful international programs have resulted in establishment of new global trade standards. He has held positions as an Extension Vegetable Specialist with Texas A&M and as a Rice Weed Scientist at Louisiana State University. Michael enjoys fishing and raising unusual tropical vegetables. He speaks Thai and likes eating spicy food.
Alan Norden has worked in the regulation of crop protection products and veterinary medicines for the past 26 years with the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority as Executive Director of Registration Management and Director of Minor Use. During that time, Alan worked with many agricultural industries seeking crop protection solutions for minor crops and providing those industries guidance through the regulatory process. Alan also held roles as a member of the Organizing Committee for previous Global Minor Use Summits and as Chair of the OECD Expert Group on Minor Uses. Alan has been involved in the development of several guidance documents published by the OECD and the Australian regulator in areas relating to regulatory incentives, use of international data and extrapolation through crop grouping. Alan enjoys gardening, cricket and Australian Rules Football.
Jason Sandahl is employed by the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service. Since 2005, Dr. Sandahl has led international technical assistance programs on plant protections worldwide, where he works with U.S. regulatory agencies, international bodies, and foreign governments to promote international standards and reduce technical barriers to trade. Prior to his employment with USDA, Jason worked abroad as a post-doctorate at Hokkaido University in Japan and as an assistant toxicology professor at the University of Swaziland in Africa. Jason is also a minor-crop farmer in a small town in Oregon where he grows cherries, apples, and pears.
Emeritus Board Members
Jerry Baron received his Ph.D. in Horticulture with emphasis on weed management from North Carolina State University in 1985. He joined IR-4 in 1986 coordinating weed science research, then moving into the position of Associate Director and subsequently Executive Director in 2006. Jerry is responsible for the day to day operations of the IR-4 Project with an operation budget of approximately $18 million US dollars and 125 full time scientists. In 1998, Jerry co-authored the second edition of Food and Feed Crops of the United States, which is the framework of crop grouping in North America. He chaired the Organization Committee of the first Global Minor Use Summit and is currently a delegate on the international Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues. Jerry served as the first Board Chairman of the Minor Use Foundation and continues to provide advice, insight and support to the Board of Directors. Jerry enjoys running (he’s completed 48 full marathons), refereeing soccer and gardening.
Daniel Kunkel received his Ph.D. in Fruit and Vegetable Science from the University of Cornell in 1991. That same year he began working for the IR-4 Project as the Herbicide Project Coordinator and now holds the Sr. Associate Director’s position. During his time at the IR-4 Project, Dan has played a leadership role in promoting and sustaining increased global collaboration between governments, universities, grower groups and other industry activists. He was a Chairman at the Global Minor Use Summits in 2012, 2017 and was on the Organizing Committee of the First Global Minor Use Workshop where the international minor use industry leaders met to discuss and set research priorities on national and global levels. Daniel’s coordinating and leading research projects both domestically and internationally has resulted in new and existing uses of pest management to be extended to a broad array of minor crops. Daniel likes to spend time with and travel with his family and has always been a farmer at heart.