Staff

Carolyn Young
Executive Director

Since joining OCO in early 2016, Carolyn has placed renewed emphasis on serving members' needs and campaigning for an Ontario organic regulation. Prior to joining OCO, Carolyn worked as the Director of Sustain Ontario, the alliance for healthy food and farming.  Together with member organizations, she advocated for the support of healthier food systems through education, network development and collaborative action.  

Before Sustain, Carolyn had extensive experience in food security, farming and environmental policy issues through her Masters research focused on farmers' markets and her time at the Stop Community Food Centre. She has worked on farms and farming issues in four provinces in addition to visiting farms across Canada and abroad as an Independent Organic Inspector. 

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Kaelin Barichello
Policy and Research Manager

Kaelin joined OCO in August 2021 and they are now the Policy and Research Manager. While attending the University of Waterloo for Environment, Resources, and Sustainability, they developed a passion for food security, food justice, and sustainable food systems. They are drawn to the complex and truly universal nature of food issues, and hope to see the human relationship to food become a point of reciprocal positivity between people and the planet. They are excited to bring this passion into their work with OCO, where their focus is facilitating multi-stakeholder collaboration to strengthen the organic sector within the province. 

Brazil Gaffney-Knox
Operations Manager

Brazil Gaffney-Knox joined OCO in November 2022. Brazil developed a deep admiration for the food-growing community during her time studying Philosophy and Environmental Science at Trent University. During her time at Trent, Brazil built relationships with plants and animals and the community; she coordinated the student-led apiary, worked at the community radio station, and gardened and baked at the farm-to-table café. Most recently, Brazil worked as the coordinating editor of the independent student press at Trent University. Outside of OCO, Brazil works as an illustrator, graphic designer, and sometimes food grower.

Nova Dexter
Policy and Research Coordinator
Nova has been a Policy and Research Coordinator at OCO since May 2023, having graduated the year prior from the University of Toronto with a degree in Environmental Geography. Her studies there blossomed her passion for understanding and supporting sustainable relationships between humanity and the natural environment. With food systems being one of the most central and important realms of this human-environment intersection, Nova has continually been drawn to learn about and get involved in food sovereignty, security, and sustainability. She deeply values and believes in the affective power that comes from building a relationship with land through growing food, and is excited to support the work OCO does for organics and its sustainability oriented approach to agriculture.
Sarah Devine
Events & Conference Coordinator
Courtney Rantz
Events & Conference Coordinator
Courtney Rantz joined OCO in September 2023 as the Education and Volunteer Coordinator. Having worked on organic farms across Ontario, Courtney is committed to sharing the myriad benefits of sustainable agriculture. With a background in Microbiology, Courtney is fascinated by the intricate connections between soil health, food quality, and human well-being. She sees sustainable farming not only as a means of producing nutritious food but also as a vital component of promoting environmental stewardship and public health. Courtney is dedicated to spreading awareness about these connections and they drive her to engage with farmers, consumers, and communities alike, advocating for practices that prioritize both ecological and human health.