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The Organic Trade Association (OTA) has hired writer and editor Maggie McNeil as its director of media relations. In this new role, McNeil will put in place strategies to expand the press coverage and visibility of OTA's activities and events, working closely with the trade association's communications team on handling day-to-day media relations, developing stories, and building relationships with key journalists and other media professionals to raise the profile of organic.
"A key goal of OTA is to enhance the awareness, understanding and value of organic food, fiber and farming trade, and Maggie's solid experience in reporting on agricultural issues, and her knowledge of the media, will provide a significant step forward in achieving this goal," noted Laura Batcha, CEO and executive director of the Brattleboro, Vt.-based organization.
Organic Agriculture at the Forefront
McNeil's extensive experience includes positions with global news organizations, the American Soybean Association and an agribusiness consulting firm. Her most recent position was with the financial news website MarketWatch, a division of Dow Jones, where for 13 years she was an editor in the Washington, D.C., bureau. She also spent 11 years as editor and correspondent with the global news service Thomson Reuters, leading a team of commodities reporters. McNeil has covered a wide range of topics, from the food and agribusiness industries to the economy and politics, and her articles have run in newspapers and other publications worldwide.
"Agriculture is such a critical industry, and the significance of the organic sector is growing as consumers seek quality and safe products," said McNeil. "I have long had a tremendous amount of respect for organic agriculture."
OTA represents more than 6,500 organic businesses across 49 states, and its members include growers, shippers, processors, certifiers, farmers' associations, distributors, importers, exporters, consultants and retailers.