An organic food and farming research group,The Organic Center(, Boulder, Colo., said it hiredJoan Boykinas executive director.

Officials said Boykin is a natural and organic products industry veteran with over 25 years of marketing, business development and leadership experience. Her mission will be to advance and communicate science to document and expand the environmental and human health benefits of organic food and farming.

The Organic Center also said its namedMark Retzloffas board chairman of the Board, filling the position of previous chair, Michelle Goolsby, former executive vice president for Dean Foods Company, who will remain a member of the board of directors.

"With Joan's deep experience in marketing and communications, and vast network within the organic and natural foods industry, the board was unanimous that she has the right blend of expertise to guide the mission of The Organic Center," said Retzloff. "Her 13-year tenure at Celestial Seasonings/The Hain Celestial Group, combined with consulting work done on behalf of organic products manufacturers and retailers - from fledgling to long-established - give her an excellent perspective on how TOC can foster communication between industry and consumers on the science behind the many health benefits of organic products."

Said Boykin, "The opportunity to serve The Organic Center is also an opportunity to serve society by generating and disseminating scientifically substantiated information that will help individuals make decisions on how to eat and live healthier lives every day.

"With our esteemed board and the extraordinary expertise that Chief Scientist, Dr. Charles Benbrook, brings to the organization, we look forward to ensuring that various constituents understand the proven scientific benefits of organics."