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The HHRA Board of Directors is Seeking New Volunteer Leaders

We are publicly recruiting for board positions to ensure that we move beyond our immediate networks and honor our ongoing commitment to creating a board that is diverse in its composition, inclusive in its culture, and equity-focused in its approach to how it views its mission, its work, and the communities it serves. Our board members are the fiduciaries who steer the HHRA toward a sustainable future by adopting sound, ethical, and legal governance and financial management policies, as well as by making sure the HHRA has adequate resources to advance its mission.

The Heartland Health Research Alliance (HHRA) is a 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2020 and dedicated to creating a new future in which cultivating health is the priority of farming. Our mission is to help inform the decisions shaping agriculture by advancing research on the health effects of food and farming. The HHRA seeks to fill vacancies on its board with qualified volunteers who, in addition to the standard roles and responsibilities (see below) of a board member, will be active advocates and ambassadors for the organization.

Preferred qualifications
1. Professional experience in public health, medical research, epidemiology, toxicology, or organic farming,
2. Experience on a governing board, with understanding of–or willingness to learn–the Carver Model concept of the board role.
3. A network or experience, or both, that may facilitate grant seeking and fundraising.
4. Commitment to the scientific method and the integrity of research.

Essential information
1. The board of the HHRA is a volunteer board.
2. Each term is for three years, to which members can be re-elected once.
3. The board meets four times a year via the Internet.

The HHRA expects each board member to honor the HHRA values and mission, act in the best interest of HHRA, prepare for the board meetings by reading the agenda and reports, participate in the board meetings, and identify personal and professional connections for HHRA fundraising, grant-seeking, and policy influence.

1. To apply to volunteer, please send your CV and a one-page cover letter providing your name, contact information, and a description of either which of the preferred qualifications (above) you will bring to the HHRA or how your unique qualifications can help the HHRA.  Send these materials to Russell K. King, HHRA executive director, at .
2. Qualified applications will be reviewed by the current board, which will vote on whether to seat a volunteer as a member. (The next board meeting is in February 2024.)
3. The recruiting process will remain open until all seats are filled.

Standard board member duties
1) Board members should advance the mission of the organization
Overall, spreading awareness for your mission will promote growth and empower your team to flourish in its work.

2) Board members should prepare for and attend board meetings
Review the agenda in advance. Everyone should understand all matters on the agenda heading into the meeting. Participation in discussions is a big part of why you choose someone for a role on the board. Fulfilling these duties is part of acting in good faith for any board member.

3) Board members hire, set compensation for, support, and collaborate with the executive director
Hiring and supporting the executive director is one of the most important board member responsibilities.  The executive director is the professional hired to as bring nonprofit leadership and operational expertise to the HRRA’s daily operations and to advice and educate the board on matters relating to nonprofit governance and operations, so this board role is crucial to the organization’s health.

4) Board members are responsible for recruiting new members
Drawing on your professional and personal networks, seek new members who have needed skills and qualities that are missing from the current board.

5) Every board member must fulfill three specific core legal responsibilities.

Duty of Care

  • Attending meetings and actively participating.
  • Communicating with the executive director and other board members.
  • Following through on assignments..
  • Supporting programs. 

Duty of Loyalty

  • Support HHRA’s mission.
  • Be a loyal ambassador for HHRA’s cause.
  • All activities and decisions should be in the best interest of the organization, not in the best interest of the individual board member.
  • Support the HHRA executive director.

Duty of Obedience

  • Adhere to HHRA’s bylaws, policies, and board decisions.







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