The Organic Trade Association’s board of directors elected Melissa Hughes as its new president.

Hughes was elected as an association director in 2013, and has also served as general counsel and director of government affairs for the Organic Valley/CROPP Cooperative since 2003, managing legal affairs and overseeing relationships with various government groups.

“Today, more than ever, advocating for organic is critical for our families, farms and food. Organic isn’t just a consumer lifestyle, it’s the future of farming.” Hughes said in a news release.

The Organic Trade Association, headquartered in Brattleboro, Vt., is a business association for protecting and promoting the organic industry.