Independent Expert

Jennifer Schmidt

Maryland Farmer and Registered Dietician

Jennifer lives on a family farm with her husband and two children. Schmidt Farms is a very diverse farm, including grains, vegetables, hay and wine grapes in Sudlersville, Maryland. The diversity doesn’t end at their farm.

Not only does Jennifer work on the farm and manage the family’s 20-acre vineyard in addition to vineyards that belong to other producers throughout the region, but she is also a registered dietitian by trade who speaks on behalf of the International Food Information Council.

Schmidt also dedicates a good portion of her time to starting conversations about food and farming with urban consumers based on her experiences through her blog, The Foodie Farmer.  When Jennifer is able to find some spare time outside of 4-H projects with her kids, church activities and her many other responsibilities, she can be found relaxing with a good book or working on her latest scrapbooking project.

From this Expert

Posted On: Monday, 9/28/2015 1:52 am
A: Since we often grow for seed, our farm cost structure for seed production mirrors our cost structure for any identity preserved grain. The additional steps for identity preserved GMO or non-GMO seed (yes they both have to be protected) mirrors the production I outlined in my comparative blog. I cannot speak for the finishing costs past the farm gate but for us to grow seed, it must pass inspection by the agriculture department several times through the growing season and also pass the lab... Continue Reading
Posted On: Sunday, 6/14/2015 12:05 am
A: The answer to this question is, “it depends.”    First, segregation of grains can happen for any seed. Whether seed is GMO or non-GMO is not the only criteria upon which grains are needed to be segregated. This is particularly true for seeds grown for future seed. It has to be true to its genetics to be pure, regardless of whether it is GMO, non-GMO, or conventional hybrids. In the case of organics, it has to be segregated based on production methods in order to... Continue Reading
Posted On: Thursday, 5/14/2015 11:04 pm
A: Our family farm has practiced all three farming systems simultaneously – conventional, biotechnology and certified organic. These farming systems are not mutually exclusive and really require only variations in management than anything else. There is not one “philosophy” that makes a farm more sustainable than another because one must take into account the soil type, weather patterns, and growing region as important impacts toward advantages and disadvantages of what might be... Continue Reading
Posted On: Sunday, 3/01/2015 1:03 pm
A: Unfortunately, I was unable to discover any farmer’s market, brand or grocery store that openly promotes or advertises GMO foods. There are stores however, that positively discuss GMOs in our food supply and the current science surrounding the technology. Most of these statements were found either on their organic/natural foods page, or on a sustainability page.  Here are a few that I was able to find:   Wegmans   “What is Wegmans' position on GMOs?... Continue Reading
Posted On: Friday, 1/02/2015 10:50 pm
A: This is a challenging question because it starts from the premise that technology is the cause of all the ills of the world. There are many “things” that if analyzed statistically, could correlate similarly to these issues other than the GMOs you cite. Use of cell phones, HD TVs, E-readers, laptop computers, even organic food has increased in parallel to many of your concerns.   I’m not sure that I agree that the technology has been a “gaff”. Pharmaceutical... Continue Reading


Nutrients Are Pesticides: The Dose Makes the Poison

By Jennifer Schmidt (Independent Expert) on Tuesday, June 30, 2015 - 15:19

Registered dietician and farmer Jennie Schmidt discusses human and plant nutrition, and how nutrients can be used as pesticides. This post is from her blog, The Foodie Farmer.
  • Safety, Health, and Nutrition
  • Science and GMO Basics

Coexistence: Organic & GMO

By Jennifer Schmidt (Independent Expert) on Wednesday, August 6, 2014 - 17:21

Jennie Schmidt explains how organic and GM crops can coexist in agriculture.
  • Business Practices
  • Impact on Farms
  • Future of GMO
  • Government Oversight and Product Approvals

The Costs of GMO Labeling

By Jennifer Schmidt (Independent Expert) on Friday, April 18, 2014 - 17:55

In this article, Jennie Schmidt gives a pictorial analysis of the entire food supply chain for corn. In her analysis she shows what the true cost of GMO labelling would be, and lays out estimated costs for separating GMO from non-GMO crops and the infrastructure that would be required to do so.
  • Impact on Farms
  • Labeling
  • Government Oversight and Product Approvals