John M. Phillips       Curriculum Vitae

P.O. Box 3033 ·Snowflake, AZ, USA 85937 928-243-8086


Current Responsibilities:  President and CEO, The Living Earth Training Center, Inc., Concho, Arizona.  Develops and teaches training programs and internships in sustainable organic agriculture and related topics.  Authors training manuals and other publications.  Develops and implements farm plan for demonstration mini-farm and gardens.


Partner, White Mountain Nature Farm, LLC. Concho, Arizona.  Property development.



Employment History:

Consultant, EM Applications and Consulting (EMAC). 2000-2005. Consultant to farmers to develop farm plans and requisite record keeping to transition to organic practices and status.  Developed treatment plans using EM and organic inputs to solve production problems with fertility, insects, plant diseases, nematodes and weed control. Helped improve yield and quality in crops including cotton, small grains, vegetables, fruit trees and grapes.

President and CEO, The Natural Agricultural Network of the Americas, Inc.

1999-2005. Served as Chief Executive Officer fostering expansion of EM Nature Farming methods in the United States of America and other countries in the Americas.  Conducted seminars and training programs with farmers and the interested public.  Wrote manuals and other instructional materials.  Provided technical assistance to farmers and others regarding the use of Effective Microorganisms in farming and environmental applications.

Director of Agricultural Programs, Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center, December, 2001-2005.

Developed intern training programs in gardening and landscaping. Land management planning and design for a 160-acre campus and a supporting 10-acre satellite facility.  Helped design and install several speciality gardens, including the labyrinth, the Mikvah, the Circle Garden Shade House, a Tiered-Vegetable Growing System for the Sunken Greenhouse, a Seedling Production System for the Kiki Hut, and the Unity Peace Garden.

Technical Coordinator, EM Technologies, Inc., Tucson, AZ.  1995-2000. 

Provided technical assistance, guidance and direction to Model Farms and Research Partners programs.  Also coordinated the EM·X Holistic Practitioners Network.  Helped write and edit instructional materials.  Presented seminars and training programs.  Supervised research projects with Effective Microorganisms on poultry, soybeans, cotton and other crops and livestock. Coordinated legal and technical efforts to label and register EM products.  Coordinated marketing plan for EM in the agricultural sector.  Presented papers at International Conferences on EM Nature Farming. Help recruit and train staff.  Served on Executive Committee and Board of Directors. Wrote successful grant to ADEQ.

Farm Manager and Research Director, Nature Farming Research and Development Foundation, Lompoc, CA.  1990-1995. 

Performed the duties of Research Director at the Naturfarm in Lompoc, California, USA, as of June of 1990, and assumed responsibilities of Farm Manager as of April of 1992.  Conducted research on Effective Microorganisms and Nature Farming systems and practices on a certified organic farm of 75 crop-acres, 180 acres in total farm.  Prepared the Naturfarm as a showcase model farm for touring by the participants of the Third International Conference on Kyusei Nature Farming held in Santa Barbara, California in October 1993. Published research results that studied the process of Transition from conventional agriculture to organic farming using EM and Nature Farming methods. Served on the Board of Directors of California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF), and helped to create new organizations such as The Organic Suppliers Advisory Council as a sector group of the Organic Trade Association, and the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI).  Attended several meetings of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) to provide input to protect the stance of EM Nature Farming relative to the National Organic Program under development by the USDA. Studied EM and Nature Farming in Japan and Thailand in 1992.

Self-Employed, Landscaper and Gardener, Tucson, AZ. 1981-89.  Designed, installed and maintained landscapes and gardens for commercial and residential customers.  Worked on several shopping centers projects and apartment complexes. Also developed an elite private garden cliental among health care professionals and alternative healing practitioners.


Grounds Curator, Tohono Chul Park, Tucson, AZ. 1987.  Maintained the grounds for a 40-acre urban park in northwest Tucson.  Supervised grounds personnel, docents and volunteers.  Trained docents.  Coordinated plant sales.


Edible Landscape Designer, Desert Metamorphosis Designs, Inc., Tucson, AZ. 1984-87.  Formed a corporation with other innovative experts to offer design and installation services for integrated living systems adapted to desert environments.  Integrated the technologies of solar energy, water harvesting, grey water recycling and edible landscaping into demonstration homes to illustrate harmonious living designs in the Upper Sonoran Desert.  Worked with Southern Arizona Home-Builders Association to create a “Parade of Homes” to demonstrate to the Tucson public the efficacy of living in harmony with the desert.


Greenhouse Manager, Pascua Yaqui Tribe, Pascua Pueblo, Tucson, AZ. 1983-84.  Part-time position as greenhouse manager to grow organic and hydroponic vegetables in a 20 x 60’ passive solar greenhouse at the Elder’s Center for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe. 


President and CEO, Arizona Research Associates, Inc., Tucson, AZ. 1979-80.  Created a non-profit company to explore the theme: “The human settlement of space begins with the stewardship of the earth”.  Developed research proposals for NASA, US Dept. of Energy, and other entities on using appropriate technology to offer solutions to various problems.  In 1979, participated in the NASA/Ames Workshop on Guiding the Development of Controlled Ecological Life Support Systems as Group Leader of the Food Production Group.  Presented papers at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, at the Third Princeton/AIAA Conference on Space Manufacturing, and at the 9th Intersociety Conference on Environmental Systems (ASME) on the topic of using controlled environment agriculture to grow food and regenerate air and water supplies in large-scale, long-duration space missions, emphasizing the possible applications of this research to solving earth’s food and environmental problems.  Worked with Palo Solari and participated in a workshop at Arcosanti, near Cordes Junction, Arizona.


Research Associate (Horticulture), Environmental Research Laboratory, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ.  1974-1978. Starting as a Research Technician in 1974, in 1978 earned Research Faculty Status in a dedicated research department of the University of Arizona.  In 1978, was Principal Investigator for two independently funded projects, including a grant from NASA (NSG-2309) concerned with evaluating biological components for controlled-ecological life support systems for large-scale, long-duration space missions; and a grant from the Arizona Solar Energy Commission (OEPAD-368-77) concerned with the controlled-environment production of biomass (water hyacinth) for conversion to liquid and gaseous fuels.  In 1977, presented a paper at the Second Princeton/AIAA Conference on Space Manufacturing concerned with the use of Controlled-Environment Agriculture (CEA) to grow crops in space, and was invited to participate in the 1977 NASA/Ames Summer Study on Space Settlement and Utilization of Extraterrestrial Resources.  In 1976, participated in a study of the use of controlled-environment agriculture to possibly solve the world food problem.  In 1975, participated in, and helped coordinate, various studies on mineral nutrition and disease control in CEA systems.  In 1974, shortly after joining ERL, was deployed to the Arid Lands Research Center in Abu Dhabi as a plant pathology and mineral nutrition expert.  Also served a two-month special assignment to Kharg Environmental Farms on Kharg Island, Iran to train Iranian nationals as a work force for a two-acre CEA farm. In 1975/76, conducted research on carbon dioxide enrichment using the phytocell growth chambers at ERL, as a master’s thesis research project resulting in receiving a M.S. in Agriculture in 1976.



Supervisor of Quality Control, Hydroculture, Inc., Glendale, AZ. 1973-74. Reorganized the Quality Control Department and solved several problems by developing new grading standards for hydroponic greenhouse crops (tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce and melons), and creating an on-the-job training program for inspectors, supervisors and packing house personnel. Also conducted research on quality control factors such as the influence of packaging materials on storage life.


Hydroponic Growing Unit Manager, Hydroculture, Inc., Glendale, AZ. 1973.  Managed 28 greenhouse units (26’ x 128’ each) planted to tomatoes and cucumbers growing in gravel culture hydroponics.  Supervised three crews (17 workers) and trained several new managers.  Managed the showcase units that the company used to present to VIP visitors and prospective clients.


Research Horticulturist, Nutriculture, Inc., Phoenix, AZ. 1972. Evaluated “viaflow” drip irrigation for vegetable crops, grapes and orchards for E. I. DuPont, Inc. at the ASU experimental farm.  Attended the first International Conference on Composting and Organic Farming in San Francisco May 13-15, 1972 and met Robert Rodale and many other luminaries in organic agriculture.  Helped develop a crop plan and farm plan for a training center to teach families how to be successful in organic food production as a business by forming small cooperatives.


Poultry Laboratory Assistant, Dept. of Agriculture, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 1971-72. In addition to general care for the experimental farm’s poultry flock, performed independent studies on poultry and swine using experimental feed ingredients such as triticale and extruded soybean, while studying for a Master’s degree in Agriculture at ASU.


Radioisotope Lab Technician, Unit Process Assemblies, Woodside, NY. 1969. Manufactured and repaired probes that used beta-backscattering effects to analyze coating thickness for aerospace and industrial applications.


Coordinator, Summer-in the City Intern Program, New York City, NY. 1967 and 1968.  Worked with Rev. Bruce Ritter who latter created Covenant House in New York City during two summers to supervise interns working in inner-city neighborhoods to provide recreational and educational opportunities to youth during two volatile summers as part of the War on Poverty Program.





M. S. Agriculture (Plant Studies), Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona. 1976.

Major Subjects: Crop Physiology; Hydroponics and Greenhouse Management; Drip Irrigation of Vegetable Crops; Insects, Man, Pesticides and the Environment; Tropical Swine Rations - Feeding Trial; Tropical Poultry Rations - Egg Quality Experiment; Aquaculture and Fisheries Management; Aquaculture in Foreign Agriculture; Origins of Agriculture.

Thesis: Carbon Dioxide Enrichment of Japanese Cantaloupe (Cucumis melo L.) Variety “Golden Crispy” in a Phytocell Atmosphere.  (Thesis performed at the Phytocell complex located at the Environmental Research Laboratory of the University of Arizona, funded by the Rockefeller Foundation.)


B. S. Biology, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona. 1971.

Studied Biology, Plant Physiology, Microbiology, Entomology, Plant Ecology, Plant Geography, Economic Botany, Plant Taxonomy, Evolutionary Biology, Genetics, Invertebrate Zoology, Limnology, as well as Physics, Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Calculus, and other subjects.



Board and Leadership Experience:


1998-2005. President of the Natural Agricultural Network of the Americas, Inc.

1995-99. Steering Committee Member of the Organic Suppliers Advisory Council of the Organic Trade Association.

1995-96. South Coast Chapter Representative and Member, Board of Directors, California Certified Organic Farmers.

1993-2001. Secretary, Board of Directors of EM Technologies, Inc.

1990-91. Board Secretary and Treasurer, Nature Farming Research and Development Foundation.

1984-95. Treasurer, Board Member, Desert Metamorphosis Designs, Inc.

1982-84. Board Member, Tucson-Novokutsnek Friendship Society, Sister-City Relationship.

1981-83. Board Member, Tucson Botanical Gardens.

1979-82. President, Arizona Research Associates, Inc.

1979. Group Leader, Food Production Group.  NASA-Ames Workshop on Guiding the Development of Controlled Ecological Life Support Systems (CELSS).


Grants and Fund Raising Experience:


Obtained grants from NASA, Arizona Solar Energy Commission, Arizona Department of Environmental Quality; renewed grant from California Energy Commission; participated in budgeting process leading to grants from sponsors in Japan for the Nature Farming Research and Development Foundation and EM Technologies, Inc.  Fund raising experiences includes writing appeals letters, mass mailings and coordinating benefit concerts, films and other activities.


Conference and Workshop Participation and Organization Experience:


2001 to 2004: Workshops on EM, Nature Farming, Spiritual Gardening and related topics held at the Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center, Patagonia, Arizona.


2000-2001:  Workshops on EM and Nature Farming under the auspices of the Natural Agricultural Network of the Americas, Inc. in association with the Traditional Native American Farming Association held on reservation facilities for the Pima and O’odham tribal members.


1999. Presented two papers and a poster paper at the 6th International Conference on Kyusei Nature Farming held in Pretoria, South Africa.


1995. Presentation on Pest Break Strips for Controlling Pest Insects at the 5th International Conference on Kyusei Nature Farming held in Paris, France, EU.


1993. Organizing Committee Member, 3rd International Conference on Kyusei Nature Farming held in Santa Barbara, California, USA.  Presented a paper on Transition to Nature Farming.  Prepared and lead farm tour of the Naturfarm as example of cutting edge research and demonstration in Nature Farming using EM technology.


1984.  Participant, Seed Saving Workshop, Tucson Botanical Gardens, Tucson, Arizona.





Phillips, J. M. 1999. Abstract:   Adoption of EM Technology in Large-Scale Livestock Operations in the USA. Paper Presented at the 6th International Conference on Kyusei Nature Farming, held October 28-31, 1999 at the University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa.


Phillips, J. M. and Cephas Neuhs. 1999. Abstract.  The Effect of EM on the Production of Wood Chip Compost. Paper Presented at the 6th International Conference on Kyusei Nature Farming, held October 28-31, 1999 at the University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa.


Phillips, J. M. 1999. Adaptation of EM Nature Farming to Commercial Crop Production in the United States. Poster Paper Presented at the 6th International Conference on Kyusei Nature Farming, held October 28-31, 1999 at the University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa.


Phillips, J. M. 1999. Promoting EM Expansion through Marketing EM Products: Results of a Marketing Study of EM for Agricultural Applications in the United States.  Published in the Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Kyusei Nature Farming, held October 23-26, 1997 in Bangkok, Thailand. Pp. 292-311.


Phillips, J. M.  1998. Pest Break Strips for Biological Control of Insect Pests in Nature Farming: A New Perspective for Integrated Pest Management.  Published in the Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Kyusei Nature Farming, held June 19-25, 1995 in Paris, France.  Pp. 152-163.


Phillips, J. M. and Phillips, S. R.  1997. Editors. EM Swine Production Manual. Using Effective Microorganisms (EM) in EM Probiotic and EM Waste Treatment to Improve Production, Control Odors and Process Wastes. EM Technologies, Inc. 15 pp.


Phillips, J. M. 1996. Transition to Kyusei Nature Farming at the Naturfarm in Lompoc, California.  Published in the Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Kyusei Nature Farming, held October 5-7, 1993 in Santa Barbara, California, USA.  Pp. 110-119.


Spurlock, J., Phillips, J. M. et al. 1979. Research Planning Criteria for Regenerative Life Support Systems Applicable to Space Habitats.  Published in NASA SP-428. Space Resources and Space Settlements. Technical Papers derived from the 1977 Summer Study at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California.  Study Director: Gerard K O’Neill, Princeton University.  Pp. 13-30.


Phillips, J. M. 1979. Agriculture and Food Production. Published in the Proceedings of the Fourth Princeton/AIAA Conference on Space Manufacturing, May 14-17, 1979. American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Pp. 375-380.


Phillips, J. M. 1977. Controlled-environment Agriculture and Food Production Systems for Space Manufacturing Facilities. Published in the Proceedings of the Third Princeton/AIAA Conference on Space Manufacturing Facilities.  American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.  Pp. 201-205.



References and Letters of Recommendation are available upon request.


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