Jim and his wife Rebecca ran a 45-cow organic dairy and direct market beef farm in southwest Wisconsin for 40 years. His farming roots trace back to his great-grandparents immigration from Ireland during the famine and the farm's original purchase in 1848. A farm activist, Jim credits more than 150 years of failed farm and social policy as his motivation to advocate for a farmer-controlled consumer-oriented food system. Currently he serves as a board member of Midwest Environmental Advocates and the Family Farm Defenders.
Jim is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Platteville with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Animal Science. He also holds a Masters Degree in Reproductive Physiology from South Dakota State University.