SYFA-USA is very proud of the leadership team which has been drawn together by Farmer Tantoh’s vision. These are individuals from all walks of life and at very different stages. Yet, they are joined in a single commitment to help Farmer Tantoh and rural Africa achieve their dreams and control of their future.
Gene received his Bachelors of Science in Mathematics from Ohio State University 1963. After graduation, from 1963 to 1965 he was the first Peace Corps volunteer in Nkambe, Cameroon to work on Community Development projects. Gene worked on the US Army’s Lunar Mapping from 1965 to 1967 while finalizing ABD in Mathematics from the Ohio State University Graduate School. Gene became the Associate Dean for Applied Technology and Mathematics Professor for West Virginia University at Parkersburg where he taught there from 1975 to 2001. Gene returned to Nkambe on vacation in 2010, where he met Farmer Tantoh and became involved in the Binju-Nkambe Water Catchment project. Since, he has been actively involved in planning the Binju-Nkambe project in addition to raising funds for the SYFA-USA water catchments projects. He is now a retired emeritus professor. He was the Treasurer for First Unitarian Universalist Church in Marietta, Ohio from 2006 to 2011.
Penny Mueller, Director of Volunteer Membership
Penny grew up on a dairy farm near Seymour, Wisconsin. From childhood she has had an appreciation of the link between the land and healthy life. As an adult she has become an advocate of agro environmentalism as the best solution to achieve sustainable healthy living. Penny has a degree from Northwestern Wisconsin Technical College in Horticulture and Landscaping. Upon graduation she returned to conventional farming but in the 1990’s Penny transitioned her interests more toward organic farming. This was a result of her growing awareness of the dangers many of the chemicals used in farming presented to the environment and future generations. Penny currently operates a commercial organic farm near Pulaski, Wisconsin and is actively involved in promoting healthy choice life-styles. She is involved in several activities promoting organic farm and natural holistic approaches to life. Penny remains intimately involved in the creation of a local organic farmers’ cooperative in the Green Bay Area.
Tantoh Nforba (Farmer Tantoh), Vice President
Farmer Tantoh grew up in rural Cameroon. After graduating from high school he became a grassroots environmental activist founding “Save Your Future Association” (SYFA) dedicated to teaching young persons and rural farmers organic farming techniques to protect the environment and improve their lives. Based upon this work, Tantoh was awarded a scholarship to the Regional College of Agriculture graduating in 2004, specializing in water catchment protection and agroforestry. Since, Tantoh has become a recognized leader in teaching sustainable water practices in rural Africa. In 2007, Tantoh was selected the first African participant of the Tahoe-Baikal Watershed Study Project. In 2010, he received a US Department of State grant to study organic farming practices, horticulture and landscaping in Wisconsin. In November of 2011, he received the African International Achievers Award by the Nile Development Organization and the Green Apple Award from the House of Commons. Farmer Tantoh has hosted 33 international volunteers from USA, Canada and France including Marcy and Masumi.
Jane E. Seusy, Esquire, Legal Counsel
Jane obtained her undergraduate degree from Illinois State University in Political Science and Business Administration. She finished her graduate work at The University of Kansas School of Law. She has worked in a several areas of law including work with the Environmental Law Division of the Department of Justice on cases involving: the Everglade clean-up; the spotted owl and jurisdiction over subsistence hunting and fishing in Alaska. Jane’s practice currently focuses primarily on small business law with a passion for working with the family business to help them make better legal decisions. She is especially interested in land use issues associated with family farms. Jane is not simply legal counsel but an active advisor and advocate for SYFA-USA. She is also counsel for five other non-profit organizations including: West Africa Aide, which is working to build hospitals in Burkina Faso and New Leaf Foods, which promotes education on and the use of organic foods.