The Organic Trade Association is seeking nominations for its annual Organic Leadership Awards, which recognize a farmer, an individual that’s aided in the growth of the organic sector, and an emerging leader in the field.
Nominations and endorsement letters must be submitted to the organic association by April 20, according to a news release. Nomination forms and more information on the awards are on the OTA’s website.
The three awards will be given during the association’s annual celebration Sept. 12 that kicks off the Natural Products Expo East in Baltimore, according to the release. The awards are:
Growing Organic Industry Award: Recognizes an individual who have made significant contributions to growing the organic industry.
Organic Farmer of the Year Award: Recognizes a grower that has “made significant contributions to supporting and advancing organic agriculture and trade at the farm level,” according to the release.
Rising Star Award: Recognizes someone who has distinguished themselves by pursuing/advancing programs, initiatives or product development promoting organic agriculture.
For 20 years, the awards have recognized organic leaders, including some in the fresh produce industry:
- William “Benny” McLean, Uncle Matt’s Organics;
- Kyle Mathison, Stemilt Growers;
- Drew and Myra Goodman, founders of Earthbound Farm; and
- Larry Jacobs and Sandra Belin, Jacobs Farm/Del Cabo.
"Organic agriculture all starts with farmers, followed by the valuable contributions of innovators and entrepreneurs who help grow and expand the market," said Laura Batcha, Organic Trade Association CEO and executive director, said in the release. "It is exciting for OTA to recognize movers and shakers, sometimes well-known and sometimes unsung, who are playing an instrumental role in the organic sector."