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Nominations requested through January 31, 2014


The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Berkeley Food Institute join together to announce the 2014 Growing Green Awards to recognize leadership in the field of sustainable food systems. Through this national award, now in its sixth year, we will recognize extraordinary individuals who have inspired or demonstrated scalable models for more ecologically integrated, just and healthful food systems, from farm to fork.

In 2014, we will honor leadership in four new award categories, including Sustainable Food and Farm Educator, Sustainable Livestock Producer, Pollinator Protector and Regional Food Leader.

The winner in each category will receive a $2500 cash prize.

All winners will be widely celebrated through outreach to the media and through our combined networks. Winners will also be celebrated at a Growing Green Awards Celebration at UC Berkeley in the spring of 2014. Winners will be chosen by an independent panel of nationally renowned sustainable food thought-leaders. Information about award eligibility, selection criteria and process, and the award selection panel are provided below and are available here.


Award Categories

Sustainable Food and Farm Educator
Academic, educator, or non-profit leader (including extension) who has successfully contributed to the widespread adoption of sustainable agriculture and food practices through the transfer of knowledge with a significant number of food producers.

Sustainable Livestock Producer
Producer of food animals who has developed and applied innovative livestock production systems that reduce reliance on antibiotics, operate in harmony with the natural environment, and provide healthy conditions for workers and communities.

Pollinator Protector
Practitioner, advocate or scientist who has demonstrated leadership in raising public attention to the critical loss of pollinators in the U.S. and has either implemented significant actions to protect or enhance pollinators, or marshalled action to win government or industry support to preserve them.

Regional Food Leader
Entrepreneur or advocate who has contributed replicable, scalable tools, services, infrastructure or networks to help expand regional food systems.


Tezozomoc, 2013 Growing Green Award Food Justice Leader

Growing Green Awards Criteria

In selecting from nominees, the awards selection panel will consider the following criteria:

  • Innovation in promoting ecologically-integrated food systems. This may include minimizing inputs of energy, water, antibiotics, pesticides and other chemicals; reducing pollution and global warming gas emissions; use of on-farm polyculture; increasing natural resilience; and stewardship of biodiversity, open space and land resources.
  • Advancement of health, justice, safety and economic viability for farmers, food system workers and communities.
  • Potential to achieve wide scale adoption, implementation or behavioral change.

Selection Panel and Process

The awardees will be selected by an independent panel with staffing assistance from NRDC and BFI.

We are grateful to the following sustainable food leaders who have volunteered to join the 2014 Growing Green Awards selection panel:

Gary Hirshberg

Gary Hirshberg is Chairman of the Board, Cofounder and former CE-Yo of Stonyfield Farm. He is also a founding partner and Chair of the Board of "Just Label It", a campaign to label genetically engineered foods.

Fred Kirschenmann

Fred Kirschenmann serves as President of Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture in New York and as a Distinguished Fellow for the Leopold Center at Iowa State University.

Russ Kremer

Russ Kremer, the 2013 winner of the GGA's Food Producer Award, is the founder of the 52-member Ozark Mountain Pork Cooperative.

Kathleen Merrigan

Kathleen Merrigan served as Deputy Secretary of Agriculture from 2009 to 2013, overseeing USDA's Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food program, among many other initiatives.


Applications will be accepted until close of business on January 31, 2014. The application must be submitted electronically using the application process below. The application requires a 250 word summary. The applicant may also attach up to 10 pages of supporting information, photographs, articles or other supporting materials. Please combine multiple files into a single attachment.

In the last four Growing Green Award competitions we received many excellent nominations that came close to winning. We encourage previous applicants to resubmit their nominations for consideration for a 2014 Growing Green Award. Please contact Andrea Spacht with questions at gga@nrdc.org or by phone at 415-875-6144.




Brianna Almaguer Sandoval, 2013 Growing Green Award Young Food Leader

Meet Last Year's Winners

NRDC's 2013 Growing Green Awards winners were selected from a diverse pool of impressive candidates for their outstanding achievements in sustainable food and farming. You can hear them share their stories here.





Growing Green Awards | 2013 Winners | 2012 Winners | 2011 Winners | 2010 Winners | 2009 Winners

last revised 12/4/2013

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