Growing Green Awards
2013 Awards Honor Extraordinary Leadership in Sustainable Food
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) announces its fifth annual Growing Green Awards to recognize individuals who have demonstrated original leadership in the field of sustainable food. Through this national award, NRDC recognizes extraordinary contributions that advance ecologically-integrated farming practices, climate stewardship, water stewardship, farmland preservation, and social responsibility from farm to fork.
The 2013 Growing Green Awards honored an outstanding individual in each of the following four categories: Food Producer, Business Leader, Food Justice Leader, and Young Food Leader.
Heritage Acres / Frankenstein, MO
Known as the "Pope of Pork," Russ Kremer is a fifth-generation Missouri diversified pork producer and a driving force in the movement for antibiotic-free livestock. After a near-death experience with an antibiotic-resistant bacterial infection Russ contracted from his pigs in 1989, he realized the dangers of conventional production and made immediate changes to his operation. Russ started over to raise pigs the natural, old-fashioned way –- free-roaming, pasture-raised and without drugs. Russ leads a thriving 52-member Ozark Mountain Pork Cooperative, empowering producers to profitably raise healthy pigs without antibiotics. He's cultivated relationships for his co-op brands Heritage Acres and Fork in the Road with major buyers including Whole Foods, Chipotle, Costco and La Quercia.
Read Barry Estabrook's blog post on Russ Kremer: The New Pork Gospel -- Meet the Farmer Selling Chipotle Antibiotic-Free Pork
For more than 30 years, California farmer and entrepreneur Larry Jacobs has been a pioneer in scalable and equitable organic food production proving that we can grow profitable food without chemicals. After his own dangerous encounter with pesticides in his early twenties, Larry dedicated his life's work to championing organic farming with innovative non-toxic pest control. From founding California-based Jacobs Farm, the nation's largest producer of fresh culinary organic herbs, to building the Del Cabo Co-operative, a 1,000 family farmer-strong partnership supporting organic growing in Baja, Mexico, to setting a legal precedent protecting organic farmers from drifting pesticides, Larry's efforts inspire new sustainable food opportunities for thousands of families across the Western Hemisphere.
Read Larry's blog post: A Good Bug Doesn't Mean a Dead Bug
FOOD JUSTICE LEADER
South Central Farmers Health and Education Fund / Buttonwillow, CA
When the city of Los Angeles threatened to bulldoze the nation's largest community food garden in 2003, local leader Tezozomoc and his community rose in its defense. He rallied the 350 families who grew food to feed themselves from the 14-acre South Central Garden, engaging in one of America's most important battles for urban agricultural land use. Although the Garden was ultimately closed, Tezozomoc gave it new life through a now-thriving 85-acre, 100 percent organic cooperative farm in Buttonwillow, and the South Central Farmers Health and Education Fund (SCFHEF), a grassroots nonprofit providing a culturally-relevant variety of organic produce to Los Angeles CSAs, farmers markets and underserved neighborhoods. Tezozomoc empowers regional Latino farming cooperatives with technical and ecological knowledge, market access, and financial viability to create hope for historically marginalized communities.
Read Tezozomoc's blog post: Renewing our Community’s Agricultural Life from Loss in South Central Los Angeles
YOUNG FOOD LEADER
Brianna Almaguer Sandoval
The Healthy Corner Store Initiative / Philadelphia, PA
At 30 years old, Brianna Almaguer Sandoval has transformed hundreds of Philadelphia-area corner stores into oases of fresh, healthy foods for low-resourced communities. Leading The Food Trust's Healthy Corner Store Initiative, Brianna is forging a path-breaking and replicable new paradigm for corner stores, as she provides the education, tools, and financial support corner stores need to increase their availability of fresh fruits and vegetables. Under Brianna's direction, the program has flourished from 11 stores to the nation's largest corner store initiative with over 680 stores. Brianna has created the 21st century community-based blueprint to drive healthy eating habits and solve America's critical food gap.
Read Brianna's blog post: Fresh, Healthy Food: Coming to a Corner Store Already Near You
Meet the 2013 Growing Green Awards Panel of Judges
NRDC is grateful to the following sustainable food leaders who served on the Growing Green Awards selection panel:
Marion Nestle is Paulette Goddard Professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University, which she chaired from 1988 to 2003. She is also Professor of Sociology at NYU and Visiting Professor of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell. She is the author of three prize-winning books: Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health; Safe Food: The Politics of Food Safety; and What to Eat. Her most recent book is Why Calories Count: From Science to Politics (with Dr. Malden Nesheim). She writes the Food Matters column for the San Francisco Chronicle, blogs daily (almost) at www.foodpolitics.com, and twitters @marionnestle. She was named 2011 Public Health Hero by the University of California School of Public Health at Berkeley, and Time Magazine listed her Twitter among its top ten most influential in health and science.
Michael Anthony is the Executive Chef/Partner at Gramercy Tavern, New York. Michael began cooking professionally in Tokyo, Japan where he quickly grew to love the Japanese connection to the changing seasons. Following his time in Japan, Mike moved to France to hone his culinary skills at a number of renowned restaurants. He joined Gramercy Tavern as the Executive Chef in 2006 and under his leadership the restaurant has earned a number of accolades including a three star New York Times review in 2007 and the James Beard Award for "Outstanding Restaurant" in 2008. In 2012, Michael won the James Beard Award for "Best Chef: New York City." (Photo: Ellen Silverman)
Nell Newman and business partner, Peter Meehan established Newman's Own® Organics: The Second Generation® in 1993 as a division of Newman's Own. In 2001, Newman's Organics became a separate company which today supplies a wide range of products, including organic snack foods, coffee, tea, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, organic dried fruit, and pet food to food retailers across the nation. The sale of Newman's Own Organics products generates money for the Newman's Own Foundation to give away. In 2010, Nell founded the Nell Newman Foundation dedicated to humanitarian, scientific and environmental action that fosters a resilient and restorative ecology.
Gabe Brown is one of the pioneers of the current soil health movement which focuses on regenerating our resources. Gabe, along with his wife Shelly, and son Paul, own and operate Brown's Ranch, a diversified farm and ranch near Bismarck, ND. The Browns holistically integrate their grazing and no-till cropping system, which includes multi-species cover crops, with all natural grass fed beef, poultry and sheep. This diversity and integration has regenerated the natural resources on the ranch without the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and fungicides. Gabe was the recipient of the 2012 Growing Green Award in the Food Producer category.
Meet Last Year's Winners
NRDC's 2012 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.
- Food Producer 2012: Gabe Brown, Brown's Ranch
- Business Leader 2012: George Siemon, Organic Valley
- Food Justice Leaders 2012: Lucas Benitez and Greg Asbed, Coalition of Immokalee Workers
- Young Food Leader 2012: Andrea Northup, D.C. Farm to School Network
last revised 1/15/2013
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