Natural Commerce Affiliation Declares 2022 Management Award Recipients

Organic Trade Association Announces 2022 Leadership Award Recipients

Washington, DC, April 07, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Natural Commerce Affiliation (OTA) acknowledged 4 excellent natural visionaries on Thursday with its 2022 Natural Management Awards. Recognizing their dedication and stewardship in championing and sustaining natural on their farms and communities, advancing natural options to fight local weather change, and addressing social wants and obligations, the commerce affiliation will have a good time these exemplary people throughout the Natural week subsequent month.

Management Award winners will likely be hosted at an official reception on Could 9, the opening day of OTA Natural Week in Washington, DC Natural Week will happen Could September 11 and is a vital alternative for farmers, retailers and your entire natural provide chain to come back collectively and collaborate for 72 hours and assist make selections that impression the way forward for natural. Registration for Natural Week is now open.

The Natural Commerce Affiliation first established its Natural Management Award in 1997 and the awards have been offered yearly since then. Winners are nominated by their friends and chosen unanimously by the affiliation’s Board of Administrators.

The distinguished winners of the 2022 Natural Management Award are:

Natural innovator

The Natural Groundbreaker Management Award acknowledges longtime OTA members who’ve devoted their careers to advancing natural agriculture and commerce by offering broad imaginative and prescient, modern creations and options, and the work and management that make desires a actuality. This 12 months’s winner, David Oien, is a real natural pioneer. A 3rd technology Montana farmer, David began farming in 1976 when he returned to his household’s wheat farm and turned it natural, thus starting his lengthy and storied profession within the trade.

David was instrumental in introducing legumes to native natural farmers and finally to the northern Nice Plains, permitting depleted soils to be replenished with nitrogen-fixing crops comparable to chickpeas and lentils. He was influential in increasing the quilt crop observe and an early proponent of crop rotation with an emphasis on useful legumes. He based Timeless Seeds and Timeless Natural Meals which equipped natural legume seeds to farmers and offered a useful and profitable marketplace for their crops. He’s a nationally acknowledged skilled on the advantages of rising natural legumes and nutrient-rich, biodiverse crops, and has been a tireless advocate for natural coverage, analysis and training all through his farming profession.

Our objective has at all times been to assist preserve the household farming mannequin in an environmentally accountable approach. Timeless Meals served as a conduit to create value-added markets for farmers who had been all in favour of natural farming and rising crops they in all probability hadn’t grown earlier than, David mentioned. Our mantra is conventional legume crops and cereals: distinctive varieties, premium high quality and nutrient density. Wheat is king in Montana. We do not compete with them. We’re licensed natural household farmers who dare to make modern crops.

Natural Farmer of the 12 months

The Natural Farmer Management of the 12 months Award honors people who’ve made vital contributions to supporting and selling natural agriculture and commerce on the farm degree. Receiving this honor this 12 months is April Jones Thatcher, proprietor of April Pleasure Farm in Washington state. April Pleasure Farm is a direct-to-market licensed natural farm rising greater than 200 forms of greens, fruits, flowers and herbs on its wealthy 24 acres, together with a herd of grazing goats and donkeys devoted to restoring the soils and 70 birds flock of Animal Welfare Authorized licensed poultry.

April began her farm from scratch in 2006 and has been natural since day one. From the start, April has needed her farm to attach carefully with the group it serves, and all produce from the farm is offered on to households via a Neighborhood Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. An engineer skilled with an MBA, April established an apprenticeship program in 2017. She has partnered with different agricultural and natural companies to develop their markets and her CSA choices. She lately co-founded the Farm to Coronary heart initiative, which presently supplies free natural produce to 60 native youngsters from low-income households. She and her husband Brad, who joined the farm in 2012, are full-time farmers with no extra-farm earnings.

I deeply respect the chance to be a voice for America’s small acre, natural farmers. Our contributions to the general public good are repeatedly neglected and downplayed, April mentioned. Natural farming is a dynamic and difficult profession, which challenges me every single day to mix my technical and undertaking administration abilities with my artistic spirit and fervour for working with pure techniques. Natural farming is a really private approach for me to proceed to be seen for my land and my group.

Natural local weather motion

The Natural Local weather Motion Management Award acknowledges a person who has demonstrated exemplary management in advancing natural options to mitigate local weather change. This 12 months’s award goes to Nicole Rakobitsch, Director of Sustainability for CROPP Cooperative/Natural Valley. Nicole is a frontrunner within the local weather sensible farming group and has led main sustainability tasks at Natural Valley and with its member farmers.

Nicole joined the Natural Valley group in 2012 as a sustainability coordinator after working with farmers for almost a decade in soil and water conservation planning and design in her house state of New York. Nicole initially led a undertaking that had Natural Valleys amenities working on 100% renewable electrical energy by 2019. Her group partnered with a credit score union in 2021 to launch the Powering the Good Mortgage Fund to supply the very best lending phrases for Natural Valley farmers who wish to scale back their dependence on fossil fuels with renewable vitality. Her group lately utilized for a USDA Partnerships for Local weather-Good Commodities grant and was awarded $25 million. This grant will enable the cooperative to spend money on 1,200 new sensible local weather practices throughout greater than 500 member farms over the following 5 years.

I started my profession working with farmers to design and implement conservation practices. I’ve seen firsthand that farmers are stewards of the land and have discovered that natural farming has the potential to guard and even restore the land. says Nicola. Farmers are all in favour of making enhancements that enhance the land… It’s our job to assist facilitate this transformation by offering academic, technical and monetary sources. We are able to have a giant optimistic impression on the earth when farmers are given the instruments they must be profitable in conservation and local weather sensible agriculture.”

Social impression

The Social Influence Management Award acknowledges people who’ve made excellent efforts to be a supply of positivity and stability for purchasers and members of the natural group throughout the pandemic and past. This 12 months’s award winner is Seth Goldman, co-founder of Eat the Change and his lately launched model, Simply Ice Tea. Seth is an entrepreneur and activist who has devoted his profession to bringing natural and environmentally pleasant meals to the general public and making certain residing wages and wholesome working situations for his staff and the farmers who develop his produce.

Seth started his profession when he co-founded Sincere Tea in 1998, the primary Honest Commerce licensed natural tea within the nation. In 2020, within the midst of the pandemic, Seth co-founded Eat the Change, specializing in nutrient-dense plant-based merchandise that prioritize natural elements and are sort to the planet. The Eat the Change Influence Grant Fund was then shortly established, giving greater than 1,000,000 {dollars} to non-profit teams that present entry to climate-friendly meals. Within the fall of 2022, Simply Ice Tea launched after Coca-Cola, which acquired Sincere Tea in 2011, unexpectedly discontinued the road. Slightly than stroll away from the farmers and growers the corporate had labored with for many years, Seth and his companions launched a brand new line of Honest Commerce-certified natural bottled teas in simply three months.

I’m so honored to obtain this award as a result of the natural farming group is what conjures up me to do that work. We’re decided to democratize natural merchandise to make them obtainable to everybody, Seth mentioned. I’ve at all times thought-about myself an activist, so our work to drive adoption of natural meals and drinks is on the coronary heart of my local weather change efforts. Natural should be on the coronary heart of any effort to enhance human well being or the well being of the planet.

Sponsors of Natural Week 2023 occasions embody Natural Valley, Normal Mills, Amys Kitchen, Danone, Ardent Mills, Applegate, Stonyfield, Driscolls, Oregon Tilth and Mercaris. For Natural Week sponsorship alternatives, contact the Natural Commerce Affiliation.

In regards to the Natural Commerce Affiliation
The Natural Commerce Affiliation (OTA) is the membership-based enterprise affiliation for natural agriculture and merchandise in North America. OTA is the main voice for the natural commerce in the USA, representing over 10,000 natural farms via membership and its Farmers Advisory Council. Its members embody growers, shippers, processors, certifiers, farmers associations, distributors, importers, exporters, consultants, retailers and others. The OTA Board of Administrators is democratically elected by its members. OTA’s mission is to advertise and shield ORGANIC with a unifying voice that serves and engages its numerous members from farm to market.


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