The Carolina Farm Stewardship Association announced the winners of the 2015 Leaders in Sustainable Agriculture awards at the 30th annual Sustainable Agriculture Conference held November 6-8 in Durham, North Carolina.
Activists of the year:
Grace and Cary Kanoy were honored for their work to launch the Davidson County Local Food Network, a coalition dedicated to bringing fresh, healthy foods and sustainable food systems to a region classified as a food desert.
Beginning Farmers of the year:
Dani and Joe Rowland got their start in 2010, farming a single row of vegetables at the Lomax Incubator Farm. Now, Rowland’s Row Family Farm encompasses 18 acres in Cabarrus County, where they raise free-range poultry and a wide variety of organic produce.
Business of the year:
Melinda Fitzgerald of Country Farm and Home Supply in Pittsboro was recognized for her work to support organic farmers in the Chatham County area. She took over the family business in 2008 and began changing it from a traditional farm supply store to one that meets the needs of the expanding community of organic growers.
John O’Sullivan retired in July, 2014, after serving as the co-director of the Center for Environmental Farming Systems. He worked for more than three decades to build sustainable food systems statewide.
Farmers of the year:
Portia McKnight and Flo Hawley run Chapel Hill Creamery, a small dairy farm west of Carrboro, N.C. They produce award-winning farmstead cheese and whey-fed pork, turning a by-product of the cheese-making process into a food source for their heritage pigs.
Institution of the year:
Farmer Foodshare has been working since 2009 to put fresh foods in the hands of the hungry, while ensuring the farmers who grow those crops can make a living. The program connects shoppers, nonprofits and small farmers, serving more than 20,000 people a year.
You can see more photos of the winners here.