Last week, the Natural Resources Defense Council honored five people who are leading the nation’s sustainable food revolution at its fourth annual Growing Green Awards. From food workers’ rights to school lunch makeovers, here are the five winners who may change the way you chow down – followed by a video on their efforts.
Gabe Brown, Food Producer winner
For more than 15 years, North Dakota rancher Gabe Brown has merged back-to-basics agrarian practices with innovative science-based sustainable farming techniques on his 5,400 acre family ranch. Thanks to his loving labor, Brown’s Ranch now boasts a 100 percent zero-till cropping system, mob grazing, polyculture cover crop and polyculture cash crop rotations.
Lucas Benitez and Greg Asbed, Food Justice winners
As co-founders of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), Lucas Benitez and Greg Asbed have revolutionized Florida’s $600 million fresh tomato industry, transforming it from one of the most repressive employers in the country to one quickly becoming the most progressive in the industry. Their Fair Food Program, which promotes fair wages, labor standards and education, is now implemented on over 90 percent of Florida’s tomato farms.
Andrea Northup, Young Food Leader winner
Before the age of 25, Andrea Northup founded the D.C. Farm to School Network, an organization that provides healthy food to 200 schools throughout Washington, D.C.
George Siemon, Business Leader winner
George Siemon has been CEO of Organic Valley for 25 years. Over that time, the company has grown into one of the nation’s leading organic brands and America’s largest cooperative of organic farmers, representing more than 1,700 families nationwide. The planet-friendly CEO was also instrumental in developing the standards for USDA Organic certification.
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