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Award Honorees

Kathleen Merrigan, Agricultural Marketing Program, U.S. Department of Agriculture

2000 : Organic Leadership Award

During Merrigan’s tenure as administrator of the Agricultural Marketing Service, there has been visible progress toward the integration of organic agriculture in existing programs, such as research and education, marketing orders and promotion, and crop insurance, within USDA. The proposed rule for the National Organic Program became a reality because of Kathleen Merrigan’s ability to lead, build a productive team, and articulate a vision for implementing the Organic Foods Production Act. Not only did she deliver a totally revamped regulation, but the resulting regulation reflected the principles, philosophies and standards held dear by the organic industry. Kathleen’s tenacity and strength of character played a major role in the outcome of this document.

Merrigan, in fact, helped draw up the 1990 Organic Foods Production Act when she served as an aid to Senator Patrick Leahy in 1989 and 1990.

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