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Award Honorees

The Rodale Family , Rodale Institute

2003 : Special Pioneer Award

OTA honored the Rodale family for its more than 60 years of pioneering leadership and creative vision that have advanced organic agriculture and the organic industry. The Rodale family has been very instrumental in shaping awareness and knowledge about organic agriculture through three generations. It was J.I. Rodale who first associated the word organic with farming and gardening by purchasing a 60-acre farm near Emmaus, Pennsylvania, and publishing Organic Farming and Gardening magazine to share his experiences with others. Rodale’s son Robert expanded the enterprise by purchasing a 333-acre farm near Kutztown, PA. With his wife Ardath, he established The Rodale Institute to demonstrate through science the efficacy and sound environmental practices of organic agriculture.

His son Anthony and Anthony’s wife Florence have continued the work of The Rodale Institute and developed educational programs to help children understand the connection between healthy soil and the health of the planet and its inhabitants. Meanwhile, Robert’s daughter Maria has expanded the scope of the Rodale publications and her work encourages today’s generation to incorporate into their daily lives the healthy choices pioneered by her father and grandfather. 

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