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Nominations sought for three prestigious Organic Leadership Awards

Deadline for 2014 submissions is May 30

Barbara Haumann
(
bhaumann@ota.com
(802) 275-3820
)
Washington , DC
US
 (
May 12, 2014
) — 

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is currently accepting nominations for its annual prestigious Organic Leadership Awards, which recognize organic heroes who have made a significant difference to organic agriculture, industry and trade.

OTA is seeking nominations for three awards: the Organic Leadership Award for Growing the Organic Industry, an Organic Farmer of the Year Award, and a Rising Star Award.

“Organic agriculture all starts with farmers, followed by the valuable contributions of innovators and entrepreneurs who help grow and expand the market,” said Laura Batcha, OTA’s CEO and Executive Director. “It is exciting for OTA to recognize movers and shakers, sometimes well-known and sometimes unsung, who are playing an instrumental role in the organic sector.”

The Growing Organic Industry award recognizes an individual who has made significant contributions to growing the organic industry via work in such areas as consumer education and marketing, new market development, public relations, standards development, advocacy, and research.

The Organic Farmer of the Year award recognizes a professional farmer who has made significant contributions to supporting and advancing organic agriculture and trade at the farm level, such as increasing the amount of land under organic management, expanding the number of farmers using organic practices, or advancing organic agriculture through farm policy advocacy, community education, or innovative land stewardship and technical practices.

The Rising Star award recognizes an emerging leader who has distinguished himself or herself professionally due to pursuit, zeal or notable advancements to programs, initiatives, new categories, or product development promoting the growth, sustainability or influence of organic agriculture and trade.

Candidates must have demonstrated skills, innovation, personal commitment, leadership and vision to grow organic agriculture or the organic sector. In addition, they must have achieved identifiable and lasting changes to promote and protect organic agriculture and trade, and have inspired others to advance the cause as well. The awards will be presented in the fall at OTA’s Annual Awards Gala during Natural Products Expo East in Baltimore.

Selection criteria and downloadable nomination forms are available on OTA’s website. All nominations and letters of endorsement must be submitted by May 30. For more information, contact Tessa Young, OTA’s Director of Communications.

OTA’s Annual Organic Leadership Award was established in 1997. In 2013, awardees, nominated by their peers and chosen unanimously by OTA’s Board of Directors, were Arran and Ratana Stephens of Nature’s Path Foods for Growing the Organic Industry; Kyle Mathison of Stemilt Growers as the Organic Farmer of the Year; and Karen and Colin Archipley of Archi’s Acres/VSAT for the Rising Star award. A complete list of past honorees is featured on OTA’s website.


The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is the membership-based business association for organic agriculture and products in North America. OTA is the leading voice for the organic trade in the United States, representing over 6,500 organic businesses across 49 states. Its members include growers, shippers, processors, certifiers, farmers' associations, distributors, importers, exporters, consultants, retailers and others. OTA’s Board of Directors is democratically elected by its members. OTA's mission is to promote and protect the growth of organic trade to benefit the environment, farmers, the public and the economy.

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