Beginning Farmer of the Year

Beginning Farmer of the Year Award

 

Angelic Organics Learning Center and the Upper Midwest CRAFT farmer alliance launched the Beginning Farmer of the Year award in 2013 in order to celebrate and promote new farmers growing for our local and sustainable food and farm economy. The winner of this award selects the Mentor Farmer of the Year, honoring an experienced farmer who generously provided mentoring at some time during their first ten years of startup.  Beginning in 2016, these awards have been sponsored by the collaborating Farmer Alliances in Routes to Farm, serving beginning farmers across the greater Chicago foodshed. Each nominee must be a member of at least one of the Farmer Alliances on routes2farm.org.  The winner of the 2017 Beginning Farmer of the Year Award and the Mentor Farmer of the Year will be announced in the morning plenary of the Good Food Festival in Chicago at 9 am on Friday, March 17.

2017 Beginning Farmer of the Year

Finalists:

CHJ Umoja Family Gardens

Wishful Acres Farm & Brewery

Bryant Family Farms

B.S.R.R. Youth Center Kids Garden

Sugar Grove Farms

What is the Beginning Farmer of the Year Award?

  1. Beginning Farmer of the Year receives a $1,000 honorarium, award at public ceremony, a free pass to the Industry Day at the Good Food Festival (Friday) in Chicago, and partial travel support to the event.
  2. Finalists will receive honorable mention, a $100 honorarium, and a free pass to Industry Day at the Good Food Festival (Friday). Farmers/Farms will also receive widely distributed press coverage from Routes to Farm, Angelic Organics Learning Center and Good Food Festival – an estimated 15,000-20,000 person viewership!
  3. Finalists are selected by their farmer alliance by January 13th, 2017.
  4. Beginning Farmer of the Year is selected by representatives of the farmer alliances in Routes to Farm by January 30th, 2017.
  5. Mentor Farmer of the Year receives a $200 honorarium, a free pass to Industry Day at the Good Food Festival (Friday), and partial travel support to the event. (The Beginning Farmer of the Year selects a Mentor Farmer of the Year to be honored.)
  6. Winners are presented awards in a public ceremony along with the video of the recognized Beginning Farmer of the Year at FamilyFarmed‘s Good Food Festival in Chicago on March 17, 2017. The Good Food Festival & Conference is the leading event of its type in the country, and will be celebrating its 13th Anniversary in 2017. FamilyFarmed is delighted to offer Industry Day and special Industry Networking Reception passes (Friday) to the two winners and the finalists.
  7. The Beginning Farmer of the Year and the Mentor Farmer of the Year must be present at the award ceremony to receive the award, will be featured in a press release, and need to be available for various media interviews.
  8. The beginning farmer honorable mentions will be featured in a press release and will need to be available for various media interviews as requested.
  9. The submitted videos will become property of Routes to Farm and may be used solely by Routes to Farm and its program partners for publicity and in online marketing materials to promote beginning farmer training.

 

Each video must answer these ten questions to be eligible:

 

  1. What is your name and what is your farm’s name?
  2. How long has your farm been in operation?
  3. What farmer alliance in Routes to Farm (routes2farm.org) are you a member of and for how many years have you been a member?
  4. How has your farmer alliance helped you launch or grow your farm?
  5. Where is your farm?
  6. How much land do you farm and what is it like?  Is it urban, peri-urban or rural?  
  7. What does your farm produce/sell and to whom?
  8. What is the biggest obstacle you face or have overcome as a beginning farmer?
  9. What is new on your farm next season? How are you innovating or growing?
  10. Why do you farm?

 

 Criteria for Selection:

 

  1. Video is less than 3 minutes and all questions are addressed
  2. Video shares a compelling, creative, humorous, or inspiring story
  3. Video demonstrates how farmer has been a leader, innovator, or community-builder
  4. Video features footage of the farm and the farmer
  5. The farmer is a member of at least one farmer alliance in Routes to Farm (routes2farm.org)
  6. The farmer is in the first 10 years of farm business operation
  7. The awardee agrees to attend and participate in the award ceremony at the Good Food Festival in Chicago.
  8. The video raises the public profile of beginning farmers, mentor farmers and the farmer alliances that support them.  

2016 Beginning Farmer of the Year

Winner!

Illinois Stewardship Alliance

 

Amy Randazzo

Grani's Acres

Finalists:

PrairiErth Farm

Tree of Life Farm

Boots & Saddle