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 2019 Beginning Farmer of the Year Award and the Mentor Farmer of the Year will be announced at the Good Food EXPO in Chicago on Friday, March 22nd.

 

Now accepting nominations! See details below for more information on how to submit.
Deadline: Monday, January 14, 2019

 

Award Details
How to Nominate (Eligibility & Selection Criteria)
Benefits

2018 Beginning Farmer of the Year

Winner!

Upper Midwest CRAFT

Yoram Shanan

Sandbox Organics

2017 Beginning Farmer of the Year

Winner!

Illinois Stewardship Alliance

Chase Sanert

Sugar Grove Farms

2017 Finalists:

CHJ Umoja Family Gardens

Wishful Acres Farm & Brewery

Bryant Family Farms

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

Award Details:

 

    1. Beginning Farmer of the Year receives a $1,000 award in a public ceremony and a free pass to Industry Day at the Good Food EXPO (Friday) in Chicago.
    2. Finalists (one farmer from each farmer alliance in Routes to Farm) will receive honorable mention, a $100 award, and a free pass to Industry Day at the Good Food EXPO (Friday).
    3. Finalists are selected by their farmer alliance by Friday, January 25th, 2019.
    4. Beginning Farmer of the Year is selected by representatives of the farmer alliances in Routes to Farm by Friday, February 8th, 2019.
    5. Mentor Farmer of the Year receives a $200 award and a free pass to Industry Day at the Good Food EXPO (Friday). (The Beginning Farmer of the Year selects a Mentor Farmer of the Year to be honored.)
    6. Winners will be notified on Monday, February 11th, 2019. They are presented awards in a public ceremony along with the video of the recognized Beginning Farmer of the Year at FamilyFarmed’s Good Food EXPO in Chicago on Friday, March 22rd, 2019. The Good Food EXPO & Conference is the leading event of its type in the country, and will be celebrating its 15th Anniversary in 2019. 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.

 

How to Submit a Nomination:

Each Routes to Farm alliance has their own individual submission deadlines and nomination procedures. Please contact your alliance for more information.

 

Eligibility Requirements

Each video must be 3 minutes or less (approximately 30 seconds per main question), include footage of the nominee farmer and their farm, and fulfill these requirements in the video to be eligible:

  1. Tell us about your farm!
    • What is your name?
    • What is your farm’s name?
    • How long has your farm been in operation?
    • Where is your farm located?
    • How much land do you farm and what is it like? Is it urban, peri-urban or rural?  
    • What does your farm produce/sell and to whom?
  2. Why do you farm?
  3. What farmer alliance in Routes to Farm are you involved with and how many years have you been involved?
    • How has your farmer alliance helped you launch or grow your farm?
  4. Tell us how your Mentor Farmer has guided you along your new farm journey.
  5. What is the biggest obstacle you face or have overcome as a beginning farmer?
  6. What is new on your farm next season? How are you innovating or growing and why?

In addition, the farmer must be a member of at least one farmer alliance in Routes to Farm and in their first 10 years of farm business operation to be eligible for nomination.

By submitting a video, the nominee agrees to attend and participate in the award ceremony at the Good Food EXPO in Chicago, if selected as a winner. If the awardee is unable to attend and participate in the award ceremony at the Good Food EXPO in Chicago this will result in disqualification.

 

The Leadership Team of Routes to Farm will vote on the winner based on a scale of 0 to 3:

3 = Outstanding, all criteria met beyond expectations

2= Average, all criteria met within expectations

1 = Weak, some criteria met

0 = Failed to address criteria requirement

 

Criteria for Selection:

  • Video is 3 minutes or less and all eligibility questions are addressed
  • Video shares a compelling, creative, humorous, or inspiring story
  • Video demonstrates how farmer has been a leader, innovator, and/or community-builder
  • Video demonstrates a positive model of a beginning farmer and the positive impact of beginning farmers in our food systems
  • Video demonstrates the impact their alliance has made on the farmer and their farm
  • Video describes who and how their Mentor Farmer of the Year nominee has impacted the farmer and their farm
  • Video demonstrates the farmer has a healthier and more regenerative food future incorporated into their practices
  • Video demonstrates how the farmer is overcoming challenges and moving their farm forward in an innovative way

 

Benefits of Participation:

  1. Builds credentials with the farmer’s customer base
  2. Broadens the farm’s visibility through features on routes2farm.org, FamilyFarmed.org, GoodFoodFestivals.com and LearnGrowConnect.org as well as inclusion in materials at the Good Food EXPO & Conference which reached 7500+ individuals in 2018 and farmer alliance websites and social media outlets.
  3. Benefits from using the video submission in the farm’s own marketing and social media presence
  4. Features the farm in alternative agriculture publications and local press in collaboration with staff support at Angelic Organics Learning Center and FamilyFarmed.
  5. Publicity through Angelic Organics Learning Center, whose distribution list reaches more than 9,000 people. Additional publicity on the distribution lists of Family Farmed, Good Food Festival and participating Farmer Alliances.
  6. Builds connections for the farm through attendance at the Good Food EXPO & Conference
  7. Raises the public profile of your associated farmer alliance

 

Award Timeline:

  • January 14th – Farmer video nominations deadline
  • January 25th – Alliances with nominations select finalist
  • February 8th – Routes to Farm leadership votes for overall winner
  • February 11th – Winner will be informed; Beginning Farmer of the Year winner selects Mentor Farmer of the Year winner
  • March 22nd – Ceremony at Good Food EXPO