A decade ago, Glynwood created the Harvest Awards to honor farmers, organizations, and businesses across the nation for innovation and leadership in support of sustainable agriculture and regional food systems. To celebrate a decade of excellence in the field, this year Glynwood has recognized four Hudson Valley-based agricultural entrepreneurs. Congratulations to Farm to Table Co-Packers, Hudson Valley Fresh, Northeast Livestock Processing Service Company (NELPSC) and Wild Hive Farm.
This group of winners is collectively improving food-related infrastructure in the Hudson Valley, thereby making farming viable here. Their work exemplifies the agricultural diversity of this region – including grain, produce, meat, and dairy – and they are helping to raise the profile of the Hudson Valley as a farming region. Their entrepreneurial successes prove that the Hudson Valley is a leader in the regionalization of our food system.
Farm to Table Co-Packers enables small farmers to manufacture value-added products from their fruit and vegetable harvests at a state-of-the-art facility; Hudson Valley Fresh has developed a model for a dairy co-op that brings a sustainable livelihood to their member farmers; NELPSC has created a networking system that connects livestock farmers to processing facilities and then helps them to sell their meat to retail and institutional markets; and Wild Hive Farm has reshaped the future of grain farming in the Hudson Valley by reviving heirloom grain varietals and opening a milling facility in the region. [read more about the winners below or online.]
The winners were chosen from an impressive pool of finalists that included other leading agricultural enterprises and educators in the Northeast: Certified Naturally Grown, Farm Catskills, Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture, Poughkeepsie Farm Project, Sprout Creek Farm, and 3 Corner Field Farm.
The winners will participate in a panel discussion to take place on Earth Day, Sunday, April 22 at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY. Entitled “Local Food Pioneers: Cultivating the Future of Farming in the Hudson Valley” and moderated by Glynwood President Judith LaBelle, the winners will discuss their work, their challenges and the models they’ve created to increase their communities’ access to locally produced foods. Guests will have the opportunity to speak with the winners at a casual reception immediately following the event. The event is free and open to the public and an RSVP is requested.
Glynwood’s mission is to save farming by strengthening farm communities and regional food systems. The goal is for small- and mid-sized farmers to thrive, on the land and in the marketplace. Located in the Hudson Valley and operating its own sustainably managed farm, Glynwood’s unique niche is to empower communities to support farming and conserve farmland through its community programs, public education and leadership in environmentally sustainable agriculture. Major Glynwood programs include Keep Farming™, the Apple Project: Saving Orchards with Cider, and the Glynwood Institute for Sustainable Food and Farming. To learn more about Glynwood and its programs, visit www.glynwood.org.