This is the 5th year of the Growing Green Awards, which honors individuals for leadership on sustainably produced food.
Through these national awards, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) recognizes extraordinary contributions that advance ecologically-integrated farming practices, climate and water stewardship, farmland preservation, and social responsibility from farm to fork.
The 2013 Growing Green Awards honor one person in each of four categories: Food Producer, Business Leader, Food Justice Leader, and Young Food Leader.
Larry Jacobs, Jacobs Farm / Del Cabo / Pescadero, CA
Jacobs has been championing organic farming with innovative non-toxic pest control for 30 years. Jacobs Farm is the largest producer of fresh culinary organic herbs in the US and Del Cabo Co-operative is a 1,000 family farmer partnership that supports organic farming in Baja, Mexico.
Tezozomoc, South Central Farmers Health and Education Fund / Buttonwillow, CA
Tezozomoc organized 350 families to grow their own food on the 14-acre urban garden, when Los Angeles threatened to bulldoze the nation's largest community food garden in 2003.
The Garden ultimately closed but Tezozomoc now has an 85-acre, organic cooperative farm and runs the South Central Farmers Health and Education Fund, which provides culturally-relevant varieties of organic produce to local CSAs, farmers markets and underserved neighborhoods.
Tezozomoc empowers regional Latino farming cooperatives with technical and ecological knowledge, market access, and financial viability to create hope for historically marginalized communities.
Brianna Almaguer Sandoval,
Healthy Corner Store Initiative / Philadelphia, PA
At 30 years old, Brianna has transformed hundreds of corner stores into oases of fresh, healthy foods for under-served communities. She provides education, tools, and financial support to corner stores so they can carry fresh fruits and vegetables. The program has grown from 11 corner stores to 680.
Russ Kremer, Heritage Acres / Frankenstein, MO
Realizing the dangers of conventional animal "production" he transformed his operation and raises free-roaming pigs without drugs. Kremer leads the 52-member Ozark Mountain Pork Cooperative, which empowers farmers to do the same, and sells to Whole Foods, Chipotle, Costco and La Quercia.
blog posts from each of the winners and watch the video: