GREENFIELD, Mass. (April 28, 2003) – The Organic Trade Association (OTA) will recognize a pioneering organic family during award ceremonies at its 2003 All Things Organic™ Conference and Trade Show May 14-17 in Austin, TX.
Selected to receive OTA’s 2003 Organic Leadership Award are members of the Rodale family.
“The Rodale family has been very instrumental in shaping awareness and knowledge about organic agriculture through three generations, beginning with J.I. Rodale. It was J.I. Rodale who first associated the word organic with farming and gardening by purchasing a 60-acre farm near Emmaus, Pennsylvania, and publishing Organic Farming and Gardening magazine to share his experiences with others,” said Katherine DiMatteo, OTA’s executive director.
J.I. Rodale’s central message and philosophy was one that the organic industry has continued to disseminate: that of “Healthy Soil = Healthy Food + Healthy People®.”
Rodale’s son Robert expanded the enterprise by purchasing a 333-acre farm near Kutztown, PA. With his wife Ardath, he established The Rodale Institute to demonstrate through science the efficacy and sound environmental practices of organic agriculture. He also launched the New Farm magazine to provide farmers with knowledge and tools for success. His son Anthony and Anthony’s wife Florence have continued the work of The Rodale Institute and developed educational programs to help children understand the connection between healthy soil and the health of the planet and its inhabitants. More recently, The Rodale Institute re-launched New Farm magazine as an online magazine (NewFarm.org) and began offering the Organic Price Indexä, a wholesale price index of certified organic foods.
Meanwhile, Robert’s daughter Maria has expanded the scope of the Rodale publications with the creation of Organic Style magazine and OrganicStyle.com. Her work encourages today’s generation to incorporate into their daily lives the healthy choices pioneered by her father and grandfather.
“OTA is honoring the Rodale family for its more than 60 years of pioneering leadership and creative vision that have advanced organic agriculture and the organic industry,” according to DiMatteo.
The award will be presented at OTA’s Awards Dinner Saturday evening, May 17. Dinner tickets, which are required for the event, may be ordered when registering for the conference. As recipients of OTA’s Leadership Award, the Rodale family will receive a hand-blown glass planet by well-known artist Josh Simpson.
OTA is the business association representing the organic industry in North America. Its approximately 1,300 members include growers, shippers, processors, certifiers, farmers' associations, distributors, importers, exporters, consultants, retailers and others. Founded in 1985, OTA encourages global sustainability by promoting and protecting the growth of diverse organic trade.
April 28, 2003
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