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Award Honorees

The Organic Trade Association has been recognizing organic leaders who inspire and innovate for over 20 years when the first Leadership Award was given to Senator Patrick Leahy for his work developing the national organic standards. Since then a diverse group of honorees have been nominated by their peers and confirmed unanimously by OTA’s Board of Directors. Awards are presented each Fall during OTA’s Annual Awards Gala as part of Natural Products Expo East. Check out the incredible group of honorees below and learn more about their impressive contributions to furthering organic by clicking on their names to read their bios. 

2024

George Siemon  headshot
Organic Valley
Organic Lifetime Achievement
Mac Ehrhardt Headshot
Albert Lea Seed
Organic Groundbreaker
Larry Santos Headshot
Taylor Farming
Organic Farmer of the Year
Renaud des Rosiers  headshot
Amy's Kitchen
Organic Climate Action
Jyoti Stephens  headshot
Nature’s Path
Social Impact

2023

David Oien headshot
Timeless Seeds
Organic Groundbreaker
April Jones Thatcher headshot
April Joy Farm
Organic Farmer of the Year
Nicole Rakobitsch headshot
CROPP Cooperative/Organic Valley
Organic Climate Action
Seth Goldman headshot
Eat the Change
Social Impact
Cassie Cyphers headshot
Clif Bar & Company
Community Service

2022

Mayra Velazquez de Leon headshot
Organics Unlimited
Organic Pioneer
Amy Bruch headshot
Cyclone Farms
Organic Famer of the Year
Scott Erickson headshot
Clif Bar & Company
Community Service
Britt Lundgren headshot
Stonyfield
Climate Action

2021

Jim Wedeberg headshot
Wedeberg Farm / CROPP Cooperative
Growing Organic Community
Meg Plucinski headshot
D&M Family Farm
Rising Star
Jeff Huckaby headshot
Grimmway Farms and Cal-Organic Farm
Farmer of the Year

2020

Israel Morales Sr. headshot
JV Farms Organic
Organic Farmer of the Year
Lynn Coody headshot
Organic Agsystems Consulting
Growing Organic Community
Nate Powell-Palm headshot
Cold Springs Organics
Rising Star

2019

Margaret Scoles headshot
International Organic Inspectors Association
Growing Organic Industry Award
Javier Zamora headshot
JSM Organics
Rising Star Award
Stephanie and Blake Alexandre headshot
Alexandre EcoDairy Farm
Organic Farmer of the Year Award

2018

Peggy Sutton headshot
To Your Health Sprouted Flour
Rising Star
Phil LaRocca headshot
LaRocca Vineyards
Organic Farmer of the Year
Bob Anderson headshot
Sustainable Strategies—Advisers in Food and Agriculture
Growing the Organic Industry

2017

Farmer Members headshot
Texas Organic Cotton Marketing Cooperative
Farmer of the Year
Mike Fata headshot
Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods
Rising Star
David Vetter headshot
Grain Place Foods
Growing the Organic Industry

2016

Thomas Harding headshot
Lehigh Valley Organic Growers
Growing the Organic Industry
Michael Berger headshot
Elevation Burger
Rising Star
William “Benny” McLean headshot
Uncle Matt's Organic
Organic Farmer of the Year

2015

Doug Crabtree headshot
Vilicus Farms
Organic Farmer of the Year Award
Marty Mesh headshot
Florida Certified Organic Growers and Consumers
Growing the Organic Industry Award
Barry A. Cik headshot
Naturpedic Organic Mattresses
Rising Star Award

2014

Arran and Ratana Stephens headshot
Nature’s Path Foods
Growing the Organic Industry Award
Kyle Mathison headshot
Stemilt Growers
Organic Farmer of the Year Award
Karen and Colin Archipley headshot
Archi’s Acres/VSAT
Rising Star Award

2013

Gary Hirshberg  headshot
Stonyfield
Organic Leadership Award for Achievement in Growing the Organic Industry
Zea Sonnabend headshot
CCOF
Organic Leadership Award for Achievement in Growing Organic Agriculture

2012

Mark Lipson  headshot
USDA
Organic Leadership Award for Achievement in Growing Organic Agriculture
Michael Funk headshot
UNFI
Organic Leadership Award for Achievement in Growing the Organic Industry

2011

Theresa Marquez  headshot
Organic Valley
Organic Leadership Award for Achievement in Growing the Organic Industry
Bob Quinn  headshot
Kamut
Organic Leadership Award for Achievement in Growing Organic Agriculture

2010

Paddy Doherty  headshot
Certified Organic Associations of British Columbia
Organic Leadership Award for Achievement in Growing the Organic Industry
Eldon, Wendell, Harlan and Homer Lundberg  headshot
Lundberg Family Farms
Organic Leadership Award for Achievement in Growing Organic Agriculture

2009

Ray Fuller headshot
Stormy Mountain Ranch
Organic Farming Leadership Award
Drew and Myra Goodman headshot
Earthbound Farm
Organic Leadership Award

2008

Howard Shapiro headshot
Seeds of Change
Organic Leadership Award

2007

Katherine DiMatteo headshot
Organic Trade Association
Outstanding Individual Achievement

2006

Larry Jacobs and Sandra Belin headshot
Jacobs Farm/Del Cabo
Organic Farming Leadership Award
Joseph Smillie headshot
Quality Assurance International (QAI)
Special Pioneer Award
LaRhea & Terry Pepper headshot
Pepper Farms
Organic Agriculture Award

2005

Neil Strayer headshot
Growers International
Organic Agriculture Award
Nora Pouillon headshot
Nora's/Asia Nora's
Special Pioneer Award

2004

The Rodale Family  headshot
Rodale Institute
Special Pioneer Award

2003

Dave Reibling headshot
Oak Manor Farms
Organic Agriculture Award
Mark Retzloff headshot
Horizon Organic Dairy
Outstanding Individual Achievement Award
Bob Scowcroft headshot
Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF)
Legislative and Regulatory Award
Bená Burda headshot
Maggie’s Organics/Clean Clothes, Inc.
Special Pioneer Award

2002

Allen Shainsky headshot
Petaluma Poultry (posthumously)
Special Pioneer Award
Bill Wolf headshot
Wolf & Associates
Outstanding Individual Achievement Award

2001

Kathleen Merrigan headshot
Agricultural Marketing Program, U.S. Department of Agriculture
Organic Leadership Award
Paul K. Keene headshot
Walnut Acres
Organic Leadership Award

2000

Frank Ford headshot
Arrowhead Mills
Organic Leadership Award

1999

The Honorable Patrick J. Leahy headshot
United States Senate
Organic Leadership Award