We honored 12 awardees for their commitment to increasing access to local food and supporting Virginia farmers, including:
PARTNER PRODUCER OF THE YEAR, presented by Rockingham Group, honors Local Food Hub partner producers and farming families who excel at consistently and reliably delivering local products packed in accordance with the highest standards. Awarded to SAUNDERS BROTHERS ORCHARD of Nelson County, for their ability to overcome the weather adversities of 2016 to provide a consistent supply of Virginia-grown tree fruits, and for their commitment to expanding their product line with Local Food Hub.
PIONEER IN THE FIELD, recognizes a Virginia farmer who has demonstrated innovation in food system development through their work with Local Food Hub. Awarded to BELLAIR FARM of Albemarle County for advancing on-farm educational opportunities for new and beginning farmers in Virginia and partnering with Local Food Hub on a wide range of farmer workshops.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR, honors a new partner producer who has demonstrated a commitment to partnership with Local Food Hub and increasing access to local food. Awarded to RIVERSIDE PRODUCE FARM of King William County for their precision in growing and packing produce for both the wholesale market and Local Food Hub’s food access programs.
RETAIL LEADER, presented by Sysco Virginia, recognizes a retailer who has demonstrated a commitment to the purchase and marketing of local food and to a partnership with Local Food Hub in this effort. Awarded to UNION MARKET of Richmond for their dedication to purchasing a diverse range of local products.
INSTITUTIONAL LEADER, presented by St. Anne’s-Belfield School, honors an institution that has made a commitment to local agriculture through their menu planning and food service offerings. Awarded to DC CENTRAL KITCHEN of Washington, DC, for utilizing Local Food Hub’s distribution services and farmer relationships to ensure that Virginia-grown products are available to those who need it most in our nation’s capital.
LOCAL BUSINESS, COMMUNITY IMPACT, presented by Payne, Ross, and Associates, honors a local business that effectively and creatively increases access to local food. Awarded to HOMEGROWN VIRGINIA of Prince Edward County for operating a cannery for small producers to create value out of Virginia-grown foods.
TRAILBLAZER, presented by Farm Credit of the Virginias, honors individuals or organizations who have developed innovative and creative solutions to procuring locally and have made a commitment to increasing community access to fresh, farm sourced food. Awarded to GREENS TO GROUNDS of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, for making local foods more accessible to university students and developing a culture of healthy eating on Grounds.