Food Producer: Jim Cochran, founder and co-owner of Swanton Berry Farm, started the first commercially successful organic strawberry operation in California and the first 100 percent unionized organic farm in the nation. Jim not only helped jumpstart the organic strawberry industry, but is also encouraging fair labor practices among sustainable growers.From the NRDC's press release:
Young Food Leader (new category): Molly Rockamann, founder of the non-profit organization EarthDance Farms in Ferguson, MO, won for her efforts to cultivate a new generation of sustainable farming stewards in the Midwest. Through Molly’s unique apprenticeship program, urban St. Louis residents -- with ages spanning five decades -- learn the complete cycle of organic farming from seed to market.
Knowledge Leader: Chef Ann Cooper is an outstanding leader in the national movement to ensure that all children have access to nutritious food at school. Known as the “Renegade Lunch Lady,” Ann started the Food Family Farming Foundation, which provides schools with the tools and guidance they need to transition from over-processed meals to healthy, fresh ingredients on a limited budget. Ann’s day job is in the trenches of the Boulder Valley School District, where she is transforming lunch menus in the entire 48-school district, just as she has done before on the east and west coasts.
Business Leader: Pam Marrone is the CEO and founder of Marrone Bio Innovations, a leading developer of environmentally-responsible biopesticides based in Davis, California. MBI’s products use naturally occurring materials like plants and microorganisms to help growers control pests, maintain yields, and reduce risks to human health and the environment frequently associated with conventional pesticides. Having launched three successful companies to develop bio-based pesticide alternatives, Pam has created a strong business model in a rapidly growing industry.
“With the double whammy of rising food demand and growing environmental challenges, we need a food system that can produce more while using fewer natural resources,” said Jonathan Kaplan, Senior Policy Specialist at NRDC. “These Growing Green Award winners are providing the leadership needed to make that happen. They inspire all of us.”