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Nominations sought for three prestigious Organic Leadership Awards

Deadline for submissions is May 31. The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is currently seeking nominations for its prestigious Organic Leadership Awards. This is your opportunity to nominate an organic unsung hero who has made a significant difference to organic agriculture, industry and trade.

Deadline for submissions is May 31

Contact: Barbara Haumann (bhaumann@ota.com; 802-275-3820)

BRATTLEBORO, VT (May 1, 2013) — The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is currently seeking nominations for its prestigious Organic Leadership Awards. This is your opportunity to nominate an organic unsung hero who has made a significant difference to organic agriculture, industry and trade.

The Leadership Award trophies are original hand-blown glass “inhabited planets” by artist Josh Simpson.
In addition to the traditional Organic Leadership Award for Growing the Organic Industry, OTA is excited to seek nominations in two inspiring new categories for 2013.

“Because organic agriculture all starts with farmers, OTA will hail their importance to the rapidly growing organic sector with an Organic Farmer of the Year award. In addition, a new Rising Star award will recognize the enormous contributions of innovators and entrepreneurs to expanding the organic market,” said Christine Bushway, OTA’s CEO and Executive Director.

The Growing Organic award will recognize an individual who has made significant contributions to growing the organic industry via work in such areas as consumer education and marketing, new market development, public relations, standards development, advocacy, and research.

The Organic Farmer of the Year award will recognize a professional farmer who has made significant contributions to supporting and advancing organic agriculture and trade at the farm level, such as increasing the amount of land under organic management, expanding the number of farmers using organic practices, or advancing organic agriculture through farm policy advocacy, community education, or innovative land stewardship and technical practices.

The Rising Star award will recognize an emerging leader who has distinguished himself or herself professionally due to pursuit, zeal or notable advancements to programs, initiatives, new categories, or product development promoting the growth, sustainability or influence of organic agriculture and trade.

Candidates must have demonstrated skills, innovation, personal commitment, leadership and vision to grow organic agriculture or the organic sector. In addition, they must have achieved identifiable and lasting changes to promote and protect organic agriculture and trade, and have inspired others to advance the cause as well. The awards will be presented September 25 at OTA’s Annual Awards Gala during Natural Products Expo East in Baltimore.

OTA’s Annual Organic Leadership Award was established in 1997. A complete list of past honorees is featured on OTA’s website.

Nominations and letters of endorsement are due May 31. The 2013 selection criterion and downloadable nominations forms are posted on OTA’s website. For more information, contact Tessa Young, OTA’s Associate Director of Communications.

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