Since 2011, the Rodale Institute’s Organic Pioneer Awards has honored a (1) farmer, (2) scientist, and (3) most years a business who are leading the good food movement towards an organic planet.
This year Jennifer Taylor, Ph.D, owner of Lola’s Organic Farm in Glenwood (Wheeler County), Georgia and Associate Professor at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University in Tallahassee (the historically black university in the twelve member State University System of Florida), has been recognized as an Organic Pioneer by the Rodale Institute.
Dr. Taylor currently serves as a Board member on (i) the Organic Farmers Association Governing Council and Policy Committee, (ii) International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements-North America (IFOAM-NA), (iii) US Food Sovereignty Alliance and (iv) Georgia Organics. She previously served on the National Organic Standards Board for five years.
The scientist who was this year’s recipient of the Rodale Institute’s Organic Pioneer Award, Philip Landrigan, M.D., MSc. is a pediatrician, public health phsyician and epidemioligist. He specializes in the health of children and the effect of toxic chemicals on their brains and nervous systems.
Dr. Landrigan contributed to the passage of the Food Quality Protection Act in 1996 by his research which concluded that children are uniquely susceptible to the effects of agricultural pesticides. Currently serving as the Director of the Global Observatory on Pollution and Health at Boston College’s Schiller Institute for Integrated Science and Society, he is the author of numerous publication on the interactions between environmental toxins and pediatric health.
Over the past nine years, the Rodale Institute has honored a variety of businesses, including Nature’s Path, Patagonia, Dr. Bronner’s, Amy’s Kitchen, Applegate, Chez Panisse, AgRecycle, Inc., Tait Farm Foods and Fertrell as Organic Pioneers. This year, instead of a business, Rodale Institute has honored Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf with its Organic Pioneer Award.
Governor Tom Wolf has served as Governor of Pennsylvania since 2015 and has set the state on a path to become the nation’s leading organic state according to the Rodale Institute. During his tenure, Pennsylvania has overtaken Washington as the the second leading state for organic sales and increased the number of organic farms in Pennsylvania by 18%.
A six-point plan to strengthen Pennsylvania’s agriculture industry, outlined by Gov Wolf in 2018, includes continuing transition assistance to organic farmers undergoing the required three-year transition period.
(Frank W. Barrie, 9/18/19)