Submitted by Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture
Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture honored the recipients of the 2019 Sustainability Leadership Awards on the eve of the fifth annual Sustainable Agriculture Summit.
Presented as the capstone of the Alliance’s fall meeting, these awards are given to farmers, organizations and individuals who have demonstrated outstanding leadership through their efforts to advance continuous improvement in the sustainability of U.S. commodity crop production. For the first time in 2019, the Alliance expanded its awards program to also celebrate the critical role that trusted advisers—like certified crop advisers, conservation districts specialists, extension agents, Natural Resource Conservation Service field staff and retail agronomists —play in supporting farmers’ journeys of continuous improvement.
The recipients of the 2019 Sustainability Leadership Awards are as follows:
2019 Farmer of the Year: Rick Clark, 5th Generation Farmer, Williamsport, Indiana
Honoring the outstanding contributions of a farmer who is committed to advancing sustainable agriculture through conservation and stewardship efforts on their farm and sharing best practices with their peers, this year’s Farmer of the Year Award recognizes Indiana corn and soy farmer Rick Clark for his leadership and dedication to conservation. As Field to Market’s highest honor for commodity crop producers, this distinctive award celebrates Clark’s commitment to delivering continuous improvement in soil health and related sustainable outcomes.
Clark’s dedication to soil health has resulted in a powerful impact on the sustainability of his operation, and inspired peers and partners in the supply chain to rally around the critical importance of soil health. His pursuit of innovation and passion for conservation is illustrated by a rigorous, systematic approach to maximizing the health of his soil, delivering tangible benefits on his land which will leave a powerful legacy in sustaining future generations of his family.
2019 Collaboration of the Year: USA Rice—Ducks Unlimited’s Rice Stewardship Partnership
Recognizing outstanding collaboration and cross-sector partnership in advancing continuous improvement in sustainable agriculture at the field and landscape level, this year’s Collaboration of the Year Award honors ten Field to Market members involved in the Rice Stewardship Partnership—USA Rice Federation, Ducks Unlimited, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Walmart.org, The Mosaic Company and the Mosaic Foundation, Nestlé Purina PetCare Company, RiceTec, BASF, Corteva Agriscience and Riceland Foods, Inc.
Representing unparalleled collaboration that spans the entire rice industry, the Rice Stewardship Partnership supports rice farmers in pursuing continuous improvement in water quality, water quantity and waterfowl habitat protection. By coordinating efforts through all six rice producing states—Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Texas—this collaboration brings together partners from each of Field to Market’s five membership sectors to provide conservation services and farmer support that enable participating growers to conserve critical natural resources.
2019 Trusted Adviser of the Year: Dr. Andrew Jordan, Consultant and Owner, Jordan Associates
Recognizing outstanding leadership in supporting farmers in their pursuit of continuous improvement, the inaugural Trusted Adviser of the Year Award was awarded to Dr. Andrew Jordan, consultant and owner of Jordan Associates. Widely recognized within the cotton industry as a pioneering sustainability advocate, Dr. Jordan dedicated a 30 year tenure at the National Cotton Council to enabling cotton producers to adopt new technologies and implement more sustainable practices on their farms.
Translating this expertise, he established himself as a trusted adviser not only to farmers but to the wider industry in 2007, championing the importance of documenting and demonstrating continuous improvement in the sustainability of U.S. cotton, beginning with a pilot project with cotton growers in Louisiana in collaboration with Cotton Incorporated. Most recently, Dr. Jordan has served as a leading adviser on the newly released U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol, which leverages Field to Market’s suite of sustainability metrics to enable cotton farmers across the country to deliver sustainable outcomes and contribute to the broader industry’s sustainability story. Dr. Jordan has also contributed significant volunteer efforts overseas to design small scale community water systems for developing countries.
Whether it was by harnessing the power of regenerative practices to harness farming into a force for improving the health of the land and the planet, driving conservation outcomes through unparalleled collaboration to support farmers’ journeys of continuous improvement or dedicating an entire career to supporting cotton farmers to lead on sustainability, this year’s finalists have helped to define leadership in sustainable agriculture and showcase how our food and agriculture system can contribute solutions to pressing environmental challenges.
“Congratulations to our awardees—we know they will continue to be leaders in building an agriculture system that supports resilient ecosystems and enhances farmer livelihoods,” said Rod Snyder, president of Field to Market. “We applaud Rick Clark, Andrew Jordan and the ten Field to Market members involved in the Rice Stewardship Partnership for their deeply rooted commitment to sustainability and for the larger impact they are having in driving conservation at the field, farm and landscape levels.”
The winners of Field to Market’s Sustainability Leadership Awards are selected by the Alliance’s Awards and Recognition Committee. Each recipient demonstrates leadership in the pursuit of continuous improvement, resulting in measurable results and significant impact on both agriculture and the environment.
Learn more about the 2019 Sustainability Leadership Award winners at www.fieldtomarket.org/awards.
Carter Purcell, Field to Market, (202) 297-8345, firstname.lastname@example.org
ABOUT FIELD TO MARKET
Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture brings together a diverse group of grower organizations; agribusinesses; food, beverage, restaurant and retail companies; conservation groups; universities and public sector partners to focus on defining, measuring and advancing the sustainability of food, fiber and fuel production. Field to Market is comprised of nearly 140 members representing all facets of the U.S. agricultural supply chain, with members employing more than 5 million people and representing combined revenues totaling over $1.5 trillion. For more information, visit www.fieldtomarket.org and follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/FieldtoMarket
Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture is a leading multi-stakeholder initiative working to unite the agricultural supply chain in defining, measuring and advancing the sustainability of food, fiber and fuel production in the United States. We bring together a diverse group of grower organizations; agribusinesses; food, beverage, restaurant and retail companies; conservation groups; universities; and public sector partners to create opportunities across the agricultural supply chain for continuous improvements in productivity, environmental quality, and human well-being. With the world population estimated to exceed 9 billion by 2050, the entire value chain must work together to efficiently and responsibly lay the groundwork for a more sustainable future. From the farm gate to the retail and restaurant counter, the challenge of producing enough food, fiber and fuel for a rapidly growing populationâ€”while conserving our planet’s natural resourcesâ€”has become increasingly complex. The nature of this challenge requires an unparalleled level of transparency and collaboration. By uniting the agricultural supply chain and key stakeholders around a common measurement framework, Field to Market seeks to drive continuous improvement in the sustainability of commodity crop production.