Rodale Institute Announces 2020 Organic Pioneer Award Recipients

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Kutztown, PA—Organic rice producer Lundberg Family Farms, biologist Dr. Tyrone Hayes, and former Organic Trade Association (OTA) Executive Director Katherine DiMatteo will be honored by Rodale Institute for their work in advancing the organic movement.

“This year’s Organic Pioneer Award winners can be summed up in one word: legacy,” said Jeff Moyer, Rodale Institute CEO, in a press release. “Whether it is their significant impact on food labels, the National Organic Program standards, or paradigm-shifting pesticide research, the legacy of Lundberg Family Farms, Dr. Tyrone Hayes, and Katherine DiMatteo within the organic movement is incredible. We are honored to present them with our highest honor this year.”

This year’s awards celebration and annual fundraiser will be held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout the month of September, designated as “Organic Pioneer Month,” Rodale Institute will feature unique content from the award winners, including videos and letters from the honorees, according to the release.

Lundberg Family Farms; image courtesy of Rodale Institute

“My family and I are honored to receive the Rodale Institute’s Organic Pioneer Award,” said Grant Lundberg, current CEO of Lundberg Family Farms, in the release. “Our parents and grandparents were pioneers in every sense of the word. My cousins and I feel a profound responsibility to uphold their legacy of treating the land like a member of the family. We are grateful to the Rodale Institute for advancing the organic movement so we can keep growing together for generations to come.”

Tyrone B. Hayes, Ph.D.; Image courtesy of Rodale Institute

Tyrone B. Hayes, Ph.D., a Professor of Integrative Biology at the University of California, Berkeley whose career has focused on the impact of endocrine-disrupting contaminants on global amphibian declines and public health, said, “I am proud to be a scientist on the side of something positive. Reducing the use of synthetic chemicals and fertilizers in food and agriculture will be key in maintaining healthy environments and food for future generations. I am honored to be recognized in this movement.”

Katherine DiMatteo; Image courtesy of Rodale Institute

Katherine DiMatteo, Executive Director of the OTA from 1990 to 2006,  was instrumental in shaping the outcome of the U.S. National Organic Program standards and the U.N. Codex Guidelines for organically produced foods. “It is such a privilege for me to receive the Rodale Institute Organic Pioneer Award,” said DiMatteo. “I am most grateful to work with the community that has formed around organic agriculture, its principles and products. Through collaborations and creative tensions, together we have advanced organic locally and globally.”

Information on the winners, live panel registration, and more information on Organic Pioneer Month can be found at RodaleInstitute.org/OrganicPioneerAwards.

Related: Regenerative Agriculture: 25 Things to Know Now
Organic Farming is Worse for Climate Change? Not So, Says The Organic Center
U.S. Food System Is Killing Us; RegenAg Is the Solution, Find Rodale, Plantrician Project

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