I found out last week that I’ve been nominated for the Family Farm Defenders’ John Kinsman Beginning Farmer Food Sovereignty Prize.
Family Farm Defenders works to build “a farmer-controlled and consumer-oriented food and fiber system, based upon democratically controlled institutions that empower farmers…” John Kinsman was an organic, grass-based Wisconsin dairy farmer, founder of Family Farm Defenders, and a longtime champion of food sovereignty.
To qualify, the nominee must be:
-Be engaged in his or her own farm for less than five years
-A small-scale livestock and/or vegetable and/or fruit producer
-Market products locally
-Practice sustainable management of natural resources
-Promote healthy soil
-Support the Food Sovereignty Principles
I knew about Family Farm Defenders, but I hadn’t hadn’t heard of their beginning farmer prize until I received the nomination in the mail. Nominees must fill out a detailed application explaining how they meet the award criteria and the food sovereignty principles. Just going through the questions forces me to think in more detail about where my farm fits in my community.
I don’t know who nominated me. I do what I do because I believe in it and it matters to me. There are days though when I wonder if anyone beyond a small circle of family and friends really cares. When the barn is dark and the pastures and woods lay silent under snow, it’s nice to get something like this —that little boost from the outside that says, “Keep going. We think you’re on the right track.”
Former Marine Infantry Officer. Iraq Vet. Interested in Regenerative Agriculture at any scale.
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