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OTA To Honor Visionaries for Work in Organic Farming and Trade

The Washington-based Organic Trade Association (OTA) will award three men for their “visionary work” it says is transforming both organic farming and trade.

Being honored are Marty Mesh, executive director of Florida Certified Organic Growers and Consumers, who will receive the Growing the Organic Industry award; Doug Crabtree, farmer and organic farm trainer, Vilicus Farms, will receive the Organic Farmer of the Year award; and Barry A. Cik, technical director, Naturpedic Organic Mattresses, will receive the Rising Star award.

Laura Batcha, OTA executive director and CEO, said these outstanding visionaries have made invaluable contributions to demonstrating how organic practices can change our world for the better.

“We are excited to honor these three individuals who were nominated by their peers and chosen unanimously by OTA’s Board of Directors,” said Batcha.

Bu Nygrens, co-owner of Veritable Vegetable, will introduce Mesh for his award. “Without consensus among certifiers, without a clear national standard, with the continuous efforts of the Organic Trade Association on which Marty has served as a Board member, the growth of our Œniche market would not be embraced by mainstream markets and mainstream agriculture as it is today,” said Nygrens.

Dag Falck, organic program manager for Nature’s Path Organic Foods, said Crabtree entered farming determined to change the dominant agricultural model, “and in everything he does, he strives to provide a compelling example of a better way to farm.”

Dale T. Read, president of The Specialty Sleep Association, said Cik triggered an organic revolution in the bedding and mattress industry through all of his community and political efforts. “In fact, the industry will truly never be the same because people now know they have a choice‹ and their choices matter,” said Read.

The ceremony will take place September 17 at OTA’s 2014 Organic Leadership Awards Celebration in Baltimore, MD.

For more information, visit www.ota.com.