Routes to Farm (Angelic Organic Learning Center) Presents Beginning Farmer of the Year Award
And the winner is...
Amy Randazzo of Grani's Acres!The 12th Annual Good Food Festival & Conference hosted the 4th Annual Beginning Farmer of the Year award presentation on March 25. Originated by the Upper Midwest CRAFT farmer alliance, this award is now presented by Routes to Farm, a new project led by Angelic Organics Learning Center that connects both new and established farmers to farmer-vetted resources that help grow their businesses in the local and sustainable food economy.
The winning submission, from farmer Amy Randazzo of Grani's Acres, is a beautifully crafted video that captures an aspiration to change our world by returning to our roots - small, sustainable, seasonal, and chemical-free farming. Randazzo was an accountant in Bloomington, IL when she purchased her grandparents horse farm. Initially she had no intention of farming the land, but decided to take a yearlong sustainable farmer training course, previously offered at University of Illinois, when she found herself between jobs. Soon after, "Grani's Acres" was born.
Randazzo also recognized a farmer that mentored her throughout her journey. She chose Marty Travis of Spence Farm and Spence Farm Foundation as the 2016 Mentor Farmer of the Year. Travis, a seventh generation farmer, has been a longtime advocate of the local and sustainable farming movements. He formed a farming cooperative "Stewards of the Land" to meet the demand for clean, local food while also supporting small sustainable farmers.For more information and to watch the videos of the Beginning Farmer of the Year finalists follow Routes2Farm.org/farmeraward