Louisiana State University among 2019 Farm Credit MarketMaker Innovation Award winners

Event date: 2019-11-06

Louisiana State University among 2019 Farm Credit MarketMaker Innovation Award winners

Rosemont, Illinois The 2019 Farm Credit MarketMaker award winners were announced at the 2019 National Direct Agricultural Marketing Summit, held Oct. 7-9 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois. Awarded for the 9th year, the Innovation Award recognizes the outstanding efforts by state and local MarketMaker programs around the United States that contribute to the development of local and regional food systems, connecting to new market opportunities. Farm Credit is the presenting sponsor of the cash awards, which can be used by the winners to help advance their MarketMaker-related programs.

Louisiana State University was awarded 2019s top honor for its Louisiana Farm to School Program Act, linking schools with farmers and child nutrition services to provide fresh, local fruits and vegetables. The program, created by Crystal Bess, Alessandro Holzapfel and Dr. Carl Motsenbocker, also established Meet the Buyer networking opportunities, which encouraged business development between agricultural producers and commercial buyers throughout the state.

The first runner-up title was awarded to E. French Price and Dr. Kim Morgan at Virginia Tech University for their programs and directories project, Innovative Integration of Technology for a Better Connected Food System. The project was designed to help market agricultural firms, such as Buy Fresh Buy Local chapters and regional brands, building authentic connections and adding value to relationships across the value chain.

The second runner-up award was granted to Clemson University and the Midlands Local Food Collaborative for the Integrative Regional Planning for Regional Agricultural and Food Systems initiative. The program created a new collaborative team from a diverse group of partners, allowing the team to leverage the strengths and organizational capacity of each entity to help develop strategies that can be operationalized at a local level.

Gary Matteson, senior vice president of Beginning Farmer and Programs and Outreach with The Farm Credit Council, was in attendance to present the Innovation Awards to recipients. The Farm Credit Innovation Awards are a way to help provide incentive for individual organizations who use MarketMaker to share their ideas and projects with the other MarketMaker affiliated programs, Matteson said. Louisiana States example of creating networking opportunities with their Meet the Buyer program is a great way to not only introduce buyers to their consumers, but to create more awareness about what farmers and producers are doing in their communities.

We are excited to partner with Farm Credit once again to recognize these well-deserved award winners, added Dar Knipe, co-founder of the MarketMaker program and managing partner of the Global Food and Ag Network. We know that by bringing awareness to the great projects theyve established, it can also help others who work with farmers and communities to improve livelihoods and, in turn, help create sustainable market systems.


Rich Knipe
Email: Contact Me
Primary Phone: (309) 781-9020

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