The 2004 Patrick Madden Award for Sustainable Agriculture
SARE’s Patrick Madden Award for Sustainable Agriculture recognizes farmers or farm families who advance sustainable agriculture through innovation, leadership and good stewardship. The award is named for SARE's first director, Patrick Madden, who was a pioneer in the movement toward a strong, independent agriculture.
Jean-Paul Courtens of Kinderhook, N.Y., became a community-supported agriculture producer after civic groups approached him in 1990 with what was then a novel idea. For Courtens, who was raising organic vegetables on his Roxbury Farm near Albany and selling them wholesale or to restaurants, CSA made eminent sense.
Peter Kenagy of Albany, Ore., raises wheat, snap beans, sweet corn and strawberries on 325 tillable acres. He has planted other commodities to achieve a slew of profitability and conservation goals. For example, where the farm meets the banks of the river, he's planted a mix of nut and cottonwood trees both for timber and as a buffer to sop up nutrients.
Ron Macher of Clark, Mo., is known for his diversity - he raises Hair Sheep, hogs and vegetables, formulated high-protein chicken feed and developed an open-pollinated corn variety. A tireless advocate for small-scale farmers, he publishes the quarterly, Small Farm Today, and founded the National Small Farm Trade Show and Conference.