The 2008 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.
The winners received their awards and gave brief presentations on March 26, 2008 at SARE’s 20th Anniversary New American Farm Conference in Kansas City, Missouri.
North Central Region winner, 2008 Patrick Madden Award for Sustainable Agriculture
Illinois farmer Henry Brockman runs an intensive, profitable and highly-biodiverse vegetable farming business—with help from three generations of family. Henry’s Farm preserves biodiversity with more than 600 varieties of about 100 distinct vegetable types, sold through a CSA and a farmers market in the Chicago area. In 2006, Brockman wrote Organic Matters, a book now included in curricula at Illinois Wesleyan University and at Arizona’s Prescott University. Bon Appétit Management Co. purchased 1,500 copies for educational purposes.
Klaas and Mary-Howell Martens
Northeast Region winners, 2008 Patrick Madden Award for Sustainable Agriculture
Klaas and Mary-Howell Martens use a wide array of sustainable practices, such as strip cropping and rotations, on the 1,400 acres of organic cropland they manage. They also run an organic feed business now key to the area’s ag infrastructure; helped found New York Certified Organic; and collaborate with university researchers and the Northeast Organic Network. Mary-Howell was appointed to a USDA advisory committee on biotechnology and testified before the House of Representatives. Klaas has participated in the Scientific Congress of Organic Agricultural Research, and now consults and reviews proposals for Northeast SARE.
Terry and La Rhea Pepper
Southern Region winners, 2008 Patrick Madden Award for Sustainable Agriculture
Terry and La Rhea Pepper of O’Donnell, Texas were among the first U.S. producers of organic cotton and co-founded the Texas Organic Cotton Marketing Cooperative, which established Texas as an international leader in organic cotton production. They went on to establish their own organic fabric company and launched the country’s first line of organic cotton personal care products.
Western Region winner, 2008 Patrick Madden Award for Sustainable Agriculture
Oregon farmer Larry Thompson has a long history of using innovative, sustainable practices to grow his buffet of berries and vegetables. He also works closely with the fast-growing community of Damascus to develop policies that help farmers hold onto their operations as urban boundaries grow around them. Thompson sells at six farmers markets and three farm stands, one in a new location just outside a hospital where patients, nurses and staff benefit from his healthy fruits and vegetables.