Ontario Organic Awards

The Ontario Organic Awards recognize and celebrate innovation in organic agriculture in Ontario.

Awards are given to individuals and businesses which show consistent and pioneering efforts within Ontario’s organic sector.

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2015 Ontario Organic Awards

Now in its 5th year of celebrating excellence in Ontario’s organic sector, the Ontario Organic Awards and dinner was held on Friday April 24th 2015 at the Waterloo Inn with insightful and inspiring words from MPP Glen Murray, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change.

Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Glen Murray addresses the attendees at the Ontario Organic Awards

Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Glen Murray addresses the attendees at the Ontario Organic Awards


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2015 Award Recipients


Outstanding Horticulture or CSA Award

Ignatius Farm

Guelph, Ontario – www.ignatiusguelph.ca/csa/

President of OCO, Jenn Pfenning Presents Mike Smith of Ignaitus Farm with the Outstanding Horticulture or CSA Award

Jenn Pfenning, President of OCO, presents Mike Smith of Ignaitus Farm with the Outstanding Horticulture or CSA Award. Gift basket courtesy of Whole Foods.


Outstanding Livestock, Diary, or Grain Award

Boettchers Family Farm

Chris Boettcher and Family – Brussels, Ontario

OCO Board Member Joel Aitken presents Chris Boettcher with the Outstanding Livestock, Grain, and Dairy Award.

OCO Board Member Joel Aitken presents Chris Boettcher with the Outstanding Livestock, Grain, and Dairy Award. Gift basket courtesy of Goodness Me!


Outstanding Processor, Distributor, or Retail Award

Limestone Organic Creamery

Francis and Kathie Groenewegen – Elginburg, Ontario – www.limestonecreamery.ca

Francis and Kathie Groenewegen of Limestone Organic Creamery are presented with the Outstanding Processor, Retailer, or Distributor by OCO Vice-President Tom Manley

Francis and Kathie Groenewegen of Limestone Organic Creamery are presented with the Outstanding Processor, Retailer, or Distributor by OCO Vice-President Tom Manley. Gift basket courtesy of Organics Live.


Outstanding Sales and Marketing Award

Terry Crack

Yorkshire Valley Farms, Peterborough, Ontario – http://yorkshirevalley.com/

OCO board member Hugh Martin presents Terry Crack with the Outstanding Sales and Marketing Award. Gift basket provided by Organics Live.

OCO board member Hugh Martin presents Terry Crack with the Outstanding Sales and Marketing Award. Gift basket provided by Organics Live.


Outstanding Up & Coming Business Award

Organic Kids Catering

Mississauga, Ontario – www.organickidscatering.com

Leader of the Green Party of Ontario, Mike Schreiner, presents Organic Kids Catering with the Up and Coming Business or Individual Award. Gift basket provided by Natures Path Foods.

Leader of the Green Party of Ontario, Mike Schreiner, presents Organic Kids Catering with the Up and Coming Business or Individual Award. Gift basket provided by Natures Path Foods.


Outstanding Volunteer or Education Award

Jenny Butcher

Organic Meadow Co-op – Guelph, Ontario

OCO board member Michelle Schmidt and OCO Executive Director Jacob Pries present Jenny Butcher with the Outstanding Volunteer or Education Award. Gift basket provided by Goodness Me!

OCO board member Michelle Schmidt and OCO Executive Director Jacob Pries present Jenny Butcher with the Outstanding Volunteer or Education Award. Gift basket provided by Goodness Me!


Lifetime Achievement Award

Tomás Nimmo

Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Glen Murray and Organic Federation of Canada President Ted Zettel present Tomás Nimmo with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Gift basket provided by Whole Foods.

Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Glen Murray and Organic Federation of Canada President Ted Zettel present Tomás Nimmo with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Gift basket provided by Whole Foods.

Congratulations to all the award recipients and thank you for your dedication to Ontario Organics!



Full List of Nominees

Outstanding Horticulture Producer or CSA
Lattimer Lane
Meadow Sweet Farm
Plan B Organic Farms
Ignatius Farm
Locally Germinated
Sosnicki Organic Farms
Outstanding Livestock, Grain, or Dairy Producer
Laepple Organic Farm
Pinehedge Farms
Robert Fleischauer
Boettchers Family
Yorkshire Valley Farms
Zubler Farms
Outstanding Processor, Retailer, or Distributor
GoBIO! Organics Inc.
Limestone Organic Creamery
TAWSE Winery
Konzelman Farms
Outstanding Sales and Marketing
Limestone Organic Creamery
Terry Crack
Outstanding Up & Coming Business or Individual
Lattimer lane
Organic Kids Catering
Bob Baloch




Sponsor Next Year Awards!
The Organic Council of Ontario is pleased to invite you and your business to show your support for Ontario’s organic sector

There are three ways to support the Organic Awards:
– Contribution of Award Baskets
– Donating product to the Dinner
– Financial Contribution of $500, $1000, or $2500

 To learn more about sponsorship please go to: www.organiccouncil.ca/awards/sponsor







2014 Ontario Organic Awards

The Organic Council of Ontario introduced the Ontario Organic Awards to celebrate excellence and innovation across the full organic value-chain. Award recipients demonstrate consistent and pioneering efforts that help the organic sector reduce the amount of toxic pesticides in the environment.

Members of OCO, farmers, businesses and volunteers have made tremendous efforts to ensure that organic practices are recognized as trustworthy in the marketplace.

OCO is delighted to highlight organic pioneers as well as new organic businesses who work diligently to ensure a transparent and accountable food system. We are here to celebrate the hard work and commitment of these humble individuals.


The 4th Annual Ontario Organic Awards were held on February 1st, 2014 at the River Run Centre in Guelph.

We had a great night of celebrating the amazing dedication of so many Ontario organic farmers, businesses and individuals. Please join us in congratulating the award recipients!

To see all the pictures from the event please see our Facebook album



2014 Award Recipients:


Outstanding Horticulture or CSA Award

Wooler Dale Farm

Anne van der Heyen and Family – Frankford, Ontario – www.facebook.com/woolerdale.farmIMG_9672


Outstanding Livestock, Diary, or Grain Award

Newcare Farm

Pieter and Maria, Rudi and Josh Biemond and Family – Iroquois, OntarioIMG_9685


Outstanding Processor, Distributor, or Retail Award

Taste of Nature

Toronto, Ontario – www.tasteofnature.ca



Outstanding Sales and Marketing Award

Bailey’s Local Food

Waterloo, Ontario – www.baileyslocalfoods.ca



Outstanding Up & Coming Business Award

Giddy Yoyo

Orangeville, Ontario – www.giddyyoyo.comIMG_9720


Outstanding Innovation Award

Farm Start

Guelph, Ontario – www.farmstart.ca



Outstanding Volunteer or Education Award

Paul DeJong

Ventry Hill Farm – Dundalk, Ontario



Lifetime Achievement Award

Garry  Lean

Cameron, Ontario



Congratulations to all the award recipients and thank you for your dedication to Ontario Organics!


2014 Nominee List:


Horticulture Producer or CSA

 Livestock, Grain, Dairy


 Sales and Marketing

 Up and Coming


 Volunteer and Education

 Lifetime Achievement

  • Garry Lean

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2013 Ontario Organic Awards

On Saturday, February, 2nd, the Organic Council of Ontario (OCO) hosted the 3rd Annual Ontario Organic Awards to celebrate the dedication of the people and businesses that grow, process and sell Ontario’s organic bounty. The event ran parallel to the 32ndGuelph Organic Conference. The event featured an organic meal at 7pm prepared by Green Table Foods followed by the awards ceremony at 8pm. A local band, The Blackwood Two, entertained guests and award winners after the ceremony. Over 120 guests attended from across Ontario.

The awards acknowledge excellence across the full organic value-chain and were given for many different categories such as Outstanding Horticulture Producer, Organic Innovation and Volunteer Award. There were 10 awards categories in total, with nominees who came from many corners of Ontario.

The dedication of two notable sector pioneers was celebrated with Lifetime Achievement Awards:

Lawrence Andres has been instrumental in developing a vibrant organic dairy sector in the province. In 1978 Lawrence established the first organic farm in Canada. In 1981 he began a successful 12 year process of lobbying the Milk Marketing Board of Ontario for the right to separately pool and sell organic milk. In 1983 Lawrence and his wife Mathilde founded the Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario where he served as president for 11 years. Lawrence formed the first Organic Milk Producers’ Group in Ontario in 1994 and was instrumental in developing the Organic Meadow brand before he left the dairy co-op to co-found Harmony Organic in 2001 – a company that now produces 6 million litres of organic milk annually and emphasizes a minimal environmental footprint.

Dave Reibling of Oakmanor Farms is an organic pioneer, working since the 1970’s to grow and mill top quality organic grains. Dave was instrumental in establishing 3rd-party verification for organic crops. The systems he developed for his farm were the first used in Ontario to guarantee the organic nature of farm products he purchased. In the 1980’s Dave continued to help develop the certification process for farmers, manufacturers and processors, which evolved into the current Canadian Organic Standard.

“After 40 years of building a credible food system, the Ontario organic sector will come together to celebrate the hard work and commitment of humble individuals-” says OCO Executive Director Jodi Koberinski, “farmers, businesses and volunteers, all of whom have made tremendous efforts to ensure that organic agriculture practices are recognized as credible in the marketplace.”

The organic food sector has been the fastest growing agriculture sector in Ontario and Canada for over a decade, which is the result of the commitment of the individuals and organizations within the organic sector. These quiet heroes of our food system will receive recognition from their peers for caring deeply about how food gets onto Ontario tables, and how our food system can positively impact our economy, health and ecosystems.

2013 Ontario Organic Awards Winners:

Outstanding Horticultural Producer – Cherryvale Organic Farm: Andrew Miller

Outstanding Grain Producer – Hack Farms: Uli Hack

Outstanding Dairy Producer – Yeandle Farms: Jeff Yeandle & Bob Gilroy

Outstanding Processor/Value-added – Frogpond Farm (Winery): Jens Gemmrich

Outstanding Direct Farm Marketing – Cedar Down Farm: Jeff Boesch & Leslie Moskovits

Outstanding Retailer – The Stone Store

Organic Innovation Award –  PineHedge Farms: Josef Heinzle

Education Award – Martha Gay Scroggins

Volunteer Award – Fran & Tony McQuail: Meeting Place Organic Farm

Lifetime Achievement Awards (2) – Dave Reibling & Lawrence Andres


OCO Chair Matt LeBeau awards Josef Heinzle of Pinehedge Farms with the Organic Innovation Award.



Guest appreciate and clap for a heart-filled speech delivered by Dave Reibling, Lifetime Achievement Award winner.

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2012 Ontario Organic Awards

Ontario Organic Awards Celebrate Sector Commitment to Consumer Choice

Over 120 Farmers, consumers, businesses and individuals from across the organic value chain gathered in Guelph on January 27th 2012 to celebrate excellence in Ontario’s organic sector. Thirteen individuals and businesses received awards, highlighting outstanding achievement across the value chain and their dedication to provide consumers with the best quality food while protecting Ontario’s ecological heritage. The Organic Council of Ontario hosted this second annual event to celebrate the commitment of the sector and the care that is put into each operation.  Please see the full list of recipients below for full details about each business or individual.

 Hugh Martin (left) receives lifetime achievement award, presented by Ted Zettel, Board Member of Organic Council of Ontario and Chair of Organic Federation of Canada, at 2012 Ontario Organic Awards, hosted by Organic Council of Ontario. Photo credit: www.AshleyCamara.ca



Outstanding Horticultural Producer: The New Farm, Gillian Flies and Brent Preston

Gillian Flies and Brent Preston of The New Farm for Outstanding Horticultural Producers. The New Farm is a family-run organic farm growing over 150 varieties of premium, hand-harvested, seasonal vegetables from their 100-acre farm on the crest of the Niagara escarpment just west of the village of Creemore.

Gillian and Brent are also inspiring innovators having partnered with The Stop Community Food Centre, in Toronto’s west-end, to create a unique program that supports sustainable local farming and provides fresh, healthy, organic food to people in need in the Toronto area.

The Stop is one of Toronto’s most dynamic and effective organizations working to end hunger and food insecurity. The Stop strives to increase access to healthy food in a manner that maintains dignity, builds community and challenges inequality, through food education, urban agriculture projects, a community kitchen, pre and post natal nutrition programs and a traditional food bank.

Every time you purchase delicious GROW FOR THE STOP produce 10% of the proceeds is donated directly to THE STOP to buy fresh organic produce from The New Farm. Instead of macaroni and canned food, people in need receive a wide diversity of the freshest organic produce available.

Outstanding Livestock or Grain Producer: Golden Acres Farms, Robert Fleishauer and Family

Rob bought a farm in 1982, after a number of years he transitioned to organics. Through continual improvement in rotation and crop management his farm is very attractive. Clean, weed free crops are meticulously grown. This is so encouraging for others to see, it proves that an organic farm can be a prosperous and successful one.

He is involved in many groups including the Oxford Organic Growers and SLOP (some local organic producers). Rob also has hosted round table meetings as well as field and crop tours. He does some consultation work where people have questions over the phone or drop in for advice.

Rob has done many field trails with many of the products offered organically.  He definitely has a knack for detail and documentation of all trials is very well calculated. This is so valuable to other organic farmers in a young and growing industry.

Rob is married to Dianne and they have three girls, Sheri-Lyn, Julie and Rachel.  The girls are very involved in the farm and organic market gardening. They grow approx 100 varieties of garlic seed as well as other fruits and vegetables. Rob is a friend, a leader and a great teacher. He is a tremendous asset to the organic farm community in Ontario.

Outstanding Dairy Producer: Sunholm Farms, Grant Martin

This young family produces milk for Harmony. Grant is constantly improving production techniques including introducing intensive rotational grazing, grazing sorghum and maize, pasturing poultry and also working with Harmony to produce Harmony’s first butter this year, from a shipment of milk directly from their farm.

Outstanding Processor: ShaSha Bread Company

ShaSha Bread Co. is an artisan bakery that represents the essence of a well-balanced and healthy lifestyle. The constant innovation of the sourdough baking methods and sprouting techniques set this nominee apart.
ShaSha Co. is the only bakery to receive a grant from the National Council of Canada. With this assistance, founder and CEO, Shasha Shaun Navazesh, has determined the environmental factors to optimize sourdough bacteria and fungus to replace commercial yeast, boosting lactic acid levels and contributing to greater health, energy, and vitality. The development of Shasha’s sourdough method has greatly benefitted those inflicted with an intolerance to yeast.
ShaSha Co. is also extremely supportive of organic and natural local farmers who responsibly harvest the earth and reduce the carbon footprint of the planet. The conservation of natural resources is an attitude maintained throughout the facilities with staff.

Outstanding Direct Farm Marketing/CSA: Everdale’s Harvest Share CSA

Everdale’s Harvest Share CSA for their dedication to farmers markets as well as innovation in their CSA program in their use of a points based system to avoid food wastage.

Everdale’s Harvest Share CSA program in Hillsburgh has been running since 1998. In 2007 Everdale established a second pick up site at the Narayever Congregation in Toronto. In 2011 Everdale’s Harvest Share program fed over 350 families.
Everdale has structured their CSA to be user friendly as we see it is important to attract and embrace new local food customers. Everdale supports other local farmers by carrying their food in Everdale’s CSA, and promotes these farmers with in-store sampling opportunities and posted biographies. the CSA also includes member’s days, movie nights, book chats, and workshops. The other unique piece to Everdale’s CSA program is that the farmer interns play key roles in the growing and selling of the food. It gives them invaluable experience to take with them to their own future farm enterprises. Many of these former interns have gone on to establish their own CSA farms using Everdale’s Harvest Share as a model (see Angie Koch and her Fertile Ground CSA http://www.fertilegroundcsa.com/ ).

One of the customers writes in their nomination: “My family have been members for the past 4 years. It is such a beautiful place and our kids love it. There is always something fun and exciting for them to do while we shop and chat to all of the familiar faces. The farmers and interns are so lovely and helpful. We love the pint system where we get to pick the food and quantities that we want. The food is amazing (especially the kale and carrots!). We have belonged to other CSA’s before and while they were wonderful they were not in the same league as Everdale.”

Outstanding Retailer: The Big Carrot

The Big Carrot is a 70 member worker owned co-op in Toronto- for their 28 years of leadership and service to the sector. The Big Carrot is the first retailer in the province to certify to the COS, and is one of the founding members of the NON-GMO Project. The Big Carrot has high in-house standards, and is a leader in consumer education, as evidenced through their free private nutritional store tours and weekly seminars as well as sponsorship of countless education/outreach events and programs that promote organics.

From one of the folks nominating the Big Carrot: “The Big Carrot – For their dedication in spreading the word about organics and for not compromising on their core values. They continue to stay to to their mission and vision and continue to serve their local community. Thanks to everyone at The Big Carrot for everything that they do!”

Outstanding Supplier: Pfennings Organic Farm

Pfennings for all of their work as a broker and distributor of organic vegetables.   Continue The Pfennings have been mentors to growers and sales staff, and have raised the bar on local and organic in horticulture into various distribution streams. Their decision several years ago to self-distribute has proven a successful model.  As third generation organic farmers, the Pfennings continue to develop the supply chain to address food as an important part of social change.

Outstanding Marketing Campaign: Organic Meadow’s ‘Clean Living’ video

“Organic Meadow for their music video, it surpasses all other organic advertising by an Ontario group this year.”

In 2011 Organic Meadow received Ontario Market Investment Fund money from the Ontario Government to help produce a unique and creative social media piece. The decision was made to produce an original music video. Music for the music video was written and produced by Ted Zettel Jr., Organic Meadow Cooperative founder Ted Zettel’s son and called Clean Livin’. With help of a Toronto based creative production company, Imported Artists, and Director Gloria Kim the Clean Livin’ music video came to life. The video was filmed just outside of Stratford and starred Organic Meadow founder Ted Zettel, Organic Meadow farmer Stew Slater and his daughter Sophia and the extras were Organic Meadow Inc. staff.
The video shares the story of Organic farmers and their dedication to the animals, the land, the environment and our future. The completed video is posted on Youtube, Facebook, the Organic Meadow website and has been linked to by various other websites and tweeted again and again.

“Organic Meadow’s Clean Living video is one of many successful marketing tools this co-op can be proud of. I also find their website highly informative, interesting and fresh.”

Innovation Award: Southbrook Vineyards

Southbrook carries three certifications:

1. Certified Organic Winery (Pro-Cert)
2. Certified Biodynamic Winery (Demeter)
3. LFP Certification Marketing Categories

On farm innovations include:
1. The Hospitality Building is LEED Gold Certified (first winery in Canada to gain this certification).
2. All lighting in the Hospitably Pavilion is set to sensors so when rooms are not in use lights turn off.
3. Reflective white roof.
4. Onsite bioswales to filter water.
5. No irrigation for vines.
6. Tractors on the property run on Bio-diesel.

Southbrook has created a line of food products that are made locally with organic products. Their food products in 2012 will come from a 20km radius from farm to shelf.
Southbrook has also started a line of wine called Connect. The Connect label was created with the goal of increasing the number of organically farmed acres in Ontario. With 150 acre property and only 50% of it under vine, Southbrook has vowed that they will not plant the remaining acreage until the demand for organic grapes in the area surpasses the supply. They have committed to helping local grape growers gain their organic certification and make a promise to purchase the growers grapes for this Connect Line of wines.
All marketing materials that are printed are printed with soy & vegetable inks and on 100% post consumer paper.

As a supplier to the LCBO Southbrook is the first winery to offer Ontario consumers an organic and local choice in wine under $15. The Connect Family of wines which is 100% organic and is bottled in glass bottles that are made from 100% recycled glass from the Ontario Blue Bin program. The bottles are also lightweight (under 400g) for smaller carbon foot print when shipping. As the Connect Wine Family is Southbrook’s most popular and most highly produced this is the family that they decided would make the most impact with this endeavor. So bottles being shipped to LCBOs around Ontario have 100% of the materials and product made locally and the product is certified organic.
80% of the boxes used to bring in the wine the onsite retail store (which accounts for 80% of the sales in the retail store) are reused on site for new wine releases.  Southbrook recognized a product normally considered waste (or compost) in the wine making practice – grape pumice or the skins of red grapes left over after the pressing and fermentation process take place. Rich in anti-oxidants, Southbrook has dried this skins, powdered them and created a new product for consumers called BioFlavia – turning a waste item into a product for consumption that has MANY heath benefits! The product has become so popular Southbrook has now purchased 100% of the organic pumice in Canada to reach the demand – oh right it is certified organic as well.

Volunteer Award: Peter Dowling, Howe Island

Most of Peter’s volunteer work has been on behalf of the National Farmers Union from the local level to the provincial level and the national level. With his soft-spoken nature, his focus in recent years on working behind the scenes, and the fact that his work is within a general farm organization rather than an organic specific information it would be easy to miss the volunteer contributions Peter has made to the organic community in Ontario. Peter and Dianne are organic dairy farmers themselves along with their son Tim. Their daughter Emily also has a successful organic vegetable and egg CSA on the family farm.

The National Farmers Union is quite intentional about speaking for the environmental, social and economic benefits of organic farming as a way to maintain family farms and to protect the environment. The willingness of the NFU to take that message to the government and to the public, has played a role in building support for the organic sector. Peter has been instrumental in making sure the NFU in Ontario has included support for organic farming as part of its message over the last couple of decades. In the 1990’s, Peter was the key leader from the farm community in the fight to stop rBST from being approved in Canada.

Although, Peter is not often the public voice of the NFU in Ontario, those who have been the public voice have relied on Peter’s behind the scenes work to help frame the message and his strategic thinking in how to get the message into public and government discussions. Peter also played a key role in working to have the NFU become an accredited Ontario General Farm Organization in 2002. This was an important development for the organic sector in Ontario, because as one of three GFO’s, the NFU had new opportunities to bring its positions on organic farming to the table.

Education Award: Julie Daniluk

Julie has been a passionate voice for the organic sector for almost two decades. Julie began educating eaters about the benefits of organics one by one as The Big Carrot’s in-store nutritionist. Her audiences grew rapidly as a much-requested speaker at health food and trade events across the country where, no matter the topic- the foundation of Julie’s message has been the connection between health and organic food.

Most recently Julie has had the opportunity of reaching countless eaters with her work as expert nutritionist on The Healthy Gourmet, Dr. OZ and the Marilyn Dennis show as well as her newly published cookbook Meals that Heal.

Julie’s enthusiasm, commitment and depth of knowledge in her field make her an invaluable ambassador for Organics and a very worthy candidate for the OCO Education Award.

Lifetime Achievement Awards:

Cathleen Kneen

Cathleen Kneen’s contribution to organics started many decades ago as a farmer on the east coast with her husband, Brewster. Cathleen’s work in the food systems movement has always been cutting edge. Her mentorship of community food activists across the country has created a generation of folks dedicated to including farmers and food producers in the food security conversation. She has championed organic production as an integral part of both emergency food and long term sustainability. Recently retired from her role as Chair Food Secure Canada, we trust Cathleen will find a new home for her passion and analysis.

Hugh Martin

Hugh Martin has contributed greatly to the growth of the organic movement, over many years, without a great deal of recognition.  Hugh spent 34 years with OMAFRA, many of those years as the Organic Lead. In the year 2012 we are likely to take for granted that we have a well established organization like the Organic Council, that has established strong links with the provincial government and particularly the Ministry of Agriculture, cooperating on multiple levels. But in the beginning, it was not so.

In order to understand the achievement of Hugh Martin, we must recollect what it was like back in those early years of the 1980’s.  We were a radical fringe movement – as far out of the mainstream as you could be without being arrested.  We considered anyone within the establishment, i.e. the government, to be the enemy, and they felt likewise.  The first, and for a long time, the only person within OMAFRA to return our calls and take an interest in this new approach, was Hugh.  He quickly became the go-to guy within the government for everything organic.

This may seem like a smart career move for a young civil servant as we look back, from the vantage point of Hugh, receiving an award.  But at the time it was anything but.  Hugh occupied a no-man’s land, with one foot in each camp, earning the distrust of his colleagues for cavorting with upstarts, and suspected by organic people as a “government spy”.

It took a special kind of person to manage such a perilous situation.  With patience, perseverance, careful diplomacy and courage Hugh managed to survive those early days and be vindicated, as organics gradually grew to be recognized as a credible and permanent part of the farming landscape.  We owe him a great debt of gratitude and recognition that is long overdue.  Together, we recognize Hugh Martin for a lifetime of achievement in serving the organic food movement.

2011 Ontario Organic Awards


Dairy- Birchwind Farms
Horticultural producer- Greenfield’s Organic Farm
Livestock/ grain producer- Martin Driesse
Processor- Fieldgate Organics
Direct Farm marketing/ CSA- Mapleton’s
Direct to Consumer (non farm)- Front Door Organics
Retail- Healthy Butcher
Food Service- the Food School
Innovation- Saugeen Country Dairy
Volunteer Award- Gerald Poechman, Colleen Ross, Ann Slater
Education Award- Everdale Learning Centre, Anne Clark, Nicky French
Lifetime Achievement Award- Eric Eberhardt (post-humous), Alvin Filsinger (post-humous), Larry Lenhardt, Jennifer Grant, Tom Manley



Highlights from 2011 Awards Ceremony

Outstanding Livestock or Grain Producer: Martin Driesse 

For Martin the long term impact of a management practice is more important than a short term benefit. As a regional Director for the NFU, Martin works hard to make people aware of the issues facing producers and consumers.

Martin gets out into the community and encourages organic farming, inspiring others to transform their farms. Whether it is crops, food or other farm resources, the priority is to support the other organic farmers or businesses.

The food on the kitchen table reflects the same values as his farm crops.  “Martin does more than talk the talk, he walks the walk. Even when there is no advantage to himself”

 Outstanding Direct Farm Marketing/CSA: Mapleton’s

Mapletons Organic have been successful in creating a ‘destination’ farm. Starting with one idea and one product, they have worked hard to build an on-farm processing plant as well as an on-farm store. Owners, Ineke Booy and Martin De Groot have effectively branded and re-branded their farm to help keep their products at the forefront of the consumers’ consciousness.

They are passionate about what they do and the products they grow and create. They are also paving the way for the next generation to play a greater role in the business.  The farm has added a demonstration barn, planted a crop circle to educate children about the crop rotations on the farm and partnered with another young farmer who runs a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) business on four acres of the farm.

Outstanding Foodservice: The Foodschool/ Chris Jess

The Food School is a high school hospitality and tourism program run by Chef Instructors, Chris Jess and Nicole DeBeyer. The program strives to develop menus and actions that highlight how we are living in a time when it has become vitally important that we learn/relearn how to grow gardens, preserve our food, and reacquaint with what real food is.

There are currently 400 students participating in the program which also operates a catering business and a café, run by students.  They believe strongly that questions about who and how food will be grown can be considered within our educational institutions, as their website states, “Rural communities have an amazing opportunity to be reviving the much respected act of growing food. But urban communities have just as many opportunities for such collaborations and should be considering their own actions to grow food in cities.”

Outstanding Direct to Consumer (non-farmer operations):  Front Door Organics

Since 1997, Front Door Organics has been delivering organic food in the GTA, is committed to local and organic, and exemplifies commitment to social and ecological justice. Front Door Organics is a family business, owned and operated by partners JJ Sheppard and Angela Donnelly.

FDO has grown from a tiny seed—their first delivery was to just six homes in the High Park Area—to a dynamic enterprise with a staff of 12 and more than 800 fresh box deliveries a week. Front Door Organics exemplifies the future of local and organic food distribution in urban Ontario.  They work with Food Share, Second Harvest, and the Daily Bread Food Bank.

Front Door Organics is also demonstrating the value of the awards, they write on their website: “Oh, and we should mention our efforts haven’t gone unrecognized: we were the winners of the Organic Council of Ontario’s 2010 award for Outstanding Direct To Consumer Operation!”

 Education Award: Everdale Organic Farm & Environmental Learning Centre

Everdale Organic Farm & Environmental Learning Centre is a leader and trail-blazer in organic and sustainable agriculture.  Hands-on education is what Everdale is all about.

Everdale’s 50 acre working organic farm as its greatest tool to deliver education about sustainable living, organic farming, and the local food environment.

Everdale teaches people from 5 years of age to 85, from foodies to farmers, and from urban to rural dwellers through these educational programs:

–Kids & Youth Programs
–Organic Farming Certificate Program (OFC)
–Farmers Growing Farmers
–Sustainable Living Workshops

 Here is some of what other people are saying about Everdale’s impact:

“Sometimes a group of people come along and they touch your lives in a way that lasts forever…. Thank-you for teaching us, letting us teach you, and opening your lives to let us in and take part in them.” – Joy,  former Alt-Ed Student

•‘“Everdale is a learning buffet for organic agriculture.” – Tom, Organic Farming Certificate Graduate

Lifetime Achievement Award: Jennifer Grant

Jennifer started Harmony Whole Foods Market in 1978 in a small downtown Orangeville location. With Jennifer’s passion and commitment, she and the store have been leaders in the natural health and organic food sector.  Jennifer is truly committed to be one with the community through her partnership with holistic minded community members and retailers.

Together they share information and work collectively to spread the message of getting healthy, staying healthy and living a life that steps lightly on the planet. Jennifer has been a pioneer in the organic industry and devoted much of her time in order to get it to where it is today.  Jennifer has been actively involved in many industry organizations including the Organic Federation of Canada, OTA North America (Canadian Seat) in the 1990s, Organic Council of Ontario founding Board, Canadian Health Food Association, Organic Value Chain Roundtable, (and the OVCRT Market Development Working Group), and the Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada. Jennifer has been previously acknowledged for her efforts, including being awarded the 2008 CHFA National Retailer of the Year

Lifetime Achievement Award: Larry Lenhardt

Larry was instrumental in getting Organic Certification into Ontario. Larry, a 4-H and Junior Farmer Association member, a graduate of Ontario Agriculture College, U. of Guelph, Horticultural Science, 1970, managed a diversified 500 acre tender tree fruit farm with processing plants and cold storage, then served as a Teaching Professor at Sir Sandford Fleming College’s School of Environment and Natural Resource Sciences until 2001.

He co-ordinated the two year Farm Management Program which became the first eco-agricultural training program in Canada.  He, as founding co-ordinator of Forest Nursery Program which helped establish greenhouse culture of the commercial coniferous forest tree species in Ontario. Larry was founding director of Organic Crop Improvement Association Ontario, the first organic certification agency in Canada, 1985 – 1991. He, with four others, established Organic Crop Producers and Processors Ontario Inc. (OCPP) a registered Canadian not for profit certification agency, in 1991.

He and partners operated a 150-acre certified organic farm (KHOF Ltd.) producing beef, vegetables and rhubarb. He is:  Past President of Lindsay and District Horticultural Society; founding member of Master Gardeners, Lindsay; Past President of Canadian Organic Advisory Board, Central Ontario Beekeepers Association and Ontario Institute of Agrologists;  Director of Organic Foods Conferences Canada Inc; founding committee member of Kawartha Region Conservation Authority (KRCA); founding chair of Friends of KRCA; CEO of OCPP Ontario Inc. and President of OCPP/Pro-Cert Canada Inc. (OC/PRO), an accredited organic certification agency working in Canada and North America, until September 1, 2007…