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Natural Awakenings Atlanta

2020 Georgia Organics Awards Honor Riverview and Front Field Farm

Susan Welander with Land Steward Award Recipients Wes and Charlotte Swancy of Riverview Farms. (Photo: Tom Brodnax)

At its annual conference, Georgia Organics awarded the owners of Riverview Farms and Front Field Farm/Collective Harvest for their substantive leadership in environmentally sound land stewardship and for excellence in sustainable farming and food practices, respectively.

The 2020 Land Steward Award went to Charlotte and Wes Swancy of Riverview Farms for their tireless, 20-year commitment to caring for their soil. “We’ve always focused on the soil,” Charlotte Swancy explains. “It may sound simple, but it isn’t.”

“Land stewardship is an awareness of your connections to a much larger system,” says Georgia Organics Farmer Services Director Michael Wall. “It’s not just the land, it’s water, it’s air—it's a living network that we’re all connected to.”

Riverview is a “full-circle” farm. It produces all the feed that sustains the livestock, and in turn, the livestock supports the land. “They are an industry leader,” says Terry Koval, head chef at The Deer and the Dove and former head chef at Wrecking Bar. He’s been sourcing from Riverview since 2010. “Their commitment paved the way for so many of the organic farms in Atlanta that came after them.”

Georgia Organics awarded its 2020 Barbara Petit Pollinator Award to Jacqui Coburn and Alex Rilko of Front Field Farm in Covington and Collective Harvest of Winterville. The award honors outstanding community leadership and exceptional success in Georgia’s sustainable farming and food movement.

Coburn and Rilko observed numerous gaps and redundancies in the ways that farmers operated, putting them at cross purposes with each other and resulting in lost time and efficiency. They initiated a new system that helps give farmers more time on the farm and helps alleviate unnecessary competition among them.

Farmers in the collective meet for a bid process to plan their crop schedule and produce commitments. “The bid process allows everybody to be as involved as they want to be,” says Coburn.

Georgia Organics champions organic agriculture and healthy families by empowering farmers to thrive, helping schools engage children in enjoyable and educational farm-to-school experiences and making organic and local food accessible to all Georgians.

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