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Natural Awakenings Atlanta

Georgia Organics Awards Rigdon, Wilson and Conrad

Apr 01, 2023 06:00AM ● By Staff

L-R: Fred Conrad, Bobby Wilson, Mary Hart Rigdon after receiving the 2023 Barbara Petit Pollinator Award

At its annual conference and expo, held in February at the Muse Theatre in Perry, Georgia, Georgia Organics announced the winners of its 2023 Land Steward and Pollinator Awards.

“We host annual awards to recognize the often under-lauded leaders of Georgia’s organic farming and food communities,” says Mary Elizabeth Kidd, director of communications at Georgia Organics. “Board members and the general public nominate potential Land Steward and Pollinator Award winners annually; nominations are then reviewed and voted on by the Georgia Organics board and governance committee.

Georgia Organics created the Land Steward Award to honor those who have contributed significantly to the organic agriculture movement in Georgia. Mary Hart Rigdon, owner and dairy goat farmer of Decimal Place Farm, is the winner of the organization’s 2023 Land Steward Award in recognition of her long-standing commitment to organic agriculture, dairy production and nurturing younger farmers.

The co-winners of the 2023 Barbara Petit Pollinator Award—established in honor of Georgia Organics’ president from 2003 through 2009—are Bobby Wilson of Metro Atlanta Urban Farm and Fred Conrad of Food Well Alliance. Wilson co-founded the five-acre urban farm to use as a teaching tool, an “economic empowerment” zone and a food production site for the southwest metropolitan Atlanta area. Conrad has been managing community garden programs in metro Atlanta since 1997 and has served as Community Garden Coordinator at Food Well Alliance for seven years. 

“Mary, Bobby and Fred are true beacons of the Georgia farming and local food movement. Seeing them receive standing ovations from hundreds of farmers and local food leaders made this Farmers’ Feast worth the wait,” says Kidd. “These are the folks who are working from the ground up, pun intended, to heal the land and ensure Georgians have equitable access to locally-grown fruits, vegetables, proteins, grains and more.”

Georgia Organics is a member-supported organization and the oldest statewide non-profit providing direct support to local and organic farmers. To learn more, visit
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