Farmer of the Year Award
Routes to Farm presents Farmer of the Year award to
Triple M Farm: Mariah’s Mums & More
CHICAGO, IL — Greg and Mariah Anderson of Triple M Farm: Mariah’s Mums & More near Clinton, Illinois have been named recipients of the 2019 Farmer of the Year Award by Illinois’ Routes to Farm farmer alliance. The Andersons’ commitment to producing Good Food earned them the honor, presented at Family Farmed‘s annual Good Food EXPO & Policy Conference at Chicago’s UIC Forum, March 22-23, 2019. The Andersons grow 15,000 fall mums and nine acres of fresh produce for both wholesale and direct to consumer markets.
The Good Food EXPO is the Midwest's premier annual celebration of the fast-growing Good Food movement. It brings together regional and national leaders in local, sustainable food - from farmers to chefs, entrepreneurs to policy makers - to discuss the movement that's transforming the way we eat.
“The Routes to Farm Farmer of the Year Award recognizes the efforts, ingenuity and leadership of farmers in our region,” said Cliff McConville, alliance member for the Routes to Farm project. “We want to celebrate the successes of these farmers and share the stories of how more experienced farmers have helped mentor and guide them.”
Applicants for the award are nominated by farmer-focused organizations, in four states, that make up the Routes to Farm alliance. These organizations help farmers serving the Chicago foodshed find resources and training to grow their businesses and in turn, growing our communities’ food. The Andersons were nominated by the Illinois Stewardship Alliance based in Springfield, Illinois and one of the 14 organizations that make up the Routes to Farm alliance.
The Farmer of the Year recipient also selects a farmer mentor to honor who generously provided mentorship to the Farmer of the Year recipient during their first ten years of startup.
“During the first few years of farming, we participated in several farmer training programs through the University of Illinois, the Land Connection, and the Illinois Stewardship Alliance. We’re also members of the Illinois Specialty Growers Association and the Farm Bureau and all of these have added up to a wide network of mentors, serving in different capacities over the past 10 years,” said Mariah Anderson, co-owner of Triple M Farm. “And because of that, we found it very hard to pick one mentor to honor. Since we are very passionate about mentoring and providing learning experiences at our farm for area youth, the Routes to Farm alliance allowed us to provide the mentor honorarium to our local Clinton High School agriculture and FFA program.”
Routes to Farm is a collaborative effort to make resources available to farmers who are launching or growing their farm businesses in the Chicago foodshed. The Routes to Farm project (Routes2Farm.org) is made possible with the generous support of the Food Land Opportunity Initiative of The Chicago Community Trust and the Kinship Foundation.