CFSA Awards For Leadership in Sustainable Agriculture

Every year at our Sustainable Agriculture Conference, CFSA recognizes sustainable agriculture leaders. The awards honor institutions and individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the  sustainable food movement in North and South Carolina and have helped make the Carolinas one of the fastest growing sustainable agricultural sectors in the country.


Nomination Process

To nominate a candidate for a CFSA Sustainable Agriculture Award, please review the criteria in each category and submit a nomination form. Self-nominations are welcome. Whenever possible, candidates should be available to attend the awards ceremony at the Sustainable Agriculture Conference, happening November 3-5, 2017 in Durham, NC. Nominees should not be the recipient of a past award (see below for a listing of past recipients).  You may nominate as many candidates as you wish for the same or multiple awards, but please fill out a separate nomination form for each candidate.


To nominate a candidate, complete the CFSA Sustainable Agriculture Awards Nomination Form by October 15, 2017.

If you wish to send additional supporting materials as an attachment (such as press articles about the nominee, records of the nominees work, etc…) you may email it to after completing the online form.


Award Categories

Beginning Farmer Award

The beginning farmer award recognizes a farmer who has been in production for less than ten years. Upon receiving a nomination form, candidates may be asked to provide a site visit with CFSA to see their farm in action, and/or to share their business plan. Excellent candidates will demonstrate a strong business plan and innovation and commitment to sustainable agriculture.  This award will be presented at the Friday Food Feast and Keynote.


Farmer of the Year

This honor recognizes an outstanding North or South Carolina farmer who has demonstrated uncommon achievement through inspiring innovations in agriculture and contributions to strengthening the field of sustainable agriculture in the Carolinas.  The Farmer of the Year will be presented at the Friday Food Feast and Keynote.


Activist of the Year

This award recognizes an NC or SC citizen who has advanced a cause or causes in sustainable agriculture through advocacy and activism.  Providing links to the candidates contributions or work is strongly encouraged.


Institution of the Year

This award recognizes an outstanding institution that supports and advances the work of sustainable agriculture leaders in the Carolinas.


Business of the Year

This award recognizes a business that supports and advances the work of sustainable agriculture leaders in the Carolinas.


Other Awards

In addition, CFSA will award a SC extension agent and NC extension educator award. These awards are managed through the respective states extension offices. CFSA sometimes offers the premier award of Career Achievement, which is given to a leader in sustainable agriculture whose lifetime contributions have greatly advanced sustainable agriculture in the Carolinas.

 Download: Past Award Winners (1993-2015) (.pdf)