Every year, Rodale Institute celebrates the organic movement’s rich history and bright future by recognizing three leaders who are changing the landscape of regenerative organic agriculture for the better.

This year our Organic Pioneer Award winners are: Beyond Pesticides founder and Executive Director Jay Feldman, farmer and activist Denise O’Brien, and New Mexico farmer Don Bustos. Make sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our newsletter to learn more about our 2021 winners.


2021 Award Winners

Jay Feldman
Founder of Beyond Pesticides

Founder and Executive Director of Beyond Pesticides. Jay has served on the National Organic Standards Board. He has successfully fought to remove from the market hazardous pesticides and helped draft pivotal local, state, and federal organic law. Jay currently serves on the standards board of the Real Organic Project and the executive committee of the National Organic Coalition.

Denise O'Brien
Farmer and Activist

Farmer and community activist from Atlantic, Iowa. Founder of Sustainable Iowa Land Trust and co-founder of the Women Food and Agriculture Network. Served as an Agriculture Advisor in Afghanistan from 2011 to 2012. Denise has been farming with her husband in Iowa for 45 years and she loves the physical and mental challenge that organic vegetable production offers her aging body.

Don Bustos
New Mexico Farmer

Family farmer from Northern New Mexico, and one of the first farmers to receive organic certification in the state. Co-director of the American Friends Service Committee’s New Mexico Program. Don has served on the board for the USDA’s Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE), the Campaign for Sustainable Agriculture, and the New Mexico Acequia Association.

The 2020 Organic Pioneer Awards were held virtually throughout the month of September due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Video features of 2020 winners Katherine DiMatteo, Dr. Tyrone Hayes, and the Lundberg Family were shared across social media platforms, culminating in a roundtable with the winners discussing the past, present, & future of the organic movement. View last year's videos below.

Katherine DiMatteo

Dr. Tyrone B. Hayes

Lundberg Family Farms

The future of organic is bright because of people like you. When you support our mission, you help farmers transition to organic, fund groundbreaking research, and educate the world on the human and planetary benefits of regenerative organic agriculture.


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