We are thrilled to present the 2020 Barbara Petit Pollinator Award to Jacqui Coburn and Alex Rilko of Front Field Farm at the Farmer’s Feast on Feb. 8
Jacqui and Alex established Front Field Farm in 2009 on 1.25 acres in Covington. They quickly learned that the demand for local, healthy and organic food was out pacing their existing acreage and moved to a three-acre farm in Winterville. Their new farm land had been slated to be the second phase of a 60 house subdivision, but fortunately, they were able to save the land and keep it in agriculture. They now grow on four acres and are expanding their operation and increasing their flower production.
After a few years of selling at the Athens Farmers Market, local restaurants and having their own little CSA, Alex and Jacqui started thinking about how to work with other farmer friends to achieve a common goal of providing fresh, local produce to the community. Rather than compete, they wanted to collaborate and help grow many farm businesses. So, in 2015, they joined forces with Carter and Shelley Dodd of Diamond Hill Farm (Hull, Ga.) and Mike and Iwalani Farfour of Full Moon Farm (Winterville, Ga.). Collective Harvest was born. They hoped that by combining their efforts to crop plan, market and distribute produce, they would be able to make real connections between people, land and food.
What started as a three-farm collective has grown to include eight farms, over 200 CSA members, two full time staff members and over a dozen regular restaurant customers. Collective Harvest has been able to offer discounted CSA shares to low-income families in the Athens area. Member farms have also seen increased sales and yields through Collective Harvest: two farms have been able to keep full-time farm workers through the winter for the very first time this year. Collective Harvest is dedicated to enriching the local economy and sustaining the land with the help of farmers, other small businesses and the community at large.
About this Award:
In 2009, Georgia Organics established the Barbara Petit Pollinator Award to honor an individual or organization for outstanding community leadership in Georgia’s sustainable farming and food movement. The award acknowledges exceptional success in advancing Georgia Organics’ mission by spreading—pollinating—the movement throughout community life, such as the food industry, faith communities, public agencies, schools and institutions. The award is named after Barbara Petit, a committed leader, culinary professional, and organizer who served as President of Georgia Organics from 2003-2009. Petit passed away in October 2015.
2009 Barbara Petit
2010 Julie Shaffer
2011 Teri Hamlin
2012 Christine Anthony & Owen Masterson
2013 Helen Dubose
2014 Teri Schell
2015 Eric Wagoner
2016 Erin Croom
2017 Tony & Linda Scharko
2018 Kim Hines
2019 Shirley and Charles Sherrod