Vegetable Growers news recently announced the winners to their first 40 Under 40 Fruit and Vegetable awards. This award recognizes 40 individuals under the age of 40 who are leading the agricultural industry. Laura Edwards, our Executive Director since 2014, has been selected as one of the 40 who is being honored.
“These 40 young professionals represent the best in the industry” notes Matthew J. McCallum, CEO of award sponsor, Great American Media Services. “This new initiative will spotlight emerging talent and those who are setting the pace for the future.”
Along with Laura, 11 other women, and 28 men are being recognized as young professionals who represent the best in the industry. Individuals from throughout the industry are being recognized; including growers, shippers, and even government agencies. Laura is among one of the few women recognized, as well as one of few working in non-profit.
Advocating for Family Farms
Laura stands out for her 6 years with farm aid, where she worked with farmers in moments of crisis on their national hotline. Joining Red Tomato in 2008 she led the development of innovative marketing and supply chain programs and partnerships to bring produce from Northeast farms to supermarkets and institutions in the region. From 24 hour field to store supply chains to building relationships with broad line distributors Laura has continued to advocate for family farmers. Laura was named Red Tomato’s second ever Executive Director in 2014.
“I’ve spent my career working to give a voice to family farmers so that they have wide access to fair and transparent markets. I’ve been so fortunate to work for and learn from, organizations like Red Tomato and Farm Aid who’s day-in and day-out are an effort to make that vision a reality. In today’s hyper-competitive and highly consolidated market, the future of our nation’s farmers requires vision and courage from this next generation of leaders. It is my hope that this award will give me the opportunity to connect with colleagues across the nation so we may rise to the occasion together.”
Laura, along with the other winners of the award is being honored at the Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable & Farm Market EXPO. They will also be recognized in the October 2018 Issues of Fruit Growers News, and Vegetable Growers news.
Fruit and Vegetable 40 Under 40 is sponsored by Great American Media, publisher of Fruit and Vegetable Growers News, and other industry partners.