WLA Presents 2013 Pathfinder Awards at Annual Meeting

 The Working Lands Alliance announced the winners of the 2013 Farmland Preservation Pathfinder Awards at our Annual Meeting on Wednesday, November 13th. This year's recipients exemplify the spirit of the awards, which are given to outstanding individuals and groups who have significantly advanced farmland preservation through leadership, advocacy, planning, and education. Join us in congratulating these three well-deserving awardees:


Outstanding Individual: Tom Crider, Southbury Land Trust

This year's Pathfinder award goes to Tom Crider, President of the Southbury Land Trust (SLT).  Tom has been an outstanding leader of SLT, showing incredible vision, patience, and skill in piloting the organization through countless projects over nearly two decades. With an expert ability to develop relationships with landowners and craft impressive conservation arrangements, Tom has preserved seven family farms and thousands of acres of habitat. Tom displayed his extraordinary gifts throughout the effort to preserve 825-acres of prime farmland at Southbury Training School. Working closely with the Southbury delegation, Town officials, his Board, and the many advocates for the bill over the last few years, Tom remained a key voice and articulate spokesman for the importance of the effort- both from the perspective of the community and the Land Trust. The success of this ill is a testament to Tom's hard work and dedication to farmland preservation, which we are proud to honor with this Pathfinder award.  

Outstanding Group: The Farmer's Cow

This year's Pathfinder award for Outstanding Group goes to The Farmer's Cow - a group of six family-owned dairy farms that market their products under a single brand. The Farmer's Cow has done extraordinary work educating their consumers about the importance of farmland preservation. This year, The Farmer's Cow launched an ice cream flavor appropriately named 'Farmland Crunch', using it to draw attention to the development pressures on Connecticut's rich farmland. Proceeds from the sale of each pint are donated to Connecticut Farmland Trust, to support their important work of preserving CT's working lands. The Farmer's Cow also sponsored this year's Corn Maze adventure at Fort Hill Farm in Thompson, themed "Saving Farmland", and used the corn maze as another "teachable moment" about why farmland preservation is so important. In addition to their educational work, their member farms have also collectively preserved nearly 4,000 acres of active farmland through CT's Farmland Preservation Program - an impressive total! These actions made The Farmer's Cow a wonderful choice for this year's Pathfinder Award for Outstanding Group.   


Education Leader: George Hall  

This year's Pathfinder award for Education Leader goes to George Hall, the owner of Hall's Farm in Simsbury. Throughout his long farming career, George has been an outstanding mentor and teacher to countless interns and apprentices who come to learn about the importance of farming, the meaning of hard work, and the love of the land. These lessons prove invaluable to many of these interns. In addition, George is educating the community of Simsbury by the example he set in the unique preservation project he is undertaking with Simsbury Land Trust - an effort that will secure his lands for the generations who will succeed him on this farm. George will sell the development rights on 12 highly developable acres of farmland in exchange for the rights to 40 acres of farmland he has been leasing - a transaction that will, in the end, provide him little financial gain. This effort shows that he has devoted himself to the legacy of his farm operation, and that securing the land base was more important than monetary considerations. For this, and for his outstanding efforts to mentor and teach the next generation of CT farmers, we proudly present this Education Leader Award to George Hall.

Please join us in congratulating these outstanding recipients of this year's Pathfinder awards!  



All the best,



Lisa Bassani    

Project Director, Working Lands Alliance 

Working Lands Alliance 
A Project of American Farmland Trust
775 Bloomfield Ave 
Windsor, CT 06096 



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