Twenty-first annual Agricultural Progress Awards Dinner
salutes industry leaders
Oregon agriculture took the opportunity to salute industry
leaders recently at the 21st annual Agricultural Progress Awards Dinner held in
Salem on March 20. The event, hosted by the Oregon Department of Agriculture,
celebrated progress in agriculture made through partnerships between business,
higher education, and state government.
ODA Director Katy Coba presented awards in recognition of
innovation and leadership in the following areas:
- Oregon Product Retailer of the Year: Fred Meyer Stores, for their strong support,
promotion, and successful marketing of locally-grown Oregon food products.
- Chef of the Year:
Gregory Gourdet, Executive Chef at Departure Restaurant and Lounge in
Portland, for his efforts to promote Oregon agriculture and seafood, by
preparing and offering locally produced foods.
- Cooperator of the Year:
The Oregon Association of Conservation Districts and its executive
director, Jerry Nicolescu, for commitment to conservation and working with the
Oregon Department of Agriculture to support its Agricultural Water Quality
- Excellence in Conservation:
The WISE Project of Jackson County (Water for Irrigation, Stream, and
Economy), for its innovative and collaborative water management project to
improve the health of local watersheds.
- Individual Contributions to Agriculture: Verne Gingerich of
Canby, for his many years of leadership, promotion, and marketing efforts that
have benefitted Oregon’s blueberry industry; and, Connie Kirby of Portland, for
her efforts with the Northwest Food Processors Association to help the industry
sector address food safety and other key issues.