Nov 3, 2022
Recipients of 2022 Farm Credit MarketMaker Innovation Awards announced

Champaign, Illinois — The 2022 Farm Credit MarketMaker Innovation award winners were recognized at the National Agricultural Marketing Summit in Pensacola, Florida on October 24, 2022.

Awarded for the 12th consecutive year, the Innovation Award recognizes outstanding efforts by state and local MarketMaker partners. Farm Credit is the presenting sponsor of the cash awards, which can be used by the winners to help advance their MarketMaker-related programs.

The recipient of the 2022 Farm Credit MarketMaker Innovation award was the Farmer Veteran Coalition for their “Launching MarketMaker for Homegrown By Heroes Label” program.

The HBH Program certifies ranchers, farmers, and fisherman of all military eras to sell their product as veteran owned & produced. It’s estimated that utilization of the Homegrown By Heroes label increases sales by 15%. MarketMaker allows FVC and HBH affiliates inclusion on a searchable map for potential buyers to locate and provides a way to sell online at no cost to the producer.

“We are excited to begin this new phase of our Homegrown By Heroes brand development with our expanding MarketMaker partnership. There are numerous ways that our FVC community and especially our HBH certified growers and ranchers can increase market access with this online technology,” Jeanette Lombardo, with FVC stated. “We are excited to receive this award and thank MarketMaker and Farm Credit for the opportunity to showcase the continued focus our organization has on broadening the Farmer Veteran Coalition mission to mobilize veterans to feed America.”

The first runner-up was awarded to Iowa State University Farm Food and Enterprise Development and AgMrc for their “FoodSearcher Tool”. The FoodSearcher Tool is a resource used to map the national network of farmers, fishers, and food businesses. Second runner-up was awarded to the Artisan Grain Collaborative (fiscally sponsored by Global Philanthropy Partnership) for their “Expanding MarketMaker to Upper Midwest diversified grain farmers and grain-based food and beverage businesses” project.

Gary Matteson, who works for the trade organization of the Farm Credit System in Washington, DC, as Vice President of Young, Beginning, Small Farmer Programs and Outreach, recognized each individual submission’s goals of helping utilize the Food MarketMaker platform to help increase farm successes.

“Farm Credit is proud to recognize the creative achievements of this year’s Innovation Award winners,” Matteson said. “It’s important for Farm Credit to continue sponsoring these awards to incentivize the best ideas from those who use and improve MarketMaker every day.”

“MarketMaker benefits tremendously from the collaborative spirit of all of our partner organizations,” Darlene Knipe, MarketMaker director and co-founder, said. “Our partnerships are the key component to MarketMaker’s success. The Innovation Award recognizes what working together toward a shared vision can achieve, and we’re extremely grateful to Farm Credit for incentivizing participation in these synergistic efforts each year.”

About Food MarketMaker 

Food MarketMaker is a public/private collaboration that includes Land Grant Universities, Departments of Agriculture, and food and agricultural organizations across the country. Its goal is to build a virtual information sharing infrastructure that brings healthier, fresher, and more flavorful food to the average consumer. MarketMaker was created by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2004 and is licensed to and managed by Global Food and Agricultural Network, LLC (GFAN). To learn more about the Food MarketMaker program please contact Dr. Richard Knipe [email protected] or explore the MarketMaker website

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