Bill Duesing Lifetime Achievement Award
The NOFA Interstate Council is starting a new and very special award this year. It is called the Bill Duesing NOFA Lifetime Achievement Award . This will not be an annual award. It will only be used to honor those people that have had decades of service to NOFA and that have had a profound, transformational effect on our organization. Before I announce who the first recipient of the award is, let me briefly tell you a little bit about what he has contributed to NOFA
For 40 years, this organic farmer, author, and environmental activist has been actively working to promote organic agriculture and greater local food sufficiency in Connecticut and the Northeast.
He went to his first NOFA meeting in 1972 in the basement of a grange hall in VT, in response to a little notice in Organic Gardening Magazine. He went to the first NOFA conference in 1975 at High Mowing School in New Hampshire. He has been to this conference most every year since then and has been a presenter for many of those years.
He is the author of Living on the Earth: Eclectic Essays for a Sustainable and Joyful Future. He was the founding president of CT NOFA in 1982, where he served as their Executive Director for 12 years. He is the founding chair of the New Haven Ecology Project and its Common Ground High School, located on a farm in New Haven. He was a founding board member and past President of the Connecticut Farmland Trust. He has done more in CT but I think you get my drift.
Our award recipient's circle of influence reached far beyond the boundaries of CT. He was a member of the NOFA Interstate Council from 1974 until this year. He was the president of our NOFA Interstate Council for decades, until 2014, and always guided us with a steady hand. Our award recipient always fully supported our Policy, Ag Justice and Domestic Fair Trade work.
He led the Interstate Council through a period of rapid growth but always worked to honor the unique NOFA culture of open, honest communication, consensus decision making and solidarity. He modeled human centered leadership, and the quiet power of a gentle, kind spirit. He led by example.
Currently he is the CT NOFA Organic Advocate. With his wife Suzanne, he grows fruits and vegetables on the Old Solar Farm in Oxford Ct and will be growing for many more years to come.
So the first recipient of the Bill Duesing NOFA Lifetime Achievement award is none other than Bill Duesing himself. Bill, please come to the stage with your family to receive this well deserved tribute for your lifetime of service to NOFA.