In September, American Vegetable Grower (AVG) presented the ninth annual Grower Achievement Award to an operation that has achieved success by keeping tabs on consumer demand and remaining open to trying new things.
The 2010 Grower Achievement Award was given to Kurt Alstede of Alstede Farms in Chester, NJ. The award, sponsored by Syngenta in cooperation with United Fresh Produce Association, was presented at the United Washington Public Policy Conference on Sept. 16 in National Harbor, MD.
|to watch a video of the Grower Achievement Award presentation.|
Alstede, who started the farming company from scratch, runs a 500-acre vegetable, fruit, and flower farm, a farm market, and a pick-your-own operation. In addition, he supplies 25 area farmers markets, runs a Community Supported Agriculture program that was started this year, and operates a successful agritainment business. To promote his business ventures, Alstede uses his farm’s website, www.alstedefarms.com, and he also communicates with customers on Facebook and Twitter.
During his acceptance speech, Alstede mentioned that it is one thing to receive the award and another to live up to it. As a grower who has embraced a leadership role in the industry, Alstede exemplies what it means to be the winner of the Grower Achievement Award.
He has given of his time, serving on newly elected New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s transition team this year, and serving an appointment by former President George W. Bush on the state’s Farm Service Agency. He also went to bat for the New Jersey Department of Agriculture a couple of years ago when a proposal was made to have it eliminated from the state government. His involvement included testifying on behalf of the New Jersey Department of Agriculture at the state budget hearing.