On September 19, 2017, American Vegetable Grower® magazine was honored to present its prestigious Grower Achievement Award to Alan and Leslie Jones, owners of Parrish, FL-based Jones Potato Farm. This national award is given annually to an operation that exemplifies the best of the national growing community.
The Joneses received the 2017 American Vegetable Grower Grower Achievement Award in Washington, D.C., during the United Fresh Produce Association’s Washington Conference. The award is given in cooperation with United Fresh.
Jones Potato Farm’s owners, Leslie and Alan Jones, are leads in the drive to sustain the environment that provides for their way of living. The Joneses ask themselves, “How can we be part of solution of finding a more sustainable way of farming?”
That desire for action has led the Joneses to recruit like-minded partners to trial different ways to reduce water use, limit run off, and share the results with their fellow growers and community.
Alan and Leslie Jones’ drive for innovative, sustainable methods taps into Florida’s rich agricultural community, spreading their method of experimentation beyond their own farm. That makes their actions reverberate well beyond their own operation.
Jones Potato Farm also works to support their community through several program, including the farm-to-school movement, supplying homeless shelters with fresh produce during harvest season, and sending what Leslie Jones calls a farmer’s-market-within-a-truck to food desert communities — neighborhoods where fresh produce isn’t easily available.
“Many farms across the country use the individual farming methods Jones Potato Farm has adopted. What sets the farm apart is the Jones’ drive to recruit others in finding common-sense sustainable answers,” says Carol Miller, Editor, American Vegetable Grower. “Practices that could improve one farm and one local community are instead improving an industry.”
The American Vegetable Grower Grower Achievement Award honors a single operation each year from a list of industry-driven nominations. Growing operations are judged based on achievements and contributions in:
- Innovative production practices;
- Implementation of the latest technology;
- Industry involvement and environmental stewardship;
- Marketing efforts; and
- Business management.
More information on Jones Potato Farm and the American Vegetable Grower Grower Achievement Award can be found in the September 2017 issue of American Vegetable Grower.