Omega Recognizes Poughkeepsie Farm Project With the 4th Annual $10,000 Leadership in Sustainable Education Award

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Award Ceremony & Free Public Event With Vandana Shiva, Ralph Nader, Winona LaDuke, Maude Barlow, and Omega CEO Robert “Skip” Backus Planned for Saturday, October 10th at 8:00 p.m.

Poughkeepsie Farm Project has involved thousands of urban youth in powerful learning experiences, leading to excitement about farm-fresh food and understanding of the systemic causes of hunger and food insecurity.”

Omega Institute, home of the award-winning Omega Center for Sustainable Living (OCSL), today announced the fourth recipient of their Annual Leadership in Sustainable Education Award. The award recognizes nonprofit peers who exemplify leadership in sustainable education and who share Omega’s commitment to building a more just and sustainable world. This year, Omega recognizes Poughkeepsie Farm Project, an organization working to provide hands-on education about where food comes from and why it matters.

Poughkeepsie Farm Project will be honored with the award on Saturday, October 10th at 8:00 p.m., during Omega’s Seeds of Change Conference. The evening, which is free and open to the public, will include the special presentation Living in a Time of Transition, featuring environmental activist Vandana Shiva, political activist Ralph Nader, Ojibwe activist and economist Winona LaDuke, author and human rights activist Maude Barlow, and Omega CEO Robert “Skip” Backus.

“We are delighted to recognize Poughkeepsie Farm Project as a nonprofit that has made great strides with community partners to increase support for growing and serving local food in schools,” said Robert “Skip” Backus, chief executive officer at Omega and visionary behind the Omega Center for Sustainable Living. “Poughkeepsie Farm Project has involved thousands of urban youth in powerful learning experiences, leading to excitement about farm-fresh food and understanding of the systemic causes of hunger and food insecurity.”

In addition to the $10,000 award, Poughkeepsie Farm Project will also receive a strategic planning retreat at Omega, to help strengthen organizational development and further its mission.

"We are truly excited to receive this recognition from Omega for our work in the sustainable food systems movement through education and outreach over the last 16 years,” said Lee Anne Albritton, executive director of Poughkeepsie Farm Project. “It is an honor to be in the company of other great organizations in the Hudson Valley who've received this award in the past. These partnerships and collaborations are what strengthen and expand awareness of the need to protect our most precious resources through progressive social change," concluded Albritton.

Omega created the Leadership in Sustainable Education Award in 2012 to further its commitment to environmental stewardship and education. Past recipients include Hudson River Sloop Clearwater (2012), Scenic Hudson (2013), and Groundwork Hudson Valley (2014).

Founded in 2009, the Omega Center for Sustainable Living (OCSL) originated as the first green building in America to achieve both LEED® Platinum and Living Building Challenge™ certification—the highest standards currently available in sustainable architecture. The OCSL has since evolved into an environmental leader, offering programs that teach the regenerative environmental practices modeled by the building.

Join the conversation on Facebook.com/Omega.OCSL and on Twitter @omega_institute #OCSL.
To see the complete schedule for the Seeds of Change Conference taking place Friday October 9–11th, visit eOmega.org/seeds or call 800.944.1001.

About Omega Institute for Holistic Studies                                                                                    
Founded in 1977, Omega Institute for Holistic Studies is the nation's most trusted source for wellness and personal growth. As a nonprofit organization, Omega offers diverse and innovative educational experiences that inspire an integrated approach to personal and social change. Located on 250 acres in the beautiful Hudson Valley, Omega welcomes more than 23,000 people to its workshops, conferences, and retreats in Rhinebeck, New York, and at exceptional locations around the world. eOmega.org

About Poughkeepsie Farm Project                                                                                                
Founded in 1999, Poughkeepsie Farm Project (PFP) is a nonprofit organization that works toward a just and sustainable food system in the Mid-Hudson Valley. It operates a member-supported farm on land owned by Vassar College in the Town of Poughkeepsie. PFP had 70 CSA members in its first season. That number has grown to more than 500. In addition to providing organically grown food for its members, PFP donates about 20 percent of its annual harvest available to low-income families and emergency food relief organizations. PFP also provides over 50 college internship and field work positions, and close to 4,000 visitors with educational programs on nutrition, seed production, and other agriculture-related topics for at-risk teens and youth throughout the region. farmproject.org

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Chrissa Pullicino