Dec 15, 2020
Young organic growers honored in virtual, live 40 under 40 awards
Organic growers were included in the Fruit + Vegetable 40 Under 40 Class of 2020 with a live virtual ceremony during the Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market EXPO on Dec. 8.
The exemplary agriculture professionals were nominated by their peers for the impressive accomplishments of their young careers. The Class of 2020 also was featured in the October 2020 issues of Organic Growers’ sister magazines, Fruit Growers News and Vegetable Growers News.
Launched in 2018, the 40 Under 40 Awards represent a broad spectrum of agriculture industry professionals, from growers and farm market operators, to Extension agents and industry suppliers. The young professionals selected are making substantial strides for their individual businesses and the industry as a whole. Many of the honorees participated in the live event.
“Things were a little different this year. It was exciting to host a LIVE virtual event honoring the future of our industry,” said CEO and Publisher Matt McCallum. “The industry is clearly in good hands with these young professionals, who are already making a positive impact through their exceptional leadership, motivation and innovation.”
The class included several individuals involved in organic agriculture:
Kevin Bittner, pomology specialist at Bittner Singer Orchards.
Kevin has worked with his father and brother at Bittner Singer Orchards since graduating from Cornell in 2004 with a degree in horticulture. He is involved in the Barker Lions Club, Niagara County Farm Bureau and ARDP. Kevin is also a graduate of the Lead New York program.
In addition, he serves on the New York Farm Bureau Organic and Director Marketing committee.
Rob Glover, owner and farmer of Rob Glover Farming, LLC.
Born and raised in Bailey, North Carolina, Glover is a third generation farmer.
Rob grows a wide variety of crops including squash, watermelons, honeydew, cantaloupe, sweet potatoes, strawberries, and broccoli. He also has organic sweet potatoes as well as organic broccoli.
He is involved in many different organizations propelling the industry forward. He is involved in the Wilson County Young Farmers Association, NC Sweet Potato Commission, Nash County Young Farmer, NC Watermelon Association, National Watermelon Association and others.
Kari Molter, co-owner of Molter Produce.
Molter owns and operates Molter Produce, certified organic since 2008, with her husband, Aaron. They manage approximately 700 acres in Southwest Michigan which includes wholesale and retail-ready vegetables, high-density orchards, and row crops. She handles the sales/shipping operations on the farm, as well as manages the greenhouse, labor, and their food safety program.
Molter has served on the Berrien County Farm Bureau board since 2017, was a pilot member of the MI GroupGAP program, and is involved with the Michigan Agri-Women. Her and Aaron have two daughters, Helen and Pearl.
Justin Morgan, vice president of Morgan Composting.
Justin is the Vice President of Morgan Composting, the Michigan-based company started by his father and grandfather over 20 years ago. The company’s clients include many organic growers.
Today Justin helps oversee operations including organic composting, compost blend creation, organic potting soil manufacturing, organic granulated fertilizer production, and more for the DAIRY DOO line of products. Justin is passionate about soil health and seeing the next generation get excited about growing their own food.
The 2020 Fruit + Vegetable 40 Under 40 Awards were sponsored by AgBiome Innovations, BioWorks, Corteva Agriscience, FMC and Stokes Seeds. For more information about each member of the Class of 2020, visit https://fruitgrowersnews.com/40under40 or https://vegetablegrowersnews.com/40under40. Nominations for the Class of 2021 are available online, at www.fruitgrowersnews.com and www.vegetablegrowersnews.com, with a nomination deadline of March 18, 2021.
A virtual event to honor the FGN/VGN 40 Under 40 Class of 2020 was held Dec. 8 during the Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market EXPO. Photo: Gary Pullano