The 2012 Sustainability Award Winners

Paul Willis

Paul Willis

Paul Willis, Founder and Manager Niman Ranch Pork Company, Thornton, Iowa

This award recognizes a visionary working in the greater food community who has been a catalyst for positive change within the food system through efforts that go beyond the kitchen.

Paul Willis is a second generation farmer who has advocated for sustainable and humane animal welfare through hog farming. He believes in raising hogs outdoors or in deeply bedded pens, not only because it allows the pigs to demonstrate their natural behaviors but also because it creates a higher quality product.  Over the past 30 years we have lost over 96 percent of hog farmers in the U.S. while the average number of hogs per farm has risen by over 1000%. As the industry transitioned to an industrial method of farming Paul worked to preserve traditional hog farming methods- both for the farmer and the consumer.

Foodshed Champion
Lora Lea and Rick Misterly

Lora Lea and Rick Misterley

Lora Lea and Rick Misterley, Owners, Quillisascut Farm, Rice, WA

This award recognizes a food producer (farmer, fisher, artisanal producer)in the Pacific Northwest committed to working with chefs and who exemplifies the following principle: Good food begins with unpolluted air, land, and water, environmentally sustainable farming and fishing, and humane animal husbandry. 

“I feel it is the duty for all of us who love working with the land to share the information we have gained with others. This farm school is my goal for passing on the knowledge gathered over the last 20 years on this piece of land,”   says Lora Lea Misterly, co-owner of Quillisascut Farm in Rice, WA.  For thirty-one years, Rick and Lora Lea Misterly have been living the “slow life,” growing Quillisascut Farm. They started out with a bare piece of ground; gradually over time they have built a home, a farmstead, a cheese business and a culinary school to share their love for all things farm to table – building healthy soil, maintaining a vibrant garden, nurturing seeds that tell a story of love, beauty, taste and seasonality.

Kären Jurgensen

Kären Jurgensen, photo credit Harley Soltes

Kären Jurgensen, Chef Instructor, Seattle Culinary Academy, Seattle, WA

This award recognizes a chef who has been both a great mentor and is a model to the culinary community through his/her purchases of seasonal, sustainable ingredients and the transformation of these ingredients into delicious food.

Kären has mentored, inspired and taught chefs and culinary students through her work as a chef/instructor at Seattle Culinary Academy, and chef/instructor at Quillisascut Cheese Company’s Farm School, teaching professional chefs, culinary students and agricultural professionals farm to table practices and philosophies.  She is the founder of the Seattle Chefs Collaborative chapter and is still active on the board.  She is the co-author of “Rethinking the Kitchen,” the sustainable kitchen handbook.