Nonprofit founder from Lowell nationally recognized for ‘Shaping Rural America’

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NEWPORT — Katherine Sims of Lowell, founder and executive director of Green Mountain Farm-to-School (GMFTS), is being recognized nationally through Farm Credit 100 Fresh Perspectives, a search to identify and honor 100 leaders who are changing rural communities and agriculture for the better.

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The honorees were announced at a National Ag Day event at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday. Sims is the only honoree from Vermont.

“There is incredible work being done around food and agriculture throughout the Northeast Kingdom and the state of Vermont and I am proud to be involved in working to create a better future with everyone,” said Sims. “It is an honor to be recognized through Farm Credit 100 Fresh Perspectives and to be able to highlight that great work that is taking place, especially in the Northeast Kingdom.”

Sims, a graduate from Yale University, started GMFTS as one school garden in Jay/Westfield and the belief that every Vermonter deserves access to healthy, affordable food. The organization has since expanded and now works with 27 schools growing school gardens, sourcing local food in the cafeteria, and providing nutrition and agriculture education.

It also serves free meals in the summer to kids through its Lunchbox food truck, runs a regional food hub, Green Mountain Farm Direct, to source local food in schools and institutions, and heads a state-wide education campaign, Vermont Harvest of the Month, to educate communities about the great food grown in Vermont.

Sims also serves on the board for the Vermont Council on Rural Development, Vermont Land Trust, and the University of Vermont Extension Advisory Board.

Farm Credit, an organization that supports rural communities with credit and financial services, launched the Farm Credit 100 Fresh Perspectives program as part of its 100th anniversary. One hundred honorees were selected, by a panel of experts on rural matters, from 1,100 nominations that spanned all 50 states. They are considered among the best-of-the-best who are positively shaping what is next for rural communities and agriculture.

“Farm Credit has supported rural communities and agriculture for 100 years, and we understand the vision and commitment it takes to remain successful as rural America evolves and changes,” said Todd Van Hoose, president and chief executive officer of the Farm Credit Council. “The Farm Credit 100 Fresh Perspectives honorees are inspiring examples of leaders who are creating a brighter, more vibrant future for rural America.”

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