Columbia County Fair - Chatham, NY

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Fifth Annual Locavore Awards

The Victoria A. Simons Locavore Awards have been established in memory of the long-time editor of The Independent Newspaper, the first executive director of Columbia County Bounty, and the first woman to serve on the board of the annual Columbia County Fair in Chatham.

Up to three awards—each consisting of a plaque and a stipend of $1,000—are made annually to recognize outstanding vision and accomplishment in expanding the availability, quantity, quality or distribution of local foods reaching local mouths.

To nominate someone for the award (self-nominations are acceptable) please submit the form below.

Victoria A. Simons

Organizations, farms, restaurants, co-ops and individuals are eligible for the award so long as they operate or reside within 50 miles of the Village of Chatham and their efforts primarily benefit residents of this region.

The 2013 Locavore Award winners were Hawthorne Valley Farm in Ghent, Josephine Proul/Local 111 Restaurant in Philmont, and Staron’s Farms & Market in Valatie.

Previous winners are the Osofsky Family of Ronnybrook Farm in Ancramdale; Laura Pensiero of Gigi Hudson Valley in Rhinebeck; food activist Liz Beals of Stuyvesant; author Amy Cotler (“The Locavore Way”); Brian J. Alberg, executive chef at the Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge; and inaugural winner Joe Gilbert of The Berry Farm in Chatham.

Prior winners are not eligible for nomination, though previous nominees are.

Nomination deadline for 2014 awards is July 31 (see below).


The Victoria A. Simons Locavore Awards are presented annually on the Northgate Stage on Labor Day, the final day of the Fair’s run.

For 14 years Simons was a director of the Columbia County Agricultural Society, which puts on the Fair, where she championed organic and non-traditional forms of agriculture locally, facilitated the restoration of the original Fair House and expanded community use of the fairgrounds.

The word Locavore was coined in San Francisco at the 2005 World Environment Day to describe and promote the practice of eating a diet consisting of food harvested within a 100-mile area. The Locavore movement encourages people to grow their own food; buy from farmer’s markets, CSAs, and other local food programs; and to patronize restaurants, caterers and other food preparers that feature local ingredients.

Vicki was a strong proponent of Locavore activities as part of her commitment to see greater use of locally produced food and to keep agriculture an integral part of the community experience.

As a writer and editor, she documented the shift to organic and niche farming activities locally, and as a motive force of Columbia County Bounty helped bring farmers together with chefs, restaurants and caterers to facilitate greater, more creative use of local food products. She also helped establish the Bounty model in Dutchess, Orange and Ulster counties as steps toward a Bounty program covering the entire Hudson Valley.

Simons died in 2010 following a battle with cancer.

Tax-deductible contributions are welcomed to the Victoria A. Simons Locavore Award Fund at Hudson River Bank & Trust Foundation, P.O. Box 1189, Hudson, NY 12534.

To nominate someone for the award (self-nominations are permitted) please submit the form below.

If not submitted through the form below, entries should contain all the requested information and be mailed to the Victoria A. Simons Locavore Awards, c/o Hudson River Bank & Trust Foundation, P.O. Box 1189, Hudson, NY 12534. Nominations must arrive before the deadline. Supporting materials—such as newspaper clippings and letters of support—are welcome but not required.

Finalists for the award, who will be announced in mid-August, should plan to attend the presentation ceremony at the Columbia County Fair on Labor Day.

A nomination package needs to include all of the following information:

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Columbia County Fair is sponsored by A. Carlusso & Son, Inc. and Hudson River Bankd & Trust Co. Foundation