Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-1st District and a longtime organic farmer in Maine, has been chosen as one of six recipients of this year’s James Beard Foundation Leadership Award.

The awards recognize people from diverse backgrounds who promote sustainable food systems. Past winners have included first lady Michelle Obama, Wendell Berry and Mainer Eliot Coleman. The foundation acknowledged Pingree for her support in Congress of polices that promote healthy, local food production and organic agriculture.

“This award is symbolic of all we’ve accomplished, but there is still much to do to improve our nation’s food system for every American to have access to healthy, sustainable food no matter their Zip code and to support the farmers and fishermen who drive our food economy,” Pingree said in a press release.

Other 2017 awardees are chef and author Dan Barber; Olivier De Schutter, co-chair of the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems; professor and author Joan Dye Gussow; and Joann Lo and Jose Oliva, co-directors of the Food Chain Workers Alliance. They will be recognized at the foundation’s Food Summit in October.

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