Hoefner, Sherrod to receive Beard awards in Chicago | TheFencePost.com

Hoefner, Sherrod to receive Beard awards in Chicago

The James Beard Foundation has announced its 2018 JBF Leadership awards that will be presented next month in Chicago:

» Ferd Hoefner, the former policy director and now senior strategic adviser for the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, which represents smaller, environmentally-minded farmers.

» Shirley Sherrod, executive director of the Southwest Georgia Project, who was Agriculture Department rural development director in Georgia under the Obama administration. She was fired after the airing of part of a video in which she appeared to discriminate against a white farmer. Later she was exonerated and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack offered to rehire her, though she declined. Sherrod is being honored for her working in forming co-ops in the South.

» Dara Cooper, co-founder, National Black Food & Justice Alliance, a coalition of groups working on black food sovereignty and land justice.

» Doug Rauch, president and founder of the Daily Table, a not-for-profit store that offers affordable meals and groceries to its community in in Dorchester, Mass., and former president of Trader Joe's Company

» Ramón Torres, president, Familas Unidas por la Justicia, for his work in organizing the independent indigenous farm worker labor union in Washington state.

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The JBF Leadership Awards will be presented May 5 at a dinner at the Hyatt corporate headquarters in Chicago. In the past they have been presented in the fall at a JBF leadership conference in New York, where the foundation is based in the Greenwich Village home of the late chef and cook book writer, but that conference will not be held this year.

"Since we began the leadership awards eight years ago, we've wanted to integrate them more fully into the larger James Beard Awards festivities," said Mitchell Davis, executive vice president of the James Beard Foundation.

"The opportunity to highlight the honorees' extraordinary achievements in often unseen areas of the food chain, and to do so in front of the biggest and most important gathering of our industry is a goal we are happy to be able to finally achieve."

In addition the JBF Leadership Awards, honorees will participate in a public panel on leadership and food-system change, co-hosted by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. The panel will take place on Sunday, May 6 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at the council's conference center headquarters at 130 East Randolph St.

Honorees will also have a moment on stage during the James Beard Awards Gala on Monday, May 7, at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the foundation said in a news release.