The Holland Marsh Growers' Association's Executive Director and Bradford resident, Jody Mott was recently recognized for her hard work in the produce industry at the 31st annual Ontario Produce Marketing Association Gala and Awards Ceremony.
The OPMA annual awards are presented to individuals or organizations whose efforts have made a significant impact on the Ontario produce industry. Over 200 people from across the industry gathered in person for the first time in two years at the Blue Mountain Village Conference Centre on Friday including the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, the Honourable Lisa Thompson.
Mott was one of seven individuals who received the Produce Hero Award. The Produce Hero award is presented to a group of individuals who embody the passion of the produce industry in their everyday work.
"It was a surprise, it was an honour," Mott told BradfordToday.
This is the first time she has received the award. Mott has been the executive director of the Holland Marsh Growers' Association for the past eight years and works tirelessly to ensure the farmers are well taken care of and have all they need in order to get food on the table for Canadians.
Throughout the pandemic, Mott took on extra work in order to protect the Marsh's migrant workers, working through all the red tape to ensure they were able to fly into the country to work.
"The Association is the middle piece for the farmers to make sure they have the most up-to-date information on what they need to do," she said. "Whatever the farmers need is what I am here for."
Mott says she loves her job and being able to support the farmers.
"We are all just a piece of the puzzle doing our jobs and the best we can to put food on everybody's table," said Mott. "They are a great group of growers, and it's an amazing experience every day."
Other winners in the Produce Hero award category included: Vince Filangeri from Mastronardi Produce, Chris Veillon from Pure Flavor, Jody Mott from the Holland Marsh Grower’s Association, Madison Hopper from Equifruit, Michael Wexler from Oppy, Stephanie Myles from Nature Fresh Farms and the Asparagus Farmers of Ontario.
Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Lisa Thompson extended her thanks and congratulations to the winners, “Congratulations to all of the award recipients this year. I appreciate your hard work and dedication in marketing nutritious Ontario produce! Ontarians are looking for and choosing fresh fruits and vegetables grown right here at home. Your marketing efforts are making a difference in creating a greater awareness of Ontario produce and are also driving a sense of pride in our provincial agri-food industry.”