Jay Hardwick Receives Field to Market’s Sustainability Leadership Award
December 5, 2018
Recently, Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture announced Jay Hardwick as the 2018 Farmer of the Year. As Field to Market’s highest honor for commodity crop producers, this distinctive award celebrates Jay’s commitment to delivering sustainable outcomes for agriculture.
Recognized for outstanding conservation efforts on his farm and leadership in advancing sustainable agriculture, Jay works to harmonize productive agricultural operations while maximizing natural resource protection, he has created a comprehensive conservation plan for the whole farm, which includes implementing many conservation practices like extensive crop rotation, field borders, filter strips, minimum tillage and wetland restoration.
The Farmer of the Year award celebrates Jay’s vision and legacy which permeates through the entire Hardwick family’s mission—to maintain and grow the diversity of the agricultural, forestry and native habitat of their property while ensuring its productivity to offer a fully functional and sustainable farmstead for generations to come.
“The ways we address sustainability is grounded in a basic land or agricultural ethic that is rooted in something that one of the premier conservationists in the United States, Aldo Leopold, said, which has stuck with me and guides me: a thing or event that preserves the integrity, stability, and beauty of the landscape, the farm-scape, is right. That which does contrary is wrong,” shared Jay.
“Jay’s leadership has left an indelible not only on rebounding wildlife and improved water quality in Louisiana’s bayous, but also in the conservation legacy that will live on in his sons as they take up his mantle of sustainability,” said Rod Snyder, President of Field to Market. “His pursuit of innovation and passion for conservation is illustrated by his efforts to maximize natural resource protection, while harmonizing productive agriculture operations.”
“People want to know what we're doing with our farming. How are we growing our products? What impact are we having on the atmosphere, on the landscape, on the water, on the air we breathe? We have a huge responsibility and agriculture can be an important part of that solution,” emphasized Jay.
Since 2010, Jay and his family have used the Fieldprint Calculator to document the stewardship of their operations. Through the sustainability analysis offered from Field to Market, he quantified the impact of moving non-economic and highly erodible areas into natural habitat and limiting crop production to land most suitable for crops. Moreover, Field to Market’s sustainability metrics have enabled Jay to demonstrate to other farmers, conservation groups, brands and retailers how conservation practices can be employed in a profitable manner.