The 179th recipients are Brady Kirwan and Amanda Wilson of Old Dutch Hops @olddutchhops in Hillsboro, Ohio. They write, “We moved to Amanda's family farm in 2015, after years of working seasonally for the National Park Service. We left the parks because we felt that we could have more of an environmental impact on the planet by farming in a responsible manner. We focus mainly on grazing animals (poultry, lamb, cattle) and maple syrup. What we didn't expect to find when we moved was SUCH a need for community support in rural southern Ohio. We've been able to get involved and actively participate in a local group called Hillsboro Against Racism and Discrimination (HARD). Last year was our community's first Pride Festival and it was a wild success.
That community has also been there for us when we needed them. We needed an extra hand for a lambing emergency and had help arrive within 10 minutes. We are still striving to do better, and to improve our own mental health relationship with farming. It can be so hard to separate the farm from leisure when you live where you work. We will keep trying, and I appreciate that this award gives us a "push" to get off the farm and do something nice for ourselves. As soon as these last lambs are born…”