Cultivate Kansas City and the KC Food Circle have set up two annual awards to recognize individuals and organizations that have provided special leadership in growing the local food movement and we are requesting nominations for the awards.

The awards will be presented at Cultivate KC’s Annual Farmers & Friends Meeting.

The deadline to submit nominations for both awards is January 7, 2019.

John Kaiahua Mentorship Award

This award was established in 2018 in honor of John Kaiahua, a long-time organic vegetable farmer who was known for his mentorship of other farmers.  We are looking for nominations for individuals who have helped foster the development of farmers over at least 10 years.  Nominees must be farmers themselves (currently farming) and must be serving the KC market.

To nominate someone, please email Katherine Kelly with 1-2 paragraphs about the person, including how you know them, how they mentored you, and who else they may have mentored.

“Ben Kjelshus Grow The Circle Award”

Created in 2014, this award recognizes the hard work of individuals, local farmers, organizations or businesses that have championed farm fresh, locally-produced food in the Metro Kansas City area. Primary criteria for a nominee is any food producer, individual, business or food/farming-focused non-profit located within the metro’s 9-county region.

The first award was presented to Ben Kjelshus in 2014 at The Farmers Expo and named in his honor.  Ben was one of the original founders of KC Food Circle and, along with others, worked tirelessly to bring it into being and nurture its growth.  No award was presented in 2015.  The Bad Seed Market was the recipient in 2016 and Michael Foust and presented at The Farmers and Friends Meeting February 2017.

Nominees will be individuals, entities that demonstrate leadership in the KC Metro area in the following ways:

  • Responsible environmental and social practices
  • High quality food products and services
  • Positive economic impact
  • Commitment to building a robust local food system and community

To nominate someone, please submit the nomination form to



Cultivate Kansas City
300 E. 39th Street
Kansas City, MO 64111
Phone (913) 831-2444 Copyright © 2019