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CT NOFA > About CT NOFA > Bill Duesing Award

Bill Duesing Award

This award is given to an individual or organization who has worked to advance organic living on our earth and supports the continuation of the life work of Bill Duesing.  We continue to cherish the legacy of our founder through this annual celebration of his many contribution.

2022 AWARDEE: JOHN PITTARI JR.

The 7th recipient of the Bill Duesing Organic Living on the Earth Award: John Pittari Jr.

John Pittari

Selecting John Pittari as the recipient of the Bill Duesing Living on the Earth Award exemplifies the spirit and substance of the award itself. Before he died four years ago, Bill expressed his fervent wish that the movement to which he dedicated his adult life be carried on by his colleagues. John fulfills that mandate every day!

John and Bill go way back to the origins of the organic movement locally, statewide, and even nationally! He and Bill were truly pioneers in promoting healthier living through sustainably grown foods. John worked at New Morning in Hotchkiss Ville for several years, and in 1981 he bought it, lock stock and bulk barrels and have owned it ever since. It was a wonderful place to shop. He was always present in the store to answer his patrons’ questions and promote local, organic agriculture. John and his family have advanced the economic, social, and ecological durability of organic farms in Connecticut by providing a friendly, humane, respectful, and mutually beneficial working partnership between farmers and their markets. New Morning Market provides the public with organic food and other products from organic farms, many of them local, and has done so for more than half a century! This fulfills one of Bill’s major goals for the movement.

John has deservedly received many awards over the years for his contributions to the growth of an organic lifestyle. He has been a generous contributor to CT NOFA and currently serves as the Board’s Co-Vice President. New Morning Market’s mission statement clearly describes John’s commitment to the continuation of Bill’s life work. He is the perfect recipient for this award!

2021 AWARDEE: DR. KIM STONER

The 6th recipient of the Bill Duesing Organic Living on the Earth Award: Dr. Kimberly Stoner

Kim is one of the early board members of CT-NOFA and was Chairperson and Board President (years unknown). Kim single-handedly founded the Organic Land Care Program – an arm of CT-NOFA that deals with the well-being of our landscapes and its inhabitants. She was the first Chairperson of the Committee. It was her vision that shaped the direction and depth of the program, which has helped to educate and empower thousands of persons in the land care profession. She worked closely with Bill to advocate for an Organic Connecticut and beyond.

Her work as an organic vegetable entomologist continues to inform organic farmers and gardeners. Her work with bees and pollinators: to understand their challenges and inform farmers and land care persons how to nurture these essential allies, is a keystone of her life’s work.

She is first a scientist, but with the uncanny ability to recognize and embrace the metaphysical aspects of science. Kim is a devout Quaker, tirelessly advocating for peace in the world, between people and all the living organisms on the planet.

Dr. Stoner’s Research:

Dr. Stoner has expertise in developing alternatives to insecticides for managing vegetable insects, working with organic farmers and land care professionals on pest management, and studying the exposure of pollinators to pesticides in pollen and nectar.

Education:

B.S. in Zoology, Duke University 1979
Ph.D. in Entomology, Cornell University 1987

Station career:

Assistant Scientist 1987-2001
Associate Agricultural Scientist 2001-2019
Agricultural Scientist 2019-Current

Past research:

Dr. Stoner’s research has identified a variety of possible alternatives to insecticides for managing insects in several different vegetable crops. One alternative is to grow varieties with resistance to insects, such as brassicas (cabbage, broccoli and related crops) that resist caterpillars due to differences in the waxes on their leaves. Another is the use of cultural methods, such as use of straw mulch on potatoes and eggplants, which increases the effectiveness of predators against the Colorado potato beetle. Another method she has studied is biological control of the Mexican bean beetle, using the parasitoid wasp Pediobius foreolatus. She has also participated as a member of the Northeast Organic Network in an intensive case study of organic vegetable and cash grain farms in the Northeast.

Current research:
Dr. Stoner’s research focuses on several aspects of bees and pollination:
1. Exposure of bees to pesticides in pollen and nectar, in collaboration with Dr. Brian Eitzer of the Analytical Chemistry Department
2. Attractiveness of ornamental plants to honey bees and native bees
3. Pollinator habitat on Connecticut farms and practices to create or improve habitat
4. Pollination of pumpkins and winter squash