The Northern Nevada Development Authority recently presented its annual Pioneer Awards, which included several individuals and businesses from Churchill County and the surrounding area.
The Homestead Award was awarded to the Dairy Farmers of America Fallon milk plant and to runner-up Churchill Vineyards, which produces wine, brandy and now vodka.
The award is part of NNDA’s annual Pioneer Awards celebrating excellence in the Sierra Region of Nevada.
“We are honored to receive this award and appreciate the support of the communities surrounding the facility,” said Wesley Clark, plant manager at the Fallon facility. “This plant helps DFA meet the needs of domestic and global customers, brings value to our farmer-owners and presents opportunities to them as well. The demand created by the facility gives local operators the option to expand their dairies and plan for generations to come.”
In addition to exceptional performance and innovation, the award honored DFA’s focus on sustainability. With energy and water conservation efforts throughout the manufacturing process, DFA’s Fallon plant leaves a minimal carbon footprint and uses fewer natural resources. The plant also boosted employment in the area. Currently, the plant is providing 41 full-time jobs.
The Silver Springs Elementary GREEN team also earned recognition by receiving the Battle Born Award.
The school’s sixth-grade GREEN team and teachers Rachel (Novack) Leach (Churchill County High School graduate), Tamara King and Becki Schwindt were awarded the honor for best green practices in a five-county region.
The Churchill Community Coalition took home the Doc Holliday award for healthcare initiative.
Other nominees of NNDA Pioneer Awards include, and winners are bolded:
The Battle Born Award (best green practices): Nevada Rural Housing Authority, and Silver State Elementary GREEN team.
The Boundary Peak Award (outstanding nonprofits): Carson Animal Services Initiative, Comstock Foundation for History and Culture, NCET, Nevada Rural Housing Authority, Northern Nevada Tool Library, and Silver Stage Co-Op Association.
The Comstock Award (innovator of the year): Pro Group Management and St Mary’s Art Center.
The Doc Holliday Award (healthcare initiative): Churchill Community Coalition and Lyon County Healthy Communities Coalition.
The Homestead Award (agriculture initiative): Dairy Farmers of America, EasyKeeper, and Frey Ranch Estate Distillery.
The Kit Carson Award (entrepreneur of the year): Charles Harrall, Kay Bennett, and Renee Plain, In Plain Sight Marketing LLC in Carson City.
The Mark Twain Award (marketing campaign): Carson City Toyota Scion and Live Local Fallon.
The Pony Express Award (community involvement) Carson City, NCET and Nevada Rural Housing Authority.
The Silver Apple Award (educator of the year): Carson City School District, Learn @ Reno Collective, and Western Nevada College.
The Silver Spur Award (employee of the year): Derek Stanford of the U.S. Postal Service and Monica McDonald Personnel Plus Staffing.
The Silver State Award (outstanding student): Jacob Bertocchi and Shae Starbuck.
The Wagon Wheel Award (new technology or product): Dairy Farmers of America, Pro Group Management and Zephyr Photonics.
Honored by individual counties in the NNDA region were Ametherm (Carson City), Frey Ranch Estate Distillery (Churchill County), Bently (Douglas County), Best Environmental (Lyon County) and the Comstock Foundation for History and Culture (Storey County).
Special awards were given to the Nevada Rural Housing Authority, Western Nevada College and Kay Bennett of Silver Springs Airport.