Brunsing honored with Rural Community Champion Award

Farm and Food
Small Towns

Sandra Renner, Farm and Community Program director,, 402.687.2100, ext. 1009; or Teresa Hoffman, senior communications associate,, 402.687.2100, ext. 1012

LYONS, NEBRASKA – The Center for Rural Affairs has chosen Aliza Brunsing, of West Point, to receive the 2021 Rural Community Champion Award.

The Rural Community Champion Award is presented to a person who works with the Center to make extraordinary contributions in building engagement within their own communities. People who receive this award provide a model for innovation, stewardship, or community development.

This past year, Brunsing served the West Point community by taking on the volunteer role of manager of the newly-reopened West Point Farmers Market, hosted a farm tour for emerging farmers, helped the Chamber of Commerce with a new mural on kindness, and organized a Farm to Fork showcase dinner featuring menu items from farmers market vendors and other local food producers.

“Aliza has been instrumental in growing the West Point Farmers Market,” said Sandra Renner, Farm and Community director with the Center. “What used to be a very informal market with two to three vendors has blossomed into a weekly event that the community looks forward to. When coordinating family-friendly activities for the market and soliciting vendors, as well as consumers, she cultivated and helped nourish a culture of inclusivity by ensuring the market was accessible and welcoming to all of its visitors.”

Her inclusion efforts included not only ethnicity and language, but also age, as she encouraged youth to become vendors at the farmers market. Market correspondence and outreach is provided in both English and Spanish to meet the needs of the community.

“Besides the farmers market, Aliza has also been known to take the time to educate and encourage other beginning farmers, as well as consumers, so they can witness firsthand where food is raised and grown,” Renner said.

Brunsing will receive this award at the West Point Chamber of Commerce’s annual banquet, Partners in Progress, on Sunday, Feb. 20.

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