Meet 2023 Gus Schumacher Award Winner, Sagdrina Jalal

      Posted On: April 19, 2023

Gus Schumacher Award Winner, Sagdrina Jalal (left) with FMC Executive Director, Ben Feldman (right)

Early last month, FMC was honored to present the 2023 Gus Schumacher Award to this year’s recipient, Sagdrina Jalal.

Sagdrina’s work thrives at the intersection of food, community, and innovation. Born and raised in Savannah and a graduate of the University of Georgia, Sagdrina became the founding executive director of the Georgia Farmers Market Association (GFMA) in 2013. In this role, Sagdrina’s impact has been felt across the state in communities large and small. The Just Food program she initiated offers a community-led sliding-scale farmers market/CSA hybrid to places with limited access to fresh, local produce.

With a proven track record of success, Sagdrina has served as an FMC board member, a Well-Being Impact Area Advisor for the Community Foundation of Atlanta, an advisor for Tuskegee University’s Organic Farming Project, a participant in SoulFire Farm’s Black and Latinx Farmer Immersion program, and a fellow in Center for Civic Innovation’s Food Innovation Fellowship program.

Today, Sagdrina serves as the Senior Director of Partnerships and Programs at the Center for Civic Innovation in Atlanta. There, she creates and facilitates fellowship programs and builds community connections across several aspects of social entrepreneurship and civic engagement. She also brings her expertise and leadership skills as the head facilitator of the Anti-Racist Farmers Market Toolkit workgroup.

Sagdrina’s commitment to equitable local communities can also be seen in her family life.  She is the daughter of the late civil rights advocate, Attorney Sage Brown; a decorated Vietnam War veteran who was hand-picked by civil rights leaders to desegregate Chatham County Public Schools. A mother of three, the foundation laid by Sagdrina’s ancestors continues.

Sagdrina is also known to invite friends and neighbors over to sample the Gullah Geechee dishes of her childhood. “You’d be surprised how effectively folk can work together when a delicious, homemade meal is shared.”

As someone who consistently brings diverse communities together to solve shared problems, Sagdrina understands that authentic engagement requires reverence and commitment. Her approach to project and program design, development and implementation reflects her commitment to meeting community members where they are, and from there, guiding them to where they want to be.  

Sagdrina has found her space in the good food movement at the intersection of food and community, and brings her expertise and leadership skills as the head facilitator of the Anti-Racist Toolkit for Farmers Markets work group.

Congratulations, Sagdrina. We are grateful for your work and dedication to building community and bringing fresh local food to all.

Named in honor of former Farmers Market Coalition board member, Gus Schumacher, the annual Gus Schumacher Awards recognize individuals who exemplify Gus’ tireless work to bring fresh, local food to Americans of all income levels and backgrounds. Honorees demonstrate Gus’ people-first approach to building coalitions to support farmers market success.