Pullman’s Humanitarian Award will go to Karen Watt

Staff Reports Posted 25 September 2015 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers – Karen Watt is pictured with the orchard train used to take people on trips at Watt Farms Country Market in Albion.

ALBION – A local farmer who has spearheaded several community efforts, including raising more than $300,000 for breast cancer research, has been named the 2015 Pullman Memorial Humanitarian Award winner.

Karen Watt runs a local fruit farm and farm market with her husband Chris. She has been involved in numerous community and state organizations. She is currently the chairwoman of the Oak Orchard Health board of directors.

She has served as president of Orleans County Farm Bureau, and also represented the region on the state board of directors for Farm Bureau.

Mrs. Watt, a retired math professor at Brockport State College, will be presented with the humanitarian award on Oct. 25 in a special program at Pullman Memorial Universalist Church, 10 East Park St. The award ceremony and reception to follow are free and open to the public.

A breast cancer survivor, Watt organizes the annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Orchard Walk at Watt Farms each fall. In over a decade, the event has raised over $325,000 for the American Cancer Society.

Karen Watt addresses a crowd of about 1,000 people last October before the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Orchard Walk at Watt Farms.

The Humanitarian Award will be presented to Watt the day after this year’s “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” walk at Watt Farms.

Watt has travelled the world sharing her expertise in direct marketing and value-added retail. She was president of the North American Farmers Direct Marketing Association, which put her in its “Hall of Fame.” She has visited rural African villages in three countries to help farm families brainstorm ways to increase their revenues.

In addition to her advocacy for migrant farm worker health as a board member of Oak Orchard Health, Watt has served on the National Advisory Council on Migrant Health, including a year as its chairwoman.

She is currently secretary of the board of the National Center of Farmworker Health and received the 2013 Outstanding Migrant Health Center Board Member Award from the National Association of Community Health Centers.