The 2021 CEA Awards were established to recognize distinguished individuals and organizations in the Controlled Environment Agriculture Industry across North America. In this series we will be highlighting our winners and their accomplishments.

We are excited to announce the 2021 CEA Award winner for Industry Disruptor goes to Stephen Ritz of Green Bronx Machine.

Stephen Ritz and Green Bronx Machine are leading an urban farming revolution across the country. Ramping from one class room in the Bronx, they now touch 50,000 students daily in the United States alone cultivating both an appetite and future employees for the CEA Industry. Stephen is GBM founder and self-proclaimed Chief Eternal Optimist bringing unmatched passion, expertise, and enthusiasm to all that he does. Stephen and his team are building healthy, equitable and resilient communities through inspired education, local food systems, and career explorations. Dedicated to cultivating minds and harvesting hope, Stephen’s school-based model uses urban agriculture aligned to key school performance indicators to grow healthy students and healthy schools.

In the past year as schools shut down and many of his students and families were no longer able to access healthy foods, Stephen and his team pivoted to respond to the dire needs of their communities. Stephen found new and innovative ways to get healthy foods and school supplies to his neighbors, delivering over 100,000 lbs of food to those in need while hosting over 200 digital lessons focused on CEA and the power of the plant. Stephen also recently teamed up with PBS and the New York City Department of Education to create a new STEM based TV show that will educate students from the safety of their homes. Stephen is a true innovator and disruptor and global advocate for indoor farming.

Stephen Ritz recently appeared on Artemis Live Talks to discuss what comes next for him and Green Bronx Machine. The episode can be watched here.

Congratulations to Stephen Ritz on receiving the 2021 CEA Industry Disruptor Award!

For full list of winners:

The winners were selected by a prestigious, independent awards committee comprised of agriculture professionals from Artemis, Cargill, Fluence by OSRAM, and Schneider Electric. The committee received over 130 qualified nominations for the awards and selected 11 category winners and 3 honorable mention awards.