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Butters is awarded Idaho Progressive Businessperson of the Year

MOSCOW — MaryJane Butters, a Moscow entrepreneur whose organic prepared foods are sold nationwide, will receive the progressive businessperson of the year award from United Vision for Idaho.

The award will be presented at the organization's fourth annual banquet Jan. 7 at the Owyhee Plaza Hotel at Boise.

Billed as an evening to celebrate Idaho's progressive traditions, the dinner is organized by United Vision for Idaho each year at the opening at the state Legislature.

The staff, based in Boise and Moscow, works with member organizations and activists to promote social, economic and environmental justice.

The awards honor those who have dedicated their lives to promoting the same values, said Jim Hansen, executive director.

Butters has been an environmental leader, first as a wilderness ranger and later as a founder of both the Palouse-Clearwater Environmental Institute and Hanford Watch.

Now she is leading the way to a sustainable agricultural system in Idaho by creating a market for locally produced organic foods.

Butters sells 60 different foods, from salsas and soups to breads and pasta entrees, in retail stores and through phone orders and her Web site.

Founded in 1995, United Vision for Idaho's 21 members include the following organizations, representing more than 50,000 people:

  • Boise Central Trades & Labor Council
  • Church Women United
  • Council on Hispanic Education
  • Hispanic Heritage Society
  • Idaho Community Action Network
  • Idaho Conservation League
  • Idaho Education Association
  • Idaho Head Start Association
  • Idaho Hispanic Caucus
  • Idaho Migrant Council
  • Idaho Nurses Association
  • Idaho Rivers Council
  • Idaho Rural Council
  • Idaho Women’s Network
  • Living Independence Network Corporation
  • National Association of Social Workers, Idaho Chapter
  • North Idaho Central Labor Council
  • Nurse Practitioner Conference Group
  • Palouse-Clearwater Environmental Institute
  • Snake River Alliance
  • The Interfaith Alliance of Idaho
  • Women of Color Alliance
  • Your Family, Friends & Neighbors