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Future Organic Farmer’s Story of Organic Passion

by Hanali Lopez-Tapia |

Starting the journey into agriculture is no easy feat, and the fear of not knowing enough can be extremely nerve-racking. But for Finley Tevlin, 2023 Future Organic Farmer, this feeling fueled his passion and set him on a quest for knowledge. Tevlin writes, “I have found purpose in farming, and I want to do it for the rest of my life … in a way that supports farmers and ranchers who are growing food in a way that benefits their community and the planet.” Traveling catalyzed his curiosity for organic agriculture. During a cross-country bike trip, he discovered the prevalence of U.S. monoculture and its harmful effects on the environment, and in his time in Asia, he found culturally significant and organic regenerative practices in traditional subsistence farming. Once back home, and with a newfound dedication to organic agriculture, Tevlin enrolled in Skidmore College, where he received a B.A. in environmental studies.

After college, Tevlin enrolled in the Rogue Farm Corps Apprenticeship Program to take what he had learned during his travels and in school and put it into practice. As he states: “Full of ideals but without access to land and in need of training, I’ve been seeking experiences that will give me the confidence and skill to run my own farm and ranch operation.” While learning from peers and experienced farmers, another concept was brought to his attention; if his goal is to own his own farm, then he must also understand business management and build his farming network. He joined a Beginning Farmer Education Series that is taking him through a variety of business-related trainings and linking him with a broader farmer community. Tevlin believes these connections will open up opportunities for his next apprenticeship, as he wants to apprentice for another season or two. The trainings will also provide him with the skills to eventually own and operate a farm.

With the support of the CCOF Foundation’s Future Organic Farmers grant, Finley Tevlin is advancing his organic career. Hands-on training and peer-to-peer collaboration are providing Tevlin with practical growing experience, preparing him to set up a prosperous organic farm in the future. 

If you are seeking to strengthen your organic agriculture journey through an educational program, we encourage you apply to our Future Organic Farmers grant fund. The grant opens March 19, 2024. 

Feel free to reach out to Hanali Lopez-Tapia, grant specialist, at or by phone, (831) 824-6123.