Interested in getting involved in organic agriculture? Brady Kazmier, Future Organic Farmers grantee, urges, “Do it. Dive in and don’t look back. Education in organic agriculture is extremely extensive, and the possibilities are near endless. The amount of good you can do is astonishing. We can bring upon a revolution to be better to our planet through organic agriculture.” And that is exactly what Kazmier intends to do.
Kazmier grew up in Montana, and while he was surrounded by rangeland and agriculture, his family worked in the tech industry, so the food system wasn’t a career path he originally had in mind. He found a summer job working on an organic farm and was enamored. “I had the time of my life out there in the soil [that summer] and I want to keep on feeling that way,” he says. To fulfill that dream, Kazmier is working toward a sustainable crop production degree from Montana State University (MSU), focusing on organic agriculture, sustainability, and the environment.
Kazmier currently studies many important pillars of agriculture, such as soil health and chemistry, microbes, field crop production, plant biology, health and nutrition, and online tools, with a focus on organic cultivation methods. He explains, “Organic is important to me because our land is important to me. I believe that if there is a way that we can feed ourselves and give back to the earth and the environment, then why not? Why would we choose to strip our soils and support agriculture that is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas accumulation? We can support local food and help our land; isn’t that enough to buy local organic foods?” Armed with classroom learning and field experiences, Kazmier aims to become a professional farmer and shortly start his own small-scale organic vegetable farm.
While helping the environment is clearly important for Kazmier, another strong driver for him is the personal satisfaction of being an organic farmer. “My favorite thing about organic agriculture is that it makes you feel good. You spend your days outside in the sunshine. You get to get dirty out in the fields and make people happy with the organic produce you sell to them. You feel good about the way you are growing the produce and the way you can give back to your community. All in all, organic agriculture makes you feel good.” For Kazmier, practicing organic farming is an opportunity to help heal the land, as well as feel healthy, driven, and challenged every day.
Last year was the first time that the CCOF Foundation supported Kazmier’s career in organic agriculture. Kazmier is currently a junior at MSU and plans to complete his sustainable crop production degree next year, while also working on a community-centered farm nearby. Following graduation, he hopes to run his own an organic farm in Montana. The CCOF Foundation congratulates and wishes the best to Brady Kazmier during his upcoming studies in 2021!
Learn more about the Future Organic Farmers grant from CCOF!