Meet James Harris: A CCOF Foundation Future Organic Farmer

The Future Organic Farmer Grant winners were judged to have the strongest combination of commitment to leading a lifelong career in organic agriculture, investment and participation in the organic community, and dedication to growing the organic movement. Each grant recipient will receive $2,500 to apply toward their studies in organic agriculture. 

Find out how to apply for your own Future Organic Farmer Grant.

Learn more about supporting the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund through a donation.

James Harris
UC Santa Cruz, Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems Apprenticeship – California

After spending 10 years in the United States Army and deploying twice to Iraq, James Harris found it difficult to define what was normal after leaving the military. Like most veterans, he saw the world differently than people who had not experienced the service. He found it difficult to adjust to life outside of the military and longed to be a part of a cause bigger than himself—something that offered him purpose and a chance to serve again. At the time, James was volunteering at an elderly home, working in a garden helping the members of this community with sowing seeds and planting. He witnessed how their moods shifted from a gloomy outlook to a youthful tone and saw how having their hands in the soil brought joy to their eyes. At that moment, he thought to himself that if having his hands in the soil could help him heal, he should give it a try. James’s organic farming journey stared over three years ago and since then he has worked on several organic farms, taught gardening classes for youth, and is now an apprentice at the Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS) at the University of California, Santa Cruz. James looks forward to what the future may hold for him in organic farming.

Congratulations James!

Please join us in congratulating the vocational and higher education recipients of the CCOF Foundation’s 2015 Future Organic Farmer Grants.


Today, less than 1% of America’s farmland is organic, and farmers who want to transition their land face a long and costly process. Hear from CCOF's CEO Kelly Damewood about what we're doing to address this challenge:

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