Meet Jonathan Noblitt: A CCOF Foundation Future Organic Farmer

Since 2014, the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund has partnered with the National FFA Organization to give grants to high school students who are interested in conducting organic Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) projects. In collaboration with an FFA advisor, these students design organic agricultural projects to conduct over the course of a year. Students are challenged to involve other students, mentors, and members of their community to ensure their project’s success. Visit our blog each week to read about these future organic farmers’ SAE projects in their own words.

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Jonathan Noblitt

My 2015 Supervised Agricultural Experience project will be growing different varieties of organic mushrooms. No one in my area has ever done an FFA project about mushrooms, so I think this makes my project unique. My dad, mom, and siblings were all involved in FFA, and I have already raised two beef cattle. With the proceeds from my livestock, I’ll start this mushroom business. I already have the wood for growing mushrooms, and will purchase the plugs in early spring. The mushrooms will be ready to harvest and sell in the summer. I plan to sell them at my local farmers’ market and local restaurants, and to grow enough mushrooms to make a good profit. With my profits, I’ll buy more mushrooms and grow my business the following season. 

One of my primary goals is to grow my mushrooms organically and sustainably. Today's consumers just want to know where the produce they're buying comes from and how it was grown. It is also healthier because there will be no pesticides. My business will also help our local economy. 

Congratulations Jonathan! 

Please join us in congratulating the recipients of the CCOF Foundation’s Future Organic Farmer Grants. 

The Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund is made possible by the generous support of CCOF, the UNFI Foundation, the CCOF Processor/Handler Chapter, the Clif Bar Family Foundation, Dr. Bronner's, Driscoll’s, Duncan Family Farms, Forager Project, Frey Vineyards, Frontier Co-op, Green Ox Pallets, Independent Natural Food Retailers Association, National Co+op Grocers, Organic Valley, Lauren and Eric Schiermeyer, and SunRidge Farms. Thank you to these organizations for helping us inspire the next generation of organic farmers!


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:

One percent