Meet Mark O'Loughlin: 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.

Mark O’Loughlin 
Archi’s Acres, Veteran’s Sustainable Agriculture Training Program – California

Mark O’Loughlin was born in Independence, Iowa, where he was raised on a beef and dairy farm. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in March 1982 and served for 30 years in the Marine Corps Infantry as an infantry instructor and a drill instructor. He retired in 2012 as the Sergeant Major for the Wounded Warrior Battalion West at Camp Pendleton. Since retiring from the Marine Corps, Mark has worked as the Vice President of Military Affairs for PsychArmor Institute and as the Founder/CEO of Validated Leadership, a Consulting/Instruction Firm.

Mark is a student of the Veterans Sustainable Agriculture Training Course and recently founded Validated Veggies and Fruits Organic. He plans on purchasing land and using sustainable organic hydroponic agriculture as his main method to grow nourishing produce for San Diego County.

Mark has service-related disabilities and intends to hire other disabled veterans to work for him, with the additional goal of assisting them in purchasing their own land beginning their own farms. Veterans with disabilities such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder have a difficult time finding and keeping employment, but Mark believes that working with agriculture and owning their own business will give them stability and security both emotionally and economically. In his career, Mark intends to raise superb fruits, vegetables, and herbs; employ and empower veterans with disabilities; and educate others on sustainable organic agriculture.

Congratulations Mark!

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:

One percent