Blog posts by CCOF Foundation

Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, May 15, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, marketing

Consumers are more food-conscious than ever before and want to make smart choices by buying healthy food for their families. However, food labels and seals can be confusing, misleading, and sometimes even false. As competing eco-labels continue to saturate the marketplace – from “Non-GMO” to “All Natural” – shoppers are becoming more confused about what is the best choice. Learn about why organic is non-GMO and more. To tackle one area of consumer confusion that directly impacts certified organic growers’ sales, CCOF launched the Buy Certified Organic campaign in 2011. This campaign prints...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, May 15, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Brendan Fatzinger is a Georgia native and is pursuing a B.S. in horticulture with a certificate in organic agriculture at the University of Georgia’s College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences. Growing food has long been a fascination of his, and doing so in a responsible and sustainable manner is very important to him. Fatzinger’s career focus is to one day help further research in fruit and vegetable breeding with an emphasis on traits favored by organic growers. Congratulations Brendan! Please join us in congratulating the recipients of the CCOF Foundation’s Future Organic Farmer...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, May 8, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Leah Desposato is an undergraduate student at Michigan State University (MSU) studying environmental sustainability and horticulture. She loves all aspects of organic farming, from eating delicious, freshly-harvested ginger, to feeling strong after a long day in the fields. Desposato is a student manager at the Bailey GREENhouse & Urban Farm as well as a crew member of the MSU Student Organic Farm. She thrives off the creativity that farming entails: from the literal creation to problem solving. In her free time, Desposato loves to read fiction novels, bicycle, backpack, and travel. She...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, May 1, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed


Kiley Clark is an aspiring farmer who knows a thing or two about food. Prior to enrolling in the Sustainable Agriculture program at Santa Rosa Junior College, Clark worked in various positions in kitchens around Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area. Over the last 10 years, she has worked her way from assisting with pastries at a five-star French restaurant, to becoming a bread baker, to managing the kitchen for a food truck. Clark has seen a lot of fruits and vegetables—some mediocre, some downright frightening. Cooking has elicited a curiosity in Clark for a greater understanding our...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, April 17, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


In 2005 Dale (Phillip) Anneler's grandfather bought 40 acres of land in a rural area and put Anneler’s name on the deed. He always told Anneler that this land could pay for itself if he used his head and was smart. When his grandfather died in 2008 and his father fell ill, he began to see the importance of fresh organic produce in his diet. After a long battle, his father lost his fight with cancer and Philip decided it was time to use his head and be smart just like his grandfather said. For the most part, Anneler has focused on using the land raising livestock and poultry rather than...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, April 10, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Fidel Lazaro was born in San Jose las Flores, an indigenous village in Putla, Oaxaca, and grew up on his grandmother's cattle and goat ranch. He also farmed his own land for five years while living in San Jose de Flores. When he was 18, Lazaro moved to the United States and spent eight years working in landscaping and 22 years as a harvester on a large organic farm. Lazaro wants to have his own organic farm to support his family and create employment opportunities for others. He would like a chance to work with his three children– aged 14, 13, 5–on the farm so they have something meaningful...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, April 3, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Haleigh Jones is an agriculture environmental plant science major at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. She has always been very passionate about agriculture and working in the industry, and in high school, Jones served as an officer in FFA. While Jones has a history of purchasing organic food, it wasn’t until she interned on an organic farm that she discovered that she wants to work in organic agriculture. “I believe in the methods, both on a sustainability level regarding the benefits it has on the environment and the land, and on a nutritional level,” said Jones. “...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, March 27, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Jonathan Houser is a 26-year-old Navy submarine veteran who lives in Sparta, North Carolina, with his wife Hannah and daughter Sallie. They are expecting their second child this winter. Houser grew up on his grandfather’s tobacco and cattle farm, and the Houser family now owns Blue Feather Creek Farm, a small 30-acre farm that is home to sheep, chickens, and rabbits (so far). They also grow a variety of crops using sustainable methods without the use of synthetic chemicals. Houser is currently attending Appalachian State University and expects to graduate in May 2017 with a degree in...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, March 20, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Growing up in rural Pennsylvania, Nicole Gurreri often spent hot summer days helping her grandfather– a retired farmer–manage his garden. Though she enjoyed the rhythm of weeding and harvesting, her favorite activity was picking his plentiful fruit bushes, always making sure that she ate one berry for every one that was dropped into her harvest bucket. Many years later Gurreri found herself at College of the Atlantic, a tiny school on the coast of Maine with a strong focus on sustainability. As she studied ecology and natural sciences her freshman year, she became interested in the local and...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, March 13, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Joshua Dransfield was born and raised on a dairy farm in Gap Mills, West Virginia. He graduated from James Monroe High School with honors in August 2015, where he played football and baseball and was a member of 4-H and FFA. During his FFA tenure, Dransfield was named the national first place at the 2014 Mid-Atlantic Grasslands Contest in Missouri. He also represented his state as a member of the 2015 Dairy Judging Team, competing in Madison, Wisconsin, and Louisville, Kentucky. In fall 2015, he enrolled in West Virginia University. After finishing his first semester there, Dransfield...
Written by Adrian Fischer on Monday, March 6, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, events

CCOF hosted over 200 participants at our Annual Meeting and Conference, in Visalia, California on February 9 and 10. Conference attendees, representing a broad spectrum of the organic community, gathered to hear about innovations and inspiration in the organic sector. Keynote speaker Gary Hirshberg gave an insightful speech about the are new opportunities for organic posed by this moment in our country’s history. He called upon those in the room to join with the larger organic community to champion organic with a unified voice. “Organic is about building the next generation of hope,” he said...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, March 6, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Parvati Brown was born in a small farming community in Nepal, where age-old, animal-based organic farming practices endured for centuries. Within her lifetime she witnessed the dramatic shift toward the convenience of modern day synthetic chemical-based farming practices. Initially, the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides provided bigger yields from their fields than ever before. However, over the years this method had a negative impact on the overall health of the soil and the community. Brown is now a full-time horticulture student at Cabrillo College in Santa Cruz, California,...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, February 27, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, education, events, food safety

On Monday, produce growers from across Northern California gathered in Sacramento for a workshop on on-farm food safety. Taught by Atina Diffley—organic farmer and author of the book Turn Here Sweet Corn: Organic Farming Works—workshop participants put together action plans to address food safety on their individual operations. In building their plans, growers considered market needs, as well as the new federal food safety regulations. Particularly relevant to organic farmers, participants used maps of their farms to conduct field and land use risk assessments so they can balance on-farm...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, February 27, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Growing up, Sierra Torres' mother never failed to come home after working all day to cook dinner for herself and her two brothers. She cherished the sense of community eating together brought to her family and the way it seemed to unite them. It is this feeling of comfort and warmth while cooking and eating with the people you love that has inspired Torres to do everything she can to make her community a healthy and sustainable place through food and agriculture. After spending four years working in the food industry–working in wide variety of roles from a line cook to a farm hand–she has...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, February 20, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Akello Karamoko has always had a green thumb. He planted his first apple tree when he was 11 years old and sold peppermint and sage at his church at the age of 13. Farming as a career path was not on the minds of many of the children Karamoko grew up with in Detroit, Michigan, but he sought out programs to learn how to grow, plant, harvest, and sell his own organic crops. He participated in agricultural programs, including 4-H Gardens with Dr. Wesley Godfrey, Keep Growing Detroit's Urban Agriculture Youth Apprenticeship, the Food Warrior Program with Detroit Black Community Food Security...

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