Blog posts by CCOF Foundation

Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, December 10, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers

In the future, Danielle Haefner hopes to take over managing a small ag operation on her family's farmland in Wisconsin. While the land has been in her family for four generations, Haefner’s great-grandfather was the only family member to focus on agriculture. When he stopped raising black angus in the early 1970s, the farm was transitioned to large scale row crop production. Haefner would like to be the force that changes the path of this land for the better. She believes it needs to be holistically tended to and revived and she would like to do this by rotationally grazing a small-scale...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, December 3, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, financial assistance


Left photo: Me, spending my Saturday mornings selling our produce at the Davis Farmers’ Market. My parents and fellow graduate students founded the market in 1976. Right photo: My parents, Kathleen Barsotti and Martin Barnes, strolling the farm. They were early visionaries of an organic revolution. When I was a kid in the mid-1980s, my parents, my brothers, and I would wake up before dawn on Saturday morning, load the blue van with whatever seasonal produce we had harvested the day before, and head to the Davis Farmers’ Market. During the summers we grew amazing melons, and our dad taught us...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, December 3, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Elda Garcia

Elda Garcia was born in Guadalajara, Mexico but grew up in Puerto Vallarta. She has fond memories of working on her grandmother’s watermelon farm over the summers during her youth. At age 20, Garcia immigrated to the United States. Like many newly arrived immigrants in California, she found work in agriculture. The first crops that she worked with were peas and lettuce.  Always wanting to learn more, Garcia obtained her associate degree from Hartnell Community College, then a bachelor’s degree in world languages and cultures from California State University, Monterey Bay. Later she obtained...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, November 26, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Matthew Keesling

Matthew Keesling is new to the agriculture industry.  After serving in the United States Army, he decided that he wants to continue the culture of family farms and sustainable agriculture and pass this life choice on to his children and the next generation.  Keesling has operated a small hobby farm in Kansas for six years, always being organic and a steward of the land and environment. He is a leader in 4-H programs focused on forestry and conservation efforts. Keesling also works on an organic family dairy farm in Wisconsin and plans to continue this practice in either the dairy or beef...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, November 19, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Joshua Dransfield

Joshua Dransfield’s future career goals include operating Windspring Organic Dairy farm and increasing the farm’s herd and production to be competitive in an area of the country where it is difficult to find a vendor for the product, especially for small herds. Currently, Dransfield and his family milk 35 cows, with about 50 young stock. There is a natural spring on the farm’s mountain land, which provides the farm’s water supply. Dransfield believes it is important to protect the land and water while producing a high-quality product for consumers to enjoy. This year, his family’s farm...
Written by Lulu Garcia on Tuesday, November 13, 2018 on CCOF, CCOF Foundation, events


Sophia Soctt 3

In conjunction with the Organic Grower Summit (OGS) in Monterey, California, the “We Are Organic” Dinner will celebrate all things organic—the growth of organic, inspiring stories from Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund recipients, and a festive organic meal with friends in the organic community. All proceeds from the dinner go to support the CCOF Foundation.  At this year’s dinner, enjoy the music of country-influenced pop artist Sophia Scott. Scott is a country-influenced pop artist with an unapologetic honesty to her lyrics that is vulnerable and wonderfully relatable. Her powerful cover of...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, November 12, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Lauren Spencer

Lauren Spencer is a student in the College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment at the University of Kentucky with a major in career and technical education agricultural education teaching accreditation program with minors in sustainable agriculture and ag economics, and she will be graduating in Spring 2019. She is a participant in the UK Horticulture Club, has completed the 200-hour working apprenticeship on UK Horticulture Research Farm, and is currently working on her startup cut flower business. After graduation she plans to teach high school youth as an agriculture educator while...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, November 5, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, events, grower


It’s time again for the CCOF Foundation’s annual tour of the San Francisco Wholesale Produce Market!   If you are looking to connect with produce buyers in Northern California, join us on November 29 in San Francisco for one of our most popular events of the year. Tour participants will visit the facilities of established organic produce buyers, including Earl’s Organic Produce and Veritable Vegetable. Market staff also review what it takes to deal in wholesale, including requirements for packing, shipping, and labeling.  This tour sells out early, so reserve your spot today! Visit the CCOF...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, November 5, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, events


Travis Forgues

Organic Valley’s Vice President of Farmer Affairs Travis Forgues will join us on December 12 as the keynote speaker of the CCOF Foundation’s “We Are Organic” Dinner at the Organic Grower Summit (OGS) in Monterey, California. All proceeds of the dinner benefit the CCOF Foundation.  As a young man with degrees in computer science and psychology, Forgues could have very easily taken his professional career off the farm and into cyberspace with one click of a mouse.   Instead, Forgues and his wife Amy chose to stick with real mice, tending to their herd of happy cows that graze their family’s...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, November 5, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


Zackery, Dylan, Josaphine

Through our Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, the CCOF Foundation has partnered with the National FFA Organization (FFA) to provide just under $100,000 in grants to middle and high school students for organic Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) projects over the last six years. CCOF Foundation Program Manager Josaphine Stevenson recently attended FFA’s National Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Convention and Expo were attended by 67,000 FFA students from across the nation.  Stevenson had an opportunity to meet several talented students who received CCOF’s organic SAE grants this...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, November 5, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Jesus Alcauter

Jesus Alcauter’s father was a vegetable farmer for many years in Michoacán, Mexico, growing corn, tomatoes, squash, and other crops. He instilled a love of farming and rural life in Alcauter, and even though he spent most of his childhood in Mexico City, his family would spend as much time in the countryside as possible.  Three years ago, Alcauter purchased his first ranch in Central Texas, where he and his wife raise chickens and goats. Alcauter has learned numerous trades over the years, including blacksmithing, welding, carpentry, and masonry, and he loves that in farming all his skills...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, October 29, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, education, events, general organic

This is the last week to purchase tickets for the November 7 food safety workshop in Santa Rosa, California that meets the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) training requirement for produce growers. Thanks to a grant from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, workshop tickets only cost $35 per attendee. Without grant support, these trainings can cost hundreds of dollars per person. If you can’t make it to the November 7 workshop, the CCOF Foundation is offering additional workshops in January 2019. These workshops are hosted as pre-conference events at the 2019 EcoFarm...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, October 29, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Rufayda Dhamani

Rufayda Dhamani is currently an undergraduate student majoring in sustainable agriculture and food systems at University of California, Davis. She is an international student from Tanzania who plans on working in the development sector. Her aim is to work alongside subsistent farmers to design effective agricultural practices, so they may live a better-quality life, and protect the environment. Congratulations Rufayda! Please join us in congratulating the recipients of the CCOF Foundation’s Future Organic Farmer Grants.
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, October 22, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, education, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


Myra & Drew with Earthbound Truck

Earthbound Farm founders Myra and Drew Goodman were fresh out of college when they decided to move to the Salinas Valley. With the intention of taking a year off before entering the “real” world, Myra and Drew agreed to clean up the farm on which they lived in exchange for free rent.  The Goodmans were shocked to discover that part of maintaining the farm was adhering to a strict chemical spray schedule to keep the raspberries free of pests. They saw this and thought, “This is how our food is made?”  When Myra and Drew realized that the fruits and vegetables they eat were being treated with...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, October 22, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Lauren Martucci

Lauren Martucci is a senior at Cornell University majoring in agricultural sciences with a minor in horticulture. She is an active member of the professional agricultural sorority Sigma Alpha, as well as the Farm Bureau, Dairy Science Club, Wildlife Society, and Nature Society organizations. This summer she interned with the Hulke Sunflower Lab at the USDA-ARS in Fargo, North Dakota, where she participated in ongoing research initiatives and learned about the sunflower industry.  Upon graduation, she plans to attend graduate school to study animal science or agro-ecology with hopes of...

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