Blog posts by FOFGF Vocational & Higher Ed

Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, October 23, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, FOFGF Vocational & Higher Ed, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


Originally from suburban Arizona, Hanneke Van Dyke came to organic agriculture through her work in community health, education, and nutrition. Her belief that access to a diet rich in diverse, nutritious foods is a fundamental human right led her to an interest in sustainable food systems through which a focus on human nutrition also prioritizes care for the land, care for those who work on it, and a mindful use of limited resources. Van Dyke has worked in a variety of settings, from rural Morocco, to the Marshall Islands in the Pacific, Malawi, and Cambodia. With experience overseeing and...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, October 16, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, FOFGF Vocational & Higher Ed, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


Annon Blue is a sustainable agriculture and agroecology student at Appalachian State University. Growing up in rural North Carolina, she worked with livestock in community groups like 4-H and the National FFA Organization, which had a major impact on her plans for a career in agriculture. After discovering the world of sustainable farming and the community that Appalachian State University harbors for it, she decided to pursue a bachelor degree. Blue hopes to integrate sustainable and organic farming practices back into the community extension and youth development programs she grew up in and...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, October 9, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, FOFGF Vocational & Higher Ed, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


Mauricio Gonzalez was born to a farming family in Puebla, Mexico, where he would help his father every day after school. Gonzalez immigrated to the United States in 1992 and worked picking strawberries and on crews working with broccoli, cauliflower, and lettuce between 1992-2004. Since 2004, he has been a manager in field production in these same crops. Gonzalez would like to continue his career in organic agriculture because it is his passion, one of the jobs he knows how to do best, and something he has done for many years. He would like to be the owner of his own agriculture business so...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, September 25, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, FOFGF, FOFGF Vocational & Higher Ed, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


Haleigh Jones is an agriculture and environmental plant science major at California Polytechnic State University of San Luis Obispo. She was born and raised on the Central Coast of California in the Santa Maria Valley. Growing up, Jones was surrounded by conventional farming—as it is a huge part of the local economy—and she never really questioned the production techniques being practiced until she was introduced to organic farming. Jones’ first ever farm job was on an organic farm as a production intern. Her experience on the farm was eye opening, and she fell in love with the practice. When...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, September 18, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, FOFGF Vocational & Higher Ed, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


Gwen Larrow believes that pursuing a career in organic agriculture will benefit the people, oceans, and economy of Hawaii. The vast majority of Hawaii's food is imported, and Larrow believes she has a responsibility to provide an option of affordable local produce to the people of Hawaii. Larrow wants to be actively involved in farming on Oahu and support organic agricultural methods to help lessen the impact of excessive nutrient run-off and chemicals that enter the water and pollute the marine ecosystems that are so unique to the Hawaiian islands. It is also her goal to contribute to the...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, September 11, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, FOFGF Vocational & Higher Ed, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


For Pascal Brooks, the weekends with his father were often spent in the fields. Brooks’ father became a sort of pioneer in Oregon wine after starting his own small winery with specific biodynamic practices applied to the grapes. Brooks helped his father as a child, though he did not appreciate the business and ethos until later. Brooks’ father passed away suddenly when Brooks was eight and left him his business. His aunt and friends took over and pursued the same sustainable practices his father wished to apply. Since then, Brooks has spent his summers among his friends, trying to work and...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, September 4, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, FOFGF Vocational & Higher Ed, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


Emilio Otontiopa was born on a ranch in Hildago, Mexico and began farming at age 11 growing beans, corn, cilantro, and squash. He immigrated to the United States when he was 19, and did irrigation for large farms. He went on to be an artichoke harvester, which was very hard work. Otontiopa wants to grow crops for people in his area so there is organic local food and fresh vegetables. He wants people to know where their produce comes from and how it is being grown, which is of great benefit to him and his people. Otontiopa would also like to teach his children how to grow food organically....
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, August 28, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, FOFGF Vocational & Higher Ed, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


Deseree Fontenot is a scholar, activist and budding farmer rooted in Oakland, California by way of Eunice, Louisiana. She is currently an apprentice at the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems’ ecological horticulture program at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Fontenot holds an interdisciplinary Master of Arts degree in social transformation from Pacific School of Religion, where she focused on ecological technologies, African-diasporic spiritual traditions, and geographic histories of food and land-based movements. She is passionate about transforming relationships...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, August 14, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, FOFGF Vocational & Higher Ed, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


Abigail DeVries is a highly passionate and motivated earth steward and change agent seeking opportunities to reconnect people with their community, land, food, and themselves. Her journey to discovering and falling in love with diversified organic farming has been long and not so straightforward. She came to it first with a love of a very specific piece of land that her grandparents owned in Northwestern Illinois. The daughter of a missionary pastor, DeVries spent a rather unorthodox childhood hopping around the globe from calling to calling—mostly in Southeast Asia and Africa—returning every...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, July 17, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, FOFGF Vocational & Higher Ed, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


Laura Palmer is a returning student at Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo, studying environmental management/protection and sustainable agriculture. In 2015, she graduated from Cabrillo College with an Associate Degree in horticulture and crop production. Palmer has moved around a lot in her life, from metropolitan to rural areas and everything in-between. She began to see the real disconnect between food production and the consumer, and witnessed the toll that this disconnect and the pressure for profit in conventional agriculture can take on the environment and the people of both...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, July 10, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, FOFGF Vocational & Higher Ed, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


Shawn Miller loves being a farmer! He grew up in the Midwest in a traditional farming community and loved being on the farm as a child, but quickly lost interest in growing only corn and soybeans. After high school, Miller moved to the West Coast and discovered a whole new world of agriculture. In 1999, Miller came across a CCOF booklet that contained a huge database of California farmers. He carried the book with him everywhere and used it to find his first farm jobs on organic farms. Since then, Miller has been farming all over the world to gather experience. He is currently farming a small...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, July 3, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, FOFGF Vocational & Higher Ed, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


Jaynie Miller grew up in rural Michigan, where she spent much of her time outdoors, leading her to develop a deep love of the natural world. Later, as a college student in sustainability studies in the Sierra Nevada mountains, she discovered organic agriculture while volunteering one Saturday morning on a small farm. While peeling garlic on the farm, she had what she describes as her first and only major epiphany, realizing that farming could be a career that provides a meaningful bridge between modern life and the natural world. She has been farming ever since. Miller’s interests in organic...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, June 26, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, FOFGF Vocational & Higher Ed, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


Shelley Lewton enjoys working on small-acreage farms and creating community gardens. After several years working in elementary education, Lewton decided to begin an apprenticeship at the University of California, Santa Cruz to learn about organic farming, with hopes of beginning her own farm and ranch. She has a passion for helping people of limited income access healthy food and looks forward to actualizing her dreams. In her free time, Lewton enjoys hiking, swimming, and riding horses. Congratulations Shelley! Please join us in congratulating the recipients of the CCOF Foundation’s Future...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, June 12, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, FOFGF Vocational & Higher Ed, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


Juan Gonzalez is a talented, skillful craftsman. Having once owned and operated a small automotive and construction business, he now aspires to be an organic farmer. Gonzalez is pursuing a career in organic agriculture because he cares about where his food comes from and how it's grown. He also recognizes that organic markets are expanding. When Gonzalez isn’t volunteering his time to help friends with their farm, he looks for any opportunity to jump on a tractor. When possible, he takes time to walk his fields to look over his craftsmanship. Congratulations Juan! Please join us in...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, May 15, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, FOFGF Vocational & Higher Ed, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, 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...

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