Blog posts by Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, May 21, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers

CCOF and the CCOF Foundation are cornerstones of Wild Roots Market. Back in the 1990s, our owners and management team realized that if we wanted to continue to provide our customers with the most wholesome, organic, and locally sourced foods available, we needed to partner with CCOF. CCOF’s commitment to the organic movement and certification services allowed Wild Roots (formerly New Leaf) to become the first certified organic retailer in the United States in the year 2000.    By providing input on the organic standards adopted by the USDA and by certifying farmers, suppliers, and retailers...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, May 21, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - FFA, future organic farmers


I plan to begin an FFA Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) project raising organic vegetables. I work for a produce grower who attends farmers’ markets and I have seen how well organically produced vegetables sell. I selected a 100'x60' area at my parent's home for my organic garden. I know a lot about growing vegetables because of my employment and they have agreed to let me sell my produce at their seven farmers’ market locations. I will continue to gain farming experience by working with my current employer and I will have the support of my FFA advisor and grandparents, all of which...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, May 14, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


For Sierra Torres, growing up in a single parent household in New Orleans, a city where fresh food was not always accessible, it was not uncommon for the only vegetables on her family’s plates to be canned. Even though Torres has many fond childhood memories of her mother taking her out to her garden where she grew an assortment of flowers, herbs, and vegetables traditional to our home, it didn’t change the fact that, with her mother working long shifts at the hospital, there was little time and money to cook healthy meals with fresh vegetables. Yet this never stopped Torres from wanting to...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, May 7, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Although Benjamin Meeks was born in Kenya, he grew up on a 35-acre farm in rural Appalachia.  As far back as Meeks can remember, he’s had a passion for farming and nature. The plants and animals on his family’s small farm in the Appalachian mountains were his backyard and the world he called home.    Naturally, as Meeks grew older, he began asking the question, “why?” Why do the animals eat the plants? Why do the plants grow better in some places than in other places? These questions were the sparks that ignited Meeks’ interest in how mother nature works. His primary focus today is on organic...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, April 30, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Joshua Dransfield plans to pursue a B.S. degree focusing on organic dairy production. He attends the University of West Virginia, which has a certified organic farm, a conventional dairy, and is very supportive of Dransfield’s decision to continue on his family's farm. He believes that small family farms offer dairymen and women an opportunity to make a good income doing honest work.    Dransfield’s future career goals are to become a certified organic dairy producer, and to successfully transition more of his family's land into organic production. His uncle and parents have dairy farms, and...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, April 23, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers

Applications are officially open for the CCOF Foundation’s 2018 Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund in the K-8 and higher education categories! We receive hundreds of applications each year from qualified candidates across the United States. Our work would not be possible without the support of companies like Chino Valley Ranchers. Read about why they support the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund. Chino Valley Ranchers is a third-generation family-owned and operated egg producer headquartered in Southern California. We provide a full line of fresh shell eggs with 100 percent of our production...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, April 23, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Arthur Keculah is from Liberia and has been in the United States for over 15 years. During those years, he did not have a permanent job or housing, but since beginning the University of California, Santa Cruz’s Center for Agriculture and Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS) program, he has housing on campus.    Keculah is participating in the CASFS apprenticeship because he believes that we need a healthy planet to have healthy people, which means that everyone needs access to healthy food. He is excited to gain the skills and tools to become an organic farmer and he believes CASFS is the...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, April 16, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Janice Fama ran a farm for seven years on remediated soil, where she grew and sold organic fruit, vegetables, annuals, perennials, and organic eggs. Fama wants to pursue a career in organic agriculture because she believes restoring the valuable microenvironment of the soil is one of the most important challenges of our time. She believes that revitalizing and restoring our farmland is crucial to continue to feed people globally. The more Fama learns about organic sustainable practices, the more she feels the need to teach people of all walks of life how to grow their own food. Fama plans to...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 on Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


My interest in organic agriculture comes from a very personal place in my life. I grew up in a rural farming village in Nepal where my family practiced subsistence farming. As a kid, I watched my mother struggle constantly with the challenges of producing enough food to feed our family. Since then, I have come to understand the inherent link between environmental degradation and the cycle of poverty and how they affect the lives of women like my mother. As I dove deeper into this concept, it became clear to me that a more holistic approach to agriculture is a necessity rather than a luxury....
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, April 9, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


A plant and animal lover by nature, Renee Zavas grew up in Northern California surrounded by animals. Her interaction with animal during her upbringing ranged from raising pigs for 4-H, to helping her dad with their emus and horses.    Zavas moved to Santa Cruz to attend college and was lucky enough to enroll in Cabrillo College’s associate degree program for horticulture, where her passion for plants grew and she began to have a better understanding of the importance of organic farming techniques and the need for education on food justice and sovereignty.   Today, Zavas is finishing her...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, April 2, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers

Clif Bar Family Foundation gives to the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund because we believe that organic agriculture is an answer to many issues to which our world currently needs solutions. It supports family farms and contributes to a more secure food future. It reduces harmful chemicals from our everyday lives and protects farmworkers from exposure to those chemicals. It supports better soil health, increases access to healthy food, and increases the carbon sequestering needed to mitigate climate change.    The average working farmer in the United States is nearing retirement age. It’s...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, April 2, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Sarah Spear comes from the big sky state of Montana. She is very passionate about sustainable and organic agriculture. Coming from an agricultural background, Spear can honestly say her upbringing has played a larger role in her interest of sustainable production practices. Spear is in her senior year at Montana State University, where she is pursuing her Bachelor of Science in sustainable food and bioenergy- agroecology. After completing her studies at MSU, Spear plans to contribute to the agricultural field by owning and/or managing an organic farm.     Congratulations Sarah!   Please join...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, March 26, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers

With fewer young people going into agriculture, many agricultural experts and sector leaders are concerned about the future of American farming. New organic farmers and entrepreneurs are needed to meet the demand for organic products that are healthy for both people and the planet. The Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund helps grow the next generation of farmers by providing financial support for organic education from kindergarten through college! As of March 22, 2018, the CCOF Foundation is grateful and excited to welcome the following new supporters of the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, March 26, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Hailey Hughes is a senior at Michigan State University studying sustainable and organic horticulture. Hughes is passionate about the health of our land, ecosystems and communities. Like many young farmers today, she does not come from a farming background. Instead, Hughes is going to school, working on farms, and doing her own research. In the summer of 2016, Hughes worked her first season at Providence Organic Farm in northern Michigan and fell in love with farming.    Eventually, she hopes to open her own small organic diversified vegetable farm using a CSA and farmers’ market model. Hughes...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, March 19, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


Melody Meyer

  I have been honored to be the executive director for the UNFI Foundation since its inception in 2012. Early on, my board asked me how we could bring together likeminded foundations to make a larger impact in our priority areas together as a community.    I began holding monthly calls with other funders who supported organic agriculture, and we all coalesced around the idea of fostering new organic farmers. We were concerned that the average age of the U.S. farmer was over 65, and we knew that organic farming provided a clear path to prosperity.   When Cathy Calfo from the CCOF Foundation...

Pages