Blog posts by Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund

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...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, May 8, 2017 on education, FOFGF FFA, FOFGF Vocational & Higher Ed, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund


Interested in teaching or pursuing a career in organic agriculture? Apply for a Future Organic Farmer Grant! Are you a certified K-8 teacher in the United States interested in bringing organic agriculture into your classroom? If so, please apply for one of our $1,000 Look at Agriculture…Organically! grants for organic education. Find the application details on the California Ag in the Classroom website. Applications close May 15, 2017. Studying organic agriculture in a junior college, undergraduate or in a vocational training program? Apply for one of our $2,500 vocational higher education...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, May 8, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, FOFGF Vocational & Higher Ed, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, 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, FOFGF Vocational & Higher Ed, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund


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, FOFGF Vocational & Higher Ed, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, 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, FOFGF Vocational & Higher Ed, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, 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, FOFGF Vocational & Higher Ed, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, 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, FOFGF Vocational & Higher Ed, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, 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, FOFGF Vocational & Higher Ed, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, 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, FOFGF Vocational & Higher Ed, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, 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...

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