Blog posts by Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed

Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, October 15, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Nelson Hawkins

After recently graduating from the University of California, Davis with a degree in sustainable agriculture combined with a decade of direct farming experience, Nelson Hawkins now feels empowered to turn his long-term goal of starting an organic farm into reality. This year, he is starting on a ¼-acre urban farm in West Sacramento, California growing seasonal vegetables for the surrounding neighborhood as well as supplying to local markets. Hawkins plans on growing his farm in size every year so that he can feed more people clean nutritious vegetables and inspire the next generation of...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, October 8, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, education, events, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, general organic


Rhyne Cureton

Rhyne Cureton, a 2018 CCOF Foundation Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund recipient, has joined the agenda of speakers for the 2018 “We Are Organic” Dinner at the Organic Grower Summit on December 12 in Monterey, California. Cureton was born in rural Monroe, North Carolina but has lived most of his life in the metropolitan city of Charlotte. His family is two generations removed from agriculture. At an early age, Cureton realized a great disconnect between modern agricultural practices and nature. Later at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (a land-grant university),...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, October 8, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Joshua Wiemer

Joshua Wiemer’s goal is to continue working on his family’s organic dairy farm after graduating college and purchase it from his parents when they retire. Wiemer’s experience growing up on a farm, working with his parents and siblings, taking care of the animals, planting and harvesting crops, and being involved with the environment made him realize he wants to work in agriculture as a career. His decision to become a farmer was reinforced when Wiemer took over daily operations for while his father recovered from double knee replacement surgery. This experience opened his eyes to the...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, October 1, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Julia Reese

Julia Reese was born and raised in the Central Valley of California. Growing up, she spent a significant amount of time working with her dad in organic fruit and nut orchards. She gained an appreciation for the industry and decided she wanted to be involved in it in the future.  Reese currently attends the University of Idaho, where she studies agricultural systems management and civil engineering. She is on the dean’s list, is a member the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society, serves as vice president of the cycling club, and works for Crop Matters, an agricultural contract research company...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, September 17, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Rhyne Cureton

Rhyne Cureton was born in rural Monroe, North Carolina but has lived most of his life in the metropolitan city of Charlotte, North Carolina. His family is two generations removed from agriculture. Cureton attends North Carolina A&T State University as a senior agricultural education major with a concentration in extension and professional services. Although Cureton did not have much exposure to agriculture as a child, his love for nature and the outdoors was very evident, solidifying a strong appreciation of nature at an early age. He realized a great disconnect between agriculture and...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, September 10, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Lehia Apana

Lehia Apana and her husband own a three-acre property in Waiehu on the island of Maui. This small town is part of a larger area that was historically considered Maui's "breadbasket" because of its food abundance. When Apana and her husband purchased their property about one year ago, it was covered in eight-foot-tall guinea grass. As they cleared the land to prepare for farming, they were surprised and delighted to find that the traditional-style terraces used for growing kalo (taro) were still intact! As a Native Hawaiian, Apana understands that kalo is more than food—it’s identity. The...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, September 3, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


John Gove

John Gove grew up on a small, diverse vegetable farm and will be the seventh generation of his family to take it over. Throughout his first year studying horticultural science, vegetable and fruit production, and sustainability at Michigan State University, Gove’s eyes were opened to organic farming. He hopes to be able to further his education and implement organic practices at his farm to better serve his community for years to come. Congratulations John! Please join us in congratulating the recipients of the CCOF Foundation’s Future Organic Farmer Grants.
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, August 27, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Ignacio Mendoza

Ignacio Mendoza is the first in his family to graduate from high school and attend college. Mendoza is a senior at California State University, Fresno majoring in plant science with the intention of becoming a Pest Control Adviser (PCA), Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) and continue his passion of farming. Mendoza is a member of CCOF and has helped his father grow delicious organic strawberries on the Central Coast.  His motivation for further education is to discover, understand, and improve the world we live in. He genuinely cares for the future of food and agriculture and strives to become an...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, August 20, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Erin Franey

Erin Franey is honored to be part of the CCOF farmer community as a second season apprentice at Rainshadow Organics, a 200-acre full-diet farm in central Oregon. Her interest in farming is rooted in a boundless curiosity in food systems, food culture, and a commitment to building a more just and equitable world. She has worked as a community organizer, director of an international youth leadership program, and most recently at a cooking and nutrition education nonprofit in San Francisco. This season at Rainshadow she is both part of the crew and works part time as the farm’s outreach manager...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, August 13, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Emilie Clarke

Emilie Clarke is a student at Cabrillo College in Santa Cruz, California studying horticulture with a focus in organic crop production. Due to the inclusive and supportive nature of the Santa Cruz community, working at farmers’ markets and involving herself in farming and ecological opportunities has led her to meeting some of the most inspirational organic farmers in all three surrounding counties. Clarke says the Cabrillo horticulture department has offered her all the tools she needs to fully explore her interest in growing organic cut flowers.  After facilitating the re-introduction of in...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, August 6, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Brett Sutton

Brett Sutton and his partner have a goal of creating a market farm and catering business within the cooperative local food movement. This is Sutton’s second season of formal farming, and each year his knowledge and ambition has grown. He is committed to a career in local organic agriculture and fostering connections among farmers, chefs, bakers, brewers, fermenters, groceries, restaurants, and food banks. Sutton is passionate about food, the ecology that supports food systems, and building a more vibrant regional food culture. Through his family heritage, working various kitchens and in West...
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 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...

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