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

Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, March 27, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, 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, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, 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, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, 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...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, March 6, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Parvati Brown was born in a small farming community in Nepal, where age-old, animal-based organic farming practices endured for centuries. Within her lifetime she witnessed the dramatic shift toward the convenience of modern day synthetic chemical-based farming practices. Initially, the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides provided bigger yields from their fields than ever before. However, over the years this method had a negative impact on the overall health of the soil and the community. Brown is now a full-time horticulture student at Cabrillo College in Santa Cruz, California,...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, February 27, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Growing up, Sierra Torres' mother never failed to come home after working all day to cook dinner for herself and her two brothers. She cherished the sense of community eating together brought to her family and the way it seemed to unite them. It is this feeling of comfort and warmth while cooking and eating with the people you love that has inspired Torres to do everything she can to make her community a healthy and sustainable place through food and agriculture. After spending four years working in the food industry–working in wide variety of roles from a line cook to a farm hand–she has...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, February 20, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Akello Karamoko has always had a green thumb. He planted his first apple tree when he was 11 years old and sold peppermint and sage at his church at the age of 13. Farming as a career path was not on the minds of many of the children Karamoko grew up with in Detroit, Michigan, but he sought out programs to learn how to grow, plant, harvest, and sell his own organic crops. He participated in agricultural programs, including 4-H Gardens with Dr. Wesley Godfrey, Keep Growing Detroit's Urban Agriculture Youth Apprenticeship, the Food Warrior Program with Detroit Black Community Food Security...
Written by Jessy Beckett Parr on Monday, December 14, 2015 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Lyle McDonaldVeteran’s Sustainable Agriculture Training program – California After graduating high school, Lyle McDonald joined the United States Marine Corps, during which time he was deployed to Iraq for seven months and to Afghanistan for seven months. After leaving the Marine Corps he, like other veterans, wasn't prepared for what the civilian world had planned for him. The worst feeling in the world is being told that the skills he had acquired in the Marine Corps did not transfer into a job in the civilian world. Lyle’s family in the Philippines are sugar cane farmers, and although...
Written by Jessy Beckett Parr on Monday, December 7, 2015 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Jessie MaierRogue Farm Corps FarmsNext Internship Program – Oregon In 2012 Jessie graduated from Ohio State University (OSU) with a degree in animal science. Jessie grew up in the suburbs, so in order to get more experience in agriculture, she worked at OSU's beef and sheep operation and as a research assistant in ruminant nutrition. Subsequently, she volunteered at OSU’s student vegetable farm, an aquaculture lab, and at Stratford Ecological Center, an educational organic farm, and took OSU’s course in management-intensive grazing. After these experiences, Jessie knew her passion lay in...
Written by Jessy Beckett Parr on Monday, November 30, 2015 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Sunyoung Yang University of California, Santa Cruz, Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems Apprenticeship – California Sunyoung Yang is a 33 year old Korean woman who became politicized around global and ecological justice issues from indigenous farmers in Latin America. She worked on policy advocacy that intersects civil rights, transportation justice, environmental justice, and climate change work in Los Angeles, nationally, and internationally including on the UN level. Much of her inspiration to become a farmer and work with farmers around the world came from this initial...
Written by Jessy Beckett Parr on Monday, November 23, 2015 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Jessica Wong California Farm Academy, Beginning Farmer Training Program – California Jessica Wong grew up in San Francisco and then moved to Berkeley for college, and as such had very little experience with farming and dirt until recently. At Berkeley she became interested in insects, which turned into an interest in integrated pest management and biological control, which turned into an interest in agroecology. This all influenced her decision to learn more about farming practices and food systems, and it was then that her passion for farming was sparked. She is currently participating in...
Written by Jessy Beckett Parr on Monday, November 16, 2015 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Sarah Wells Rogue Farm Corps FarmsNext Internship Program – Oregon Sarah grew up in the woods outside of Portland, Oregon, which she left to study design at the University of San Francisco. While at USF, she created a project that helped bring fresh food to a corner store by making it a drop site for a local farm's CSA, taught a hands-on gardening class to elementary school students, and visited many different inspiring gardening projects around the Bay Area. Sarah also studied abroad in Rabat, Morocco, where she lived with a Moroccan family and was constantly fed fresh, delicious food....
Written by Jessy Beckett Parr on Monday, November 9, 2015 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Austen Villacis Farmshare Austin’s FarmerStarter Program – Texas Austen Villacis developed his interest in organic food in 2012, when his mom, who was 45 at the time, was diagnosed with stage III breast cancer. Up until that point, his family's diet had mostly consisted of processed and conventionally-raised foods. Along with his mom and older sister, Austin began researching food as both a mode of prevention and medicine. The whole family changed their diets drastically and began making thoughtful food choices based on quality. Organic produce became a huge focus for them. In the years...
Written by Jessy Beckett Parr on Monday, November 2, 2015 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Nathan Van Assen San Diego City College, Sustainable Agriculture – California Nathan’s journey in this field started about seven years ago when he and his wife had the epiphany that they should be eating fresher foods. Since that time, Nathan has worked in the produce industry as a market stocker for four years, three of which have been exclusively with organic produce as a produce department clerk at Jimbo’s…Naturally! He also supports his wife as she runs her own organic and natural baby clothing business. Nathan aspires to be a produce buyer, a data expert for farms on consumer products,...
Written by Jessy Beckett Parr on Monday, October 26, 2015 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Kristen TippitEarthDance Farm and Garden Apprenticeship Program – Missouri Kristen Tippit is a 31 year old mother of two (soon to be three!) who loves running, singing, graffiti art, being outside, and laughing with her husband, Chris. She has degrees in Spanish and creative writing, but has worked in women's health and health education for the past nine years. Kristen currently works in the HIV field coordinating a program for people who have been lost to medical care. Her work has focused on testing and prevention of STIs and HIV among urban minorities, and case management and health...
Written by Jessy Beckett Parr on Monday, October 19, 2015 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Joshua Sandoval

Joshue SandovalHartnell Community College and Agriculture and Land Based Training Association (ALBA), Farmer Education Program (PEPA) – California Joshue Sandoval has lived in agricultural areas his whole life; he was born in Mexico and moved to Watsonville, California, at the age of five. He worked for four years in conventional and organic raspberries and for nine years at SunRidge Farms, including six years in the organic division where he supervised up to 40 employees. Joshue’s dream is to start an organic family farm in the Watsonville area where he has access to land. He believes in...

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