Blog posts by Future Organic Farmers - Vocational & Higher Ed

Written by Larissa Hernandez on Tuesday, June 1, 2021 on CCOF Foundation, future organic farmers, Future Organic Farmers - Vocational & Higher Ed, Future Organic Farmers program


Celsa

After 13 years of working in the fields processing lettuce, Celsa Coronel decided it was time for a change. While training for a position in an office setting, Coronel saw a presentation about ALBA, the Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association and knew that a farming path was more aligned with her passions and interests: “When I saw this opportunity, and they explained to me how everything worked, I said, ‘That is right: Here you can give it your all because it’s for you, for your future, for your family, and to help people.’ And so, I changed [back] to agriculture, because that was...
Written by Larissa Hernandez on Monday, May 17, 2021 on CCOF Foundation, future organic farmers, Future Organic Farmers - Vocational & Higher Ed, Future Organic Farmers program

For the last 15 years, Santiago Contreras has been a vegetarian—conscious of healthy eating and healthy food. After many years working in the restaurant industry, he made the leap to learn to become a farmer by enrolling in the Farmer Education Course (PEPA) at the Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association (ALBA) to develop his knowledge and skills to work the land. After a year of classroom learning and hand-on training, Contreras is now a full-time farmer cultivating many different vegetables, such as squash, beans, tomatoes, onions, and melons, on five rented acres in Hollister....
Written by Larissa Hernandez on Monday, May 3, 2021 on CCOF Foundation, future organic farmers, Future Organic Farmers - Vocational & Higher Ed, Future Organic Farmers program


Lynn Batten

Meet 2020 Future Organic Farmers Grant Recipient Lynn Batten!Hawaii is a state with a biodiverse ecosystem and a strong heritage of caring for and connecting to the earth. Lynn Batten, a Native Hawaiian, seeks to continue this care by combining her passion for the community with stewardship of the land to help further the goal of creating a more responsible, sustainable, and people-oriented food system.Batten is currently studying for her bachelor’s degree in political science and sustainable community food systems at the University of West O’ahu. A combination of her classroom education,...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, April 19, 2021 on CCOF Foundation, future organic farmers, Future Organic Farmers - Vocational & Higher Ed, Future Organic Farmers program, grower


Lehia Apana

In a recent interview, Lehia Apana, multi-year Future Organic Farmer grant recipient and co-founder of Polipoli Farms on Maui, Hawaii, recalled her struggle identifying as an organic farmer. Despite using agroforestry and applying organic methods on the farm for many years, Apana speaks of having imposter syndrome and wondering when she and co-founder Brad Bayless could call themselves farmers. Their journey is not unlike that of other young farmers across the United States or even of young professionals in the first five years of their careers. The learning curve is steep, especially in...
Written by Larissa Hernandez on Monday, April 5, 2021 on CCOF Foundation, future organic farmers, Future Organic Farmers - Vocational & Higher Ed


Audrey Jen

Meet 2020 Future Organic Farmers Grant Recipient Audrey Jen!While many people are drawn to agriculture because of a family background in farming, Audrey Jen was drawn into agriculture through her interest in science. The deal was sealed for Jen by hands-on experience farming organically for school.Growing up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Jen had very little experience with agriculture or produce aside from what she saw in the grocery store. A biology class sparked her initial interest in growing; she had never before seen a seed grow to become the food that we see on our tables. Jen decided to...
Written by Adrian Fischer on Monday, March 22, 2021 on CCOF Foundation, future organic farmers, Future Organic Farmers - Vocational & Higher Ed


FOF

Meet 2020 Future Organic Farmers Grant Recipient Malcolm St. CyrMalcolm St. Cyr has a wealth of life experience and a wide world view that will help advance organic in the United States and globally. Born and raised between Washington D.C. and Senegal, St. Cyr has been challenged to learn English, French, Arabic, and Wolof (a Senegalese dialect), as well as the ways of two different countries and cultures. His goals are rooted in his life experience in sub-Saharan Africa, where he learned the importance and the challenges of community and regional food sovereignty. One important answer St....
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, May 11, 2020 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmers - Vocational & Higher Ed, Future Organic Farmers program, general organic


Forer

Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund grant recipient Jack Sporer has officially become a small business owner. Sporer launched his own wine label in April 2020, Fresh Wine Company. A brand he calls “wine for the people,” its release comes just in time to satisfy an upswing in demand during stay at home orders enacted across the state of California.     Sporer’s wine focuses on carbon sequestration at each step. They are using lighter bottles, alternative packaging, and connecting local networks of consumers and suppliers to keep his community supported. Sporer’s efforts build integrity and...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, January 27, 2020 on CCOF Foundation, future organic farmers, Future Organic Farmers - Vocational & Higher Ed, Future Organic Farmers program


Celsa Ortega

My name is Celsa Ortega and I am 32 years old. I am from the state of Oaxaca in Mexico. Growing up in the mountain ranges with my grandparents, we harvested a ‘milpa’ and I quickly grew fond of my grandparents love and dedication for agriculture. I now have four children, three boys and one girl ranging from 13 to five years old. My family and I arrived in the Salinas Valley in 2006, and we have since been field workers. I enjoyed working in Greenfield, CA harvesting cilantro by contract. This job provided well for my family with the high pay and hours that I was able to achieve. A past...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, January 20, 2020 on CCOF Foundation, future organic farmers, Future Organic Farmers - Vocational & Higher Ed, Future Organic Farmers program


Rhyne Cureton

My future career will be as an organic inspector and educator for the South East. I believe that the South East has the potential to be a major influence in the organic movement. The National Agricultural Statistics Services illustrates that in 2016, not one South Eastern state exceeded over 500 certified organic farms; six of these states having fewer than 50 certified farms. However, this void of organic certification should not be misunderstood as a lack of organic practices within the region. The South East has a strong and growing population of farms and farmers that do have organic...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, January 13, 2020 on CCOF Foundation, future organic farmers, Future Organic Farmers - Vocational & Higher Ed, Future Organic Farmers program


Malcolm St Cyr

I am of African American, Native American (Cherokee) and West Indian heritage. I was born and lived in the urban United States until just before my 9th birthday. I attended school in Senegal, West Africa in a small town, at a small school with modest facilities. It is here that I completed my childhood and my education.  I spent about 3 years learning the language/culture of the new place I was living. I then decided to attend Arabic School as was expected of others in my age group. After completing this first phase of education I wanted to enroll in the French education system that could...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, January 6, 2020 on CCOF Foundation, future organic farmers, Future Organic Farmers - Vocational & Higher Ed, Future Organic Farmers program


Lehia Apana

For Lehia Apana, farming is an act of cultural reverence. Generations of Native Hawaiians before her proved to be master agriculturalists who were able to feed themselves using their island resources, including the nutrient-dense staple crop known as kalo (taro). She and her husband are growing kalo and other traditional crops on their three-acre farm in Waiehu, on the island of Maui. By approaching farming from a native perspective, they strive to not only feed the community, but also foster a cultural connection that feeds peopleʻs naʻau (heart). Put another way, Lehia believes that farming...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, December 16, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, future organic farmers, Future Organic Farmers - Vocational & Higher Ed, Future Organic Farmers program


Kathryn Doonan

I am a double major with Organic and Sustainable Agriculture and Basic Medical Science at Washington State University. I have been farming regularly for seven years and helped on my family’s ranch even beforehand. I come from thirteen generations of American farmers, and I am proud to continue the legacy of producing food for the nation. I am currently working towards a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural and Food Systems and I hope to attend medical school after I complete my undergraduate studies. My goal is to further the vertical integration of food production and healthcare to show how...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, December 9, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, future organic farmers, Future Organic Farmers - Vocational & Higher Ed, Future Organic Farmers program


Kate Sabino

I am currently a Dairy Grazing Apprentice on Moore Farms, an organic grass-fed dairy in southern New York. Over the last four years, I have worked on seven dairies in five Northeastern states, trying to learn as much as I can about different grazing systems and farming models. As an apprentice, I'm excited to be enrolled in a comprehensive farmer training program. Throughout the next two years of my apprenticeship, I will also be conducting on-farm research that investigates the soil biology of our perennial pastures.  Congratulations Kate! Please join us in congratulating the recipients of...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, December 2, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, future organic farmers, Future Organic Farmers - Vocational & Higher Ed, Future Organic Farmers program


Joseph Malone

I am an agroecology student at West Virginia University and I also work at the WVU Organic Research Farm.  This grant will be used to further my study of agroecological principles and rural development at West Virginia University, and the WVU Organic Research Farm.  My goals are to find the sustainable management practices, crops, and rotations that are best suited to the unique farming conditions found here in the Mountain State.  It is my firm conviction that small scale sustainable agriculture is the key to rebuilding West Virginia and its proud people in a post-coal world.  The decline of...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, November 25, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, future organic farmers, Future Organic Farmers - Vocational & Higher Ed, Future Organic Farmers program


Gabriela Verdusco

My name is Gabriela Verdusco. I'm am from Le Grand CA, a small town in the Central Valley. After high school I attended Merced Community College to obtain my Associates in general agriculture while working for the Le Grand High agricultural department as a teacher’s aide. I also spent a significant amount of time on my family’s almond orchard assisting my dad with day to day chores. After attending my junior college, I transferred to CSU Chico to pursue a degree in Animal Science. When I'm not studying, I am working at the Chico State Organic Dairy where I discovered my passion for organic...

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