Blog posts by Josaphine Stevenson

Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, February 19, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, FOFGF K-8, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


Balboa Middle School Ventura County, California The main objective of Salad Bar Farms is to let the students of Balboa Middle School become active participants in growing the produce that is served at their school during lunch. Over the course of this grant, approximately 600 students (half of the student body) visited the farm. Further, approximately 550 pounds of carrots, lettuce, and green beans from the farm were served at the school's salad bar. An unaccounted amount of produce was directly consumed by students on the farm during their visits. One of our greatest accomplishments was how...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, February 12, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, FOFGF K-8, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


EUSD Farm Lab Encinitas, California All EUSD first graders (over 800 students) visited DREAMS Campus at Farm Lab and rotated through three hands-on lessons that connected them to agriculture and organic crop production. Students learned that it is healthier to use organic production methods and handling standards that are not harmful to water, soil, wildlife, and/or people, and which make the environment safer for bees and birds and for children to play. Students learned about cover crops for building healthy soil, and for the California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom lesson,...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, February 5, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, FOFGF K-8, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


Stillwater Township Elementary SchoolStillwater, New Jersey This spring, our Schoolyard Garden Club will meet once again thanks to the generosity of this program. Students in sixth grade will gather after school, grab their "gardening gear," and walk out to our raised bed garden area. We started with spring plantings, plan to work on purchasing a compost bin for the garden, and will proudly wear our student-designed shirts! Students will create a drip irrigation system using plastic milk jugs placed around the raised beds to help water during our spring break. Our school has secured enough...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, January 29, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, FOFGF K-8, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


College Prep Elementary St. Paul, Minnesota The goal of our project was to expose five- and six-year-old kindergarten students to different varieties of organic fruits and vegetables. Many of our students are English Language Learners and have never seen most fruits and vegetables. During this school year we had successful tastings for a large variety of different fruits and vegetables. Many students tasted different foods that they had never had before. By using our kindergarten USDA nutrition books and having these fruit and vegetable tastings, we successfully completed our goal to have...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, January 22, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, financial assistance

Each year, the CCOF Foundation offers direct financial assistance for organic producers who experience loss due to hardship via the Bricmont Hardship Assistance Fund. These hardships include natural disasters such as flood, freeze, fire, drought, and invasive pests, and personal emergencies. Since the Fund’s inception in 2007, the CCOF Foundation has distributed $129,438 to 159 organic producers.    2017 was extremely challenging for agricultural producers across the United States. The hurricanes that struck Florida and Texas and the wildfires in California had a tremendous impact on organic...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, January 22, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, FOFGF K-8, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


Sierra Madre Elementary School Sierra Madre, California Students created an organic enriched garden studying soil composition and composting methods. They collected scraps from the cafeteria to compost into rich soil. In addition, they incorporated other organic material to enrich the soil organically. Students also learned the importance of giving back to the environment and creating healthy environments. This program supported healthy eating by learning good nutrition habits. For 51 percent of the children, this was the first time they worked with soil and understood that dirt is not soil...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, January 15, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, FOFGF K-8, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


Kimbark Elementary School San Bernardino, California Kimbark Elementary School students planted a winter garden with crops including broccoli, two types of kale, cauliflower, cabbage, and snap peas. Students learned about organic farming as they noticed aphids and insect larvae on the plants, followed by the ladybugs that were there to eat the other bugs. Students enjoyed making smoothies and salads from the vegetable harvest and found that their own perceptions about healthy food were changing. The students absolutely loved this project. They had a chance to see how easy it is to grow your...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, January 8, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, FOFGF K-8, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


Washington Middle School Salinas, California This year, all the pea plants in the school garden were killed by birds, but birds can be both an asset and hinderance for organic gardeners. While some birds damage crops by eating them, there are many others that help control insect pests that damage crops. Using our school garden as the model for an organic farm, students explored the impact of birds on organic crops through direct observation, data collection, and research into various species’ natural history. Students then researched bird behavior and designed and tested different non-lethal...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, December 18, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, FOFGF K-8, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


Pleasant Hill Elementary SchoolDesoto County, Mississippi The best part of our “Field of Dreams…Vermicomposting Project” was that students got to see how excited members of our community were to help them. Elected city officials, employees, and local business owners all expressed their excitement that we were working to turn waste into garden gold. Not only do we have our vermicomposting project from the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund and California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom’s “Look at Agriculture... Organically!” grant, but the city of Olive Branch also brought us enough...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, December 11, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, FOFGF K-8, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


Pacific Elementary SchoolDavenport, California This March, we planted seven apple trees and one persimmon tree with transitional kindergarten, kindergarten, first, second, fifth, and sixth grade classes all taking part in the process. In November, we had CCOF board members visit for lunch and visit with our fifth and sixth grade classes. We purchased two citrus trees, fencing, irrigation and received a donated avocado tree. Our eventual goal is to have students harvest fruit for our student’s meal and snack program. Thank you to Pacific Elementary School for sharing your organic project!...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, December 4, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, FOFGF K-8, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers

Lokelani Intermediate SchoolKihei, Hawaii At the start of the semester, when I asked my students to describe what the word “organic” means, most couldn’t do so. Many students were familiar with the word, mentioning that their parents purchase organic products like milk and eggs. Amazingly though, they couldn’t really explain what the label organic meant and/or the benefits it offered. By participating in these three different hands on projects—vermiculture, companion planting, and aquaponics—my students’ understanding of organic agriculture has greatly improved. Each project in its own way...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, November 20, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, financial assistance, general organic

Bricmont Hardship Assistance Fund - Direct Financial Assistance for Organic Producers   We are concerned about our friends and neighbors who were impacted by the recent hurricanes in Florida and Texas and fires in California, not to mention the numerous other natural disasters in last year. CCOF responds to crises such as these each year by offering financial assistance to organic producers. If you—or an organic professional you know—has experienced hardship during the 2017 calendar year, we encourage you to apply for financial assistance from the Bricmont Hardship Assistance Fund. CCOF is...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, November 13, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, FOFGF, general organic

Joshua Dransfield’s (2016 and 2017 Future Organic Farmer grant recipient) family farm was recently featured in Rodale’s Organic Life magazine. The Dransfields run Windsprings Farm, a small organic dairy in Gapmills, West Virginia. With the assistance of Organic Valley, a farmer-owned cooperative, the Dransfield family started their transition to organic four years ago. The years of transition were challenging for the Dransfields. Organic feed was hard to source in the area and the amount of time it takes to get certified required time and resources. Thanks to support from other organic dairy...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, November 13, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, FOFGF FFA, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


Jessica Grathwoh Boonville   I began my aquaponics Supervised Agricultural Experience for my agriscience project in August 2016. Currently, I have a 30-gallon tank with 20 goldfish, one flood table with clay pellets, and 78 lettuce heads planted. I plan to expand to using two flood tables, doubling the amount of fish, and testing which varieties of lettuce grow the best and the fastest. After my experiment concludes in April 2017, I will continue to grow different items for my family's use and for sale. Because aquaponics is gaining in popularity due to its organic properties, I see this...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, November 6, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, events

The CCOF Foundation has partnered with the National FFA Organization (FFA) to provide grants to high school students for organic Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) projects over the last four years. This year, Foundation staff member Josaphine Stevenson attended FFA’s National Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana for the first time. The Convention and Expo were attended by 64,000 FFA students from throughout the nation.   We were inspired by the students’ energy and enthusiasm for agriculture. Stevenson also had the opportunity to meet and visit with several of the amazing students who...

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