Blog posts by Josaphine Stevenson

Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, December 9, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, education, food safety, general organic

The National Young Farmers Coalition released a produce safety video entitled “Not Going Viral!” on its YouTube channel earlier this year. The video spotlights several strategies used by small farmers, including Quail Hill Farm and Rock Steady Farm & Flowers, to ensure the wellbeing of their farm and consumers.  The video reviews the different types of bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens that live on farms. Some are good, even essential, but others are dangerous and can affect consumers’ health. It also discusses how Congress passed the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) to mitigate...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, December 9, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


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 Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


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 Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


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...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, November 18, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Blake Lineweaver

Blake Lineweaver is currently a senior in agronomy and international agriculture at Iowa State University and is pursuing a career in sustainable, nonprofit-oriented production agriculture. Lineweaver hails from Okoboji, Iowa, otherwise known as Iowa’s “Great Lakes” region, and was infused from an early age with a profound appreciation for rural communities, the environment, and our bountiful natural resources.  From serving as vice president of community service for the interfraternity council to participating in a service-learning program in Kamuli, Uganda this last summer, Lineweaver has...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, November 11, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Anandi Gandhi

Originally from India, Anandi Gandhi is currently an agroecology apprentice at the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems based on the University of California, Santa Cruz campus. Over the last 10 years, Gandhi has gained experience in regenerative design, organic farming, environmental education and research through working in both India and the United States. Gandhi hopes to use her agriculture training to work with farmers at the edges of where wildlife and farmlands meet and struggle for space and survival. Congratulations Anandi! Please join us in congratulating the...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, August 12, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - FFA, future organic farmers


Ryan Raether

Ryan Raether’s National FFA Organization Supervised Agricultural Experience project is expanding his organic pumpkin business. He usually sells out of pumpkins by the first week of October, as he only has a half-acre of land. With the money Raether will receive from the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, he will expand his space to one acre. He will use cow manure compost as topsoil and install a dripper system to water his pumpkins. In the past, Raether has watered all his pumpkins by hand, which has been very time consuming, so he is excited to expand his business thanks to the help from his...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, August 5, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Shannon Good

Shannon Good’s future career goals directly relate to organic agriculture, as she plans to become a business partner in her family’s organic dairy farm, Med-O-Bloom Farms, L.L.C., after she obtains her degree from Michigan State University. There are a few specific objectives Good would like to incorporate into her farm: improvements in genetics and breeding, educating the public about the benefits of organic dairy farming, and ultimately farm processing of her farm’s organic milk.  Good’s academic studies at Michigan State University will focus on animal science, which will give her the...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, July 29, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Joshua Dransfield

Joshua Dransfield’s future career goals include continuing his family’s organic dairy farm tradition, increasing his family’s herd size, and obtaining additional rental land to certify organic. He would also like to diversify and raise organic beef cattle and develop a market for his steers. Dransfield would like to continue his relationship with Organic Valley, his family’s current milk cooperative, and take advantage of trainings and travel opportunities so that he can continue to learn more about organic farming practices.  Dransfield is using his Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund grant to...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, April 1, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - K-8, future organic farmers


Vista Verde Middle School

Vista Verde Middle School used grant funds to construct an outdoor lab to teach students organic agricultural practices (land sustainability, soil management, and how to support healthy aquifers) and how to reduce their carbon footprint (reuse, recycle, repurpose). Students reported a sense of empowerment in knowing that they could plant and maintain a garden without the use of herbicides or pesticides and yet produce food that looks just like grocery store food. Nutrient cycling through use of compost bins enabled students to see how they can use and reuse—that nothing gets thrown away....
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, March 25, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - K-8, future organic farmers


Vermont School for Girls

VPI South, Vermont School for Girls is a nonprofit therapeutic school for girls ages 8 through 18 with complex trauma. They used grant funding to install an organic aromatherapy herbal garden and sensory pathway. The school’s goal was to add another level of healing for their students. After installing the sensory garden, the girls were able to visualize even more opportunities for organic living. They brainstormed what this would look like and used remaining funds to install an aquaponic system where fish waste will nourish the organic plants grown for aromatherapy. Students now go to this...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, March 18, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - K-8, future organic farmers


R.L. Stevenson Middle School

R.L. Stevenson Middle School received a grant to create and sustain a school learning garden--a place for exploration and creation to occur. Middle school students began their project by learning about the microorganisms that live in soil. This included building a worm composting station. Students also learned about a wide variety of seeds and grew edible plants to be used for a class salad party. After the plants went to seed, students collected them and packaged them in packets they designed. The garden continues to develop as a community space where students can read books in the afternoon...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, March 11, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - K-8, future organic farmers


El Vista Elementary School

Third through sixth grade students at El Vista School received a grant to learn about organically and conventionally grown fruit and vegetables. They compared the look, taste, and smell of the fruit and vegetables, researched both farming practices, and visited a conventional farm and an organic farm. Ninety eight percent of El Vista School’s student body receives reduced or free lunch and many of its students do not get the chance to eat fresh fruits and vegetables, even though they live in a farming region. This project gave students the opportunity to see the difference between organic and...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, March 4, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - K-8, future organic farmers


Ely Memorial School Cucumber check

Students from Washington Elementary learned about beekeeping from a local beekeeper. The project began with a presentation during the Arthropoda section of the science class. Forty students learned about the activities of the Ely Area Bee Club as well as scientific facts about bees. Participating students visited the apiary for weekly hive checks. Although the club's hives did not produce enough honey to harvest this year, the students were taught how to harvest honey during a Save the Bees weekend course given by the Ely Folk School. Students helped sell honey at the Ely Farmers' Market. The...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Tuesday, February 19, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - K-8, future organic farmers

The goal of Cordova Jr./Sr. High School’s project was for students to learn how to grow healthy food in sustainable manner. In the fall, students used tools purchased with grant funds to transplant perennials and create new growing areas for the spring. They created vermiculture buckets and introduced thousands of worms to a favorable composting environment, nurtured them over the winter, and collected worm castings to make seed starter. In the spring, students started over 350 seedlings to transplant around their town in hanging baskets and barrels.Their system of composting fruit and...

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