Blog posts by Josaphine Stevenson

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, July 23, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - FFA, future organic farmers


I plan to produce high-protein-based organic poultry feed by raising crickets, meal worms, and earthworms. There is also another specialty market in crickets and meal worms for pet use, i.e., for lizards, small snakes, and other reptiles. This is a small scope project with a start of 1,500 insects. My parents own poultry to test products and record production differences between store pellets and my products. This Supervised Agricultural Experience project will be sustainable by selling my products to local poultry producers.   Congratulations Matt!   Please join us in congratulating the...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, July 16, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - FFA, future organic farmers


This is the second year that I received a Future Organic Farmer Grant for my National FFA Organization Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) to raise organic market swine. I plan to buy a hog and enough organic feed to last me the length of my project, which is from March to July. I will go to any swine educations meetings my FFA offers and work with my teachers to learn more about organic agriculture, so I can expand my organic SAE.   Congratulations Laila!   Please join us in congratulating the recipients of the CCOF Foundation’s Future Organic Farmer Grants.
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, July 9, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - FFA, future organic farmers


My FFA Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) will be selling organic heirloom starts—including numerous varieties of tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, watermelon, squash, cucumbers, basil, and others—to people in our area, as an alternative to what is commercially sold to consumers at large national retailers. However, I need a complete greenhouse for my SAE. Our farm has everything in place for one: electricity, water, and frames. I only need to install plastic, end walls, and build tables for seed trays. With a completed greenhouse I will be able to get seeds in soil well before the last...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, July 2, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - FFA, future organic farmers


I live on a small organic dairy farm and own a herd of 150 Red and White Holstein dairy cows and heifers. After a financially difficult year of transitioning to organic, my farm became officially certified organic on May 1, 2017.  In 2016, my farm was only milking 20 dairy cows, however, my herd has rapidly increased and I am now milking 70 cows. I want to put an organic pest management program in place to control the fly population on my farm, however, I cannot do so without financial assistance. The severe fly problem resulted in pinkeye which caused eye damage and blindness in my dairy...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, June 25, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - FFA, future organic farmers


I plan to grow organic plants such as mint, lavender, and chamomile. I will then cut and dry the plants when they are ready for harvest. Once they are dry, I will make them into tea and aromatherapy bags that will then be sold at a local shop or farmers’ markets. I will start by planting in a greenhouse, and then I would like to work my way up to one acre of organic crops. I will need to research the process of becoming certified organic as I know this is a lengthy process. I will create a business plan and seek the advice of other people in the organic sector.   Congratulations Morgan!  ...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, June 18, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - FFA, future organic farmers


I plan to grow a successful flock of organic egg-producing chickens that will be sustained through my final years of high school. I will begin with chicks that will produce eggs in the early summer. With this grant, I will be able to buy organic chicken feed, restore the partially damaged school coop and run, and build a transportable coop that will hold the chickens during summer break. I then plan to sell the organic eggs. By restoring and maintaining the coop, the flock will be sustainable and prosperous for my upperclassman years and future FFA chapter members. Congratulations Aubrey!...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, June 4, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - FFA, future organic farmers


My vision is to continue my organic FFA Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) from last year by purchasing a buck Angora rabbit of my own. I will also expand my SAE by utilizing my currently unused rabbit manure and turning it into valuable organic compost to sell to Alaskan gardeners, giving my business another source of income. I will continue to harvest highly desirable organic fiber from organically fed rabbits, and I will use organic, natural, and eco-friendly dyes on the harvested fiber, never harsh chemical dyes. I am already skilled in the fiber arts, and I will improve those...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, May 28, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - FFA, future organic farmers


My plan for my FFA Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) project is to expand my organic beef herd. I now have two bred cows and two six-month-old calves, which run with my father's organic beef. I want to purchase a registered Black Angus bull to breed my Hereford cattle, which will give me the benefit of heterosis as I work towards an all crossbred commercial organic herd. My cattle are on grass all summer with salt and mineral blocks. They get certified organic ground corn and corn silage in the winter from an organic crop farm thirty miles away. Our farm is all organic and all pasture...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, May 21, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - FFA, future organic farmers


I plan to begin an FFA Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) project raising organic vegetables. I work for a produce grower who attends farmers’ markets and I have seen how well organically produced vegetables sell. I selected a 100'x60' area at my parent's home for my organic garden. I know a lot about growing vegetables because of my employment and they have agreed to let me sell my produce at their seven farmers’ market locations. I will continue to gain farming experience by working with my current employer and I will have the support of my FFA advisor and grandparents, all of which...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, May 14, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, education, farmers markets, general organic, organic market


Are your customers confused about what organic means? Order a complimentary batch of the 2018 “Why Buy Certified Organic?” postcards today! The cards include information for consumers about what organic means and why it’s important to buy organic products.   In 2017, Fresno Commons, “a for-profit corporation and non-profit land trust, working to grow vibrant, community-owned local food system in the Fresno and San Joaquin Valley,” ordered cards to include in their CSA boxes to help educate their customers about the benefits of buying organic.    The CCOF Foundation sends thousands of “Why Buy...
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...

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