Blog posts by Josaphine Stevenson

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...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, April 23, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Arthur Keculah is from Liberia and has been in the United States for over 15 years. During those years, he did not have a permanent job or housing, but since beginning the University of California, Santa Cruz’s Center for Agriculture and Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS) program, he has housing on campus.    Keculah is participating in the CASFS apprenticeship because he believes that we need a healthy planet to have healthy people, which means that everyone needs access to healthy food. He is excited to gain the skills and tools to become an organic farmer and he believes CASFS is the...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, April 16, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Janice Fama ran a farm for seven years on remediated soil, where she grew and sold organic fruit, vegetables, annuals, perennials, and organic eggs. Fama wants to pursue a career in organic agriculture because she believes restoring the valuable microenvironment of the soil is one of the most important challenges of our time. She believes that revitalizing and restoring our farmland is crucial to continue to feed people globally. The more Fama learns about organic sustainable practices, the more she feels the need to teach people of all walks of life how to grow their own food. Fama plans to...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, April 9, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


A plant and animal lover by nature, Renee Zavas grew up in Northern California surrounded by animals. Her interaction with animal during her upbringing ranged from raising pigs for 4-H, to helping her dad with their emus and horses.    Zavas moved to Santa Cruz to attend college and was lucky enough to enroll in Cabrillo College’s associate degree program for horticulture, where her passion for plants grew and she began to have a better understanding of the importance of organic farming techniques and the need for education on food justice and sovereignty.   Today, Zavas is finishing her...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, April 2, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Sarah Spear comes from the big sky state of Montana. She is very passionate about sustainable and organic agriculture. Coming from an agricultural background, Spear can honestly say her upbringing has played a larger role in her interest of sustainable production practices. Spear is in her senior year at Montana State University, where she is pursuing her Bachelor of Science in sustainable food and bioenergy- agroecology. After completing her studies at MSU, Spear plans to contribute to the agricultural field by owning and/or managing an organic farm.     Congratulations Sarah!   Please join...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, March 26, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Hailey Hughes is a senior at Michigan State University studying sustainable and organic horticulture. Hughes is passionate about the health of our land, ecosystems and communities. Like many young farmers today, she does not come from a farming background. Instead, Hughes is going to school, working on farms, and doing her own research. In the summer of 2016, Hughes worked her first season at Providence Organic Farm in northern Michigan and fell in love with farming.    Eventually, she hopes to open her own small organic diversified vegetable farm using a CSA and farmers’ market model. Hughes...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, March 19, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Peter Varas studies sustainable agriculture and food systems at the University of California, Davis. Varas is interested in using agroecology as a tool to achieve seed sovereignty, and land, food, and climate justice. He works on urban agriculture projects in Sacramento and Oakland, building communal gardens along with skateparks to empower youth to be stewards of the land in the future. Varas would like to eventually work with peasant farmers in Latin America, Africa, and Asia, and urban farmers in cities, to increase access to food in communities of color. Congratulations Peter! Please...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, March 12, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Robles

David is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz who has centered his agricultural career around the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS). He has served his community as a student worker and as a youth mentor using sustainable agriculture as a tool for empowerment. He continues to develop his skills through the apprenticeship program at CASFS with the hope of sharing his knowledge with future generations. Congratulations David! Please join us in congratulating the recipients of the CCOF Foundation's Future Organic Farmer Grants. 
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Tuesday, March 6, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Brian Robbins is an intern at Fiddlehead Farm in Corbett, Oregon through Rogue Farm Corps. He is thrilled to have the opportunity to train on a diversified, organic mixed veggie farm while concurrently participating in sustainable agriculture seminar classes to bolster his experiential learning. Before starting his term with Rogue Farm Corps, Robbins worked as a farm-based educator at Slide Ranch, an organic farm and nature preserve in Muir Beach, California. His favorite times on the farm are when he is using the wheel hoe, harvesting garlic, or talking about how magical Fiddlehead Farm is...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, February 26, 2018 on Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed


Logan Hailey has devoted her life to growing nutritious food while preserving and enhancing the soil, water, air, and biodiversity of our planet for generations to come. Within the next few years, she hopes to start a small-scale, highly biodiverse farm that utilizes clean renewable energy, permaculture design, and ecological methods to produce certified organic vegetables, fruit, honey, and free-range eggs. Hailey is currently gaining the knowledge and skills necessary to achieve this goal, including getting her B.S. in Soil Science and Ecological Horticulture Production from Oregon State...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, February 19, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - K-8, 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, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - K-8, 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,...

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