Blog posts by Josaphine Stevenson

Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, January 15, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - K-8, 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, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - K-8, 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, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - K-8, 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, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - K-8, 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, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - K-8, 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, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, 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, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - FFA, 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...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, October 30, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - FFA, future organic farmers


Michael Bair    My family owns an organic dairy, but I want to find my own part in our organic farm: Michael’s Pastured Poultry. I need to design and build a pen that will be portable so I can move the meat chickens throughout the pasture, and I need a freezer that will store my processed chickens that are waiting for pick-up. I must follow organic rules and be separate from my family’s organic farm sales. I have the financial resources to purchase chickens and supplies, and I also have a buyer for my chicken, a local health food store. I plan to reinvest my profits to keep the enterprise...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, October 23, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Originally from suburban Arizona, Hanneke Van Dyke came to organic agriculture through her work in community health, education, and nutrition. Her belief that access to a diet rich in diverse, nutritious foods is a fundamental human right led her to an interest in sustainable food systems through which a focus on human nutrition also prioritizes care for the land, care for those who work on it, and a mindful use of limited resources. Van Dyke has worked in a variety of settings, from rural Morocco, to the Marshall Islands in the Pacific, Malawi, and Cambodia. With experience overseeing and...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, October 16, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Annon Blue is a sustainable agriculture and agroecology student at Appalachian State University. Growing up in rural North Carolina, she worked with livestock in community groups like 4-H and the National FFA Organization, which had a major impact on her plans for a career in agriculture. After discovering the world of sustainable farming and the community that Appalachian State University harbors for it, she decided to pursue a bachelor degree. Blue hopes to integrate sustainable and organic farming practices back into the community extension and youth development programs she grew up in and...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, October 16, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - FFA, future organic farmers


Jacob Schreiber   My Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) project plan is to purchase two of my father's organically-bred raised heifers to start my own herd.    My father has been raising organic beef for over 10 years. The beef is grass fed, and all the rations meet organic standards with the corn in the ration being organically grown. The beef is marketed as organically raised and most are sold privately to people who take them to the locker plant.    With two bred heifers due to calve in May of 2017, I will have a good start on my own herd. Because I can use my father's facilities and...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, October 9, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Mauricio Gonzalez was born to a farming family in Puebla, Mexico, where he would help his father every day after school. Gonzalez immigrated to the United States in 1992 and worked picking strawberries and on crews working with broccoli, cauliflower, and lettuce between 1992-2004. Since 2004, he has been a manager in field production in these same crops. Gonzalez would like to continue his career in organic agriculture because it is his passion, one of the jobs he knows how to do best, and something he has done for many years. He would like to be the owner of his own agriculture business so...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, October 2, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - FFA, future organic farmers


Shannon Good   I own a small organic dairy farm in Caledonia, Michigan. I am currently milking 40 Red and White Holstein cows, and I also have 70 heifers and dry cows. In March of 2015, my family's rental farm land was sold out from beneath us, and we had to sell almost all of our cows. However, we kept a small herd because I want to continue farming. In late fall 2015, my family and I decided to build a barn to support my Supervised Agricultural Experience project and re-install our double eight herringbone parlor. Now, I plan to expand in November of 2016 by adding more free stalls on the...

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