Blog posts by future organic farmers

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, April 23, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers

Applications are officially open for the CCOF Foundation’s 2018 Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund in the K-8 and higher education categories! We receive hundreds of applications each year from qualified candidates across the United States. Our work would not be possible without the support of companies like Chino Valley Ranchers. Read about why they support the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund. Chino Valley Ranchers is a third-generation family-owned and operated egg producer headquartered in Southern California. We provide a full line of fresh shell eggs with 100 percent of our production...
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 Guest Blogger on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 on Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


My interest in organic agriculture comes from a very personal place in my life. I grew up in a rural farming village in Nepal where my family practiced subsistence farming. As a kid, I watched my mother struggle constantly with the challenges of producing enough food to feed our family. Since then, I have come to understand the inherent link between environmental degradation and the cycle of poverty and how they affect the lives of women like my mother. As I dove deeper into this concept, it became clear to me that a more holistic approach to agriculture is a necessity rather than a luxury....
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 Guest Blogger on Monday, April 2, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers

Clif Bar Family Foundation gives to the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund because we believe that organic agriculture is an answer to many issues to which our world currently needs solutions. It supports family farms and contributes to a more secure food future. It reduces harmful chemicals from our everyday lives and protects farmworkers from exposure to those chemicals. It supports better soil health, increases access to healthy food, and increases the carbon sequestering needed to mitigate climate change.    The average working farmer in the United States is nearing retirement age. It’s...
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 Shawna Rodgers on Monday, March 26, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers

With fewer young people going into agriculture, many agricultural experts and sector leaders are concerned about the future of American farming. New organic farmers and entrepreneurs are needed to meet the demand for organic products that are healthy for both people and the planet. The Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund helps grow the next generation of farmers by providing financial support for organic education from kindergarten through college! As of March 22, 2018, the CCOF Foundation is grateful and excited to welcome the following new supporters of the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund...
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 Guest Blogger on Monday, March 19, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


Melody Meyer

  I have been honored to be the executive director for the UNFI Foundation since its inception in 2012. Early on, my board asked me how we could bring together likeminded foundations to make a larger impact in our priority areas together as a community.    I began holding monthly calls with other funders who supported organic agriculture, and we all coalesced around the idea of fostering new organic farmers. We were concerned that the average age of the U.S. farmer was over 65, and we knew that organic farming provided a clear path to prosperity.   When Cathy Calfo from the CCOF Foundation...
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 Shawna Rodgers on Tuesday, March 6, 2018 on CCOF, CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


Sophia Schlentz, Ava Mosely, Melody Meyer, Karen Ross, Bennie Hesser   On February 22, the CCOF Foundation raised a glass to our 2018 Organic Champion Award recipient Melody Meyer and our collective support of the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund at our annual CCOF Foundation Feast.    Guests enjoyed an organic and locally sourced meal, along organic beer and wine generously donated by Bonterra Organic Vineyards and CCOF Board Representative Ted Vivatson of Eel River Brewing. Organic flowers from Javier Zamora at CCOF-certified JSM Organics and citrus donated from CCOF Board Representative...
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 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...

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