Blog posts by future organic farmers

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Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, January 27, 2020 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Celsa Ortega

My name is Celsa Ortega and I am 32 years old. I am from the state of Oaxaca in Mexico. Growing up in the mountain ranges with my grandparents, we harvested a ‘milpa’ and I quickly grew fond of my grandparents love and dedication for agriculture. I now have four children, three boys and one girl ranging from 13 to five years old. My family and I arrived in the Salinas Valley in 2006, and we have since been field workers. I enjoyed working in Greenfield, CA harvesting cilantro by contract. This job provided well for my family with the high pay and hours that I was able to achieve. A past...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, January 20, 2020 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Rhyne Cureton

My future career will be as an organic inspector and educator for the South East. I believe that the South East has the potential to be a major influence in the organic movement. The National Agricultural Statistics Services illustrates that in 2016, not one South Eastern state exceeded over 500 certified organic farms; six of these states having fewer than 50 certified farms. However, this void of organic certification should not be misunderstood as a lack of organic practices within the region. The South East has a strong and growing population of farms and farmers that do have organic...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, January 13, 2020 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Malcolm St Cyr

I am of African American, Native American (Cherokee) and West Indian heritage. I was born and lived in the urban United States until just before my 9th birthday. I attended school in Senegal, West Africa in a small town, at a small school with modest facilities. It is here that I completed my childhood and my education.  I spent about 3 years learning the language/culture of the new place I was living. I then decided to attend Arabic School as was expected of others in my age group. After completing this first phase of education I wanted to enroll in the French education system that could...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, January 6, 2020 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Lehia Apana

For Lehia Apana, farming is an act of cultural reverence. Generations of Native Hawaiians before her proved to be master agriculturalists who were able to feed themselves using their island resources, including the nutrient-dense staple crop known as kalo (taro). She and her husband are growing kalo and other traditional crops on their three-acre farm in Waiehu, on the island of Maui. By approaching farming from a native perspective, they strive to not only feed the community, but also foster a cultural connection that feeds peopleʻs naʻau (heart). Put another way, Lehia believes that farming...
Written by Jessy Beckett Parr on Monday, December 16, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, education, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers

This season of giving, will you consider a gift to the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund?  Ignacio Mendoza received two grants through the CCOF Foundation’s Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund. Mendoza is a young organic enthusiast preparing to build on the farming success of his immigrant parents. Coming from a family of farmers (his parents own CCOF-certified Mendoza Farms), Mendoza is focusing his education on skills needed to operate his on organic farm one day. We hope you will watch the video produced by the California Strawberry Commission about the Mendoza family and be as inspired as we...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, December 16, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Kathryn Doonan

I am a double major with Organic and Sustainable Agriculture and Basic Medical Science at Washington State University. I have been farming regularly for seven years and helped on my family’s ranch even beforehand. I come from thirteen generations of American farmers, and I am proud to continue the legacy of producing food for the nation. I am currently working towards a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural and Food Systems and I hope to attend medical school after I complete my undergraduate studies. My goal is to further the vertical integration of food production and healthcare to show how...
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 Jessy Beckett Parr on Monday, December 2, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, education, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


Celsa Ortega

This season of giving, I’d like to ask you to consider a gift to the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund through an incredible matching opportunity in partnership with Patagonia Action Works. Your gift will be doubled, resulting in changed lives such as that of Celsa Ortega. Thirteen years ago, Celsa was living in her home community in Oaxaca, Mexico. Her family farmed there without added chemicals, using integrated natural systems to promote healthy soil and grow nutritious fruits and vegetables. When she immigrated to the United States, Celsa never imagined she could have her own organic farm...
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...

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