(August 25, 2014) Santa Cruz, CA – The CCOF Foundation announced today that the Clif Bar Family Foundation has joined the growing list of industry leaders who are fostering the next generation of U.S. organic farmers. This partnership included a generous $10,000 donation to the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund.
The Fund provides grants to aspiring farmers enrolled in organic-focused vocational and higher education programs, K-8 teachers who design organic agriculture curriculum for their classrooms, and high school students conducting organic projects through Future Farmers of America’s Supervised Agricultural Experience program.
“Among the challenges to meeting the rising demand for organic products is the need for new organic farmers and entrepreneurs. More than 80 percent of Americans now purchase organic products, and demand continues to outpace the supply,” explains Cathy Calfo, CCOF Executive Director/CEO.
To address the supply and demand challenges, the CCOF Foundation, UNFI Foundation, National Cooperative Grocers Association, Driscoll’s, Organic Valley, Bradmer Foods and the Clif Bar Family Foundation have pooled their resources to provide direct financial support to educate the next generation of organic farmers. This year the CCOF Foundation is distributing $50,000, with the goal of at least doubling the fund in 2015.
“The United States is facing an epidemic shortage of farmers and the average age of a farmer is hovering around 60,” said Melody Meyer, UNFI Vice President, Policy and Industry Relations. “We are excited to join with other industry leaders to address this challenge.”
Guidelines and applications for the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund are available on the CCOF website at www.ccof.org/foundation. For more information about the application process or to contribute to the fund, contact email@example.com.
About Clif Bar Family Foundation
Clif Bar Family Foundation supports hundreds of organizations that are working tirelessly to conserve wild places and open spaces, advocate for pedestrian- and bike-friendly communities, and expand urban forests and restore watersheds. These nonprofits often are on the front lines, striving to safeguard public health and the environment by expanding organic farming acreage, improving local and global food security, investigating the impact of environmental toxins, and tackling the root causes of climate change.
About The CCOF Foundation
CCOF’s (California Certified Organic Farmers) mission is to certify, educate, advocate, and promote organic. The CCOF Foundation’s 2014 program priorities include providing direct financial support for future organic farmers, providing hardship assistance grants to organic producers, offering technical assistance to organic producers, and promoting public education about the benefits of organic foods and agriculture. CCOF represents 2,700 organic producers, handlers, and processors.