Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund

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Meet Leah Desposato: A CCOF Foundation Future Organic Farmer

Leah Desposato is an undergraduate student at Michigan State University (MSU) studying environmental sustainability and horticulture. She loves all aspects of organic farming, from eating delicious, freshly-harvested ginger, to feeling strong after a long day in the fields. Desposato is a student manager at the Bailey GREENhouse & Urban Farm as well as a crew member of the MSU Student Organic Farm. She thrives off the creativity that farming entails: from the literal creation to problem solving. In her free time, Desposato loves to read fiction novels, bicycle, backpack, and travel.

Meet Lehia Apana & Get Involved with the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund

Lehia Apana
Lehia Apana and her husband own a three-acre property in Waiehu on the island of Maui. This small town is part of a larger area that was historically considered Maui's "breadbasket" because of its food abundance. When Apana and her husband purchased their property about one year ago, it was covered in eight-foot-tall guinea grass. As they cleared the land to prepare for farming, they were surprised and delighted to find that the traditional-style terraces used for growing kalo (taro) were still intact! As a Native Hawaiian, Apana understands that kalo is more than food—it’s identity.

Meet Lyle McDonald: A CCOF Foundation Future Organic Farmer

Lyle McDonald
Veteran’s Sustainable Agriculture Training program – California

After graduating high school, Lyle McDonald joined the United States Marine Corps, during which time he was deployed to Iraq for seven months and to Afghanistan for seven months. After leaving the Marine Corps he, like other veterans, wasn't prepared for what the civilian world had planned for him. The worst feeling in the world is being told that the skills he had acquired in the Marine Corps did not transfer into a job in the civilian world.

Meet Makshya Tolbert & Get Involved with the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund

Makshya Tolbert
Organic farming is a trade and lifestyle that naturally lends itself to storytelling. Makshya Tolbert first found that to be true as an undergrad, studying the intersection of nature poetry and black history and wanting to write poems that expressed the intimacy between the two. Tolbert began learning to grow food on campus farms and gardens and felt empowered to write about her experiences. She was eager to fill the gap of women of color farmers, striving to reassert our multidimensional roles across the environment.

Meet Margaret Goolsby: A CCOF Foundation Future Organic Farmer

The CCOF Foundation’s Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund is a first-of-its-kind collaboration among organic industry leaders.

Meet Mark O'Loughlin: A CCOF Foundation Future Organic Farmer

Mark O’Loughlin 
Archi’s Acres, Veteran’s Sustainable Agriculture Training Program – California

Meet Matt Matthews & Get Involved with the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund

I plan to produce high-protein-based organic poultry feed by raising crickets, meal worms, and earthworms. There is also another specialty market in crickets and meal worms for pet use, i.e., for lizards, small snakes, and other reptiles. This is a small scope project with a start of 1,500 insects. My parents own poultry to test products and record production differences between store pellets and my products. This Supervised Agricultural Experience project will be sustainable by selling my products to local poultry producers.
 
Congratulations Matt!

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