future organic farmers

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Meet Nathan Van Assen: A CCOF Foundation Future Organic Farmer

Nathan Van Assen
San Diego City College, Sustainable Agriculture – California

Nathan’s journey in this field started about seven years ago when he and his wife had the epiphany that they should be eating fresher foods. Since that time, Nathan has worked in the produce industry as a market stocker for four years, three of which have been exclusively with organic produce as a produce department clerk at Jimbo’s…Naturally! He also supports his wife as she runs her own organic and natural baby clothing business.

Meet Nelson Hawkins & Get Involved with the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund

Nelson Hawkins
After recently graduating from the University of California, Davis with a degree in sustainable agriculture combined with a decade of direct farming experience, Nelson Hawkins now feels empowered to turn his long-term goal of starting an organic farm into reality. This year, he is starting on a ¼-acre urban farm in West Sacramento, California growing seasonal vegetables for the surrounding neighborhood as well as supplying to local markets.

Meet Nicole Gurreri: A CCOF Foundation Future Organic Farmer

Growing up in rural Pennsylvania, Nicole Gurreri often spent hot summer days helping her grandfather– a retired farmer–manage his garden. Though she enjoyed the rhythm of weeding and harvesting, her favorite activity was picking his plentiful fruit bushes, always making sure that she ate one berry for every one that was dropped into her harvest bucket.

Meet Our 2014 High School Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund Recipients!

The Future Farmers of America (FFA) was founded in 1928 by a group of young farmers with a mission to train future generations of American youth to meet the challenge of feeding a growing population. Today, their classes and clubs reach hundreds of thousands of young people across the United States and these students are mostly trained in conventional agriculture. These grant recipients will have access to funding for Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) projects focusing on organic.

Meet Our 2014 K-8 Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund Recipients!

Raelynn Antrim, Ocean Knoll Elementary, Encinitas, CA

Project: Community Seed Library

Meet Our 2014 Vocational and Higher Education Grant Recipients

Stephanie Ayoub
Michigan State University, Organic Farmer Training Program

Meet Pacific Elementary School: A Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund Recipient

Pacific Elementary School
Davenport, 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.

Meet Parvati Brown: A CCOF Foundation Future Organic Farmer

Parvati Brown was born in a small farming community in Nepal, where age-old, animal-based organic farming practices endured for centuries. Within her lifetime she witnessed the dramatic shift toward the convenience of modern day synthetic chemical-based farming practices. Initially, the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides provided bigger yields from their fields than ever before. However, over the years this method had a negative impact on the overall health of the soil and the community.

Meet Pascal Brooks: A CCOF Foundation Future Organic Farmer

For Pascal Brooks, the weekends with his father were often spent in the fields. Brooks’ father became a sort of pioneer in Oregon wine after starting his own small winery with specific biodynamic practices applied to the grapes. Brooks helped his father as a child, though he did not appreciate the business and ethos until later.

Meet Peter Varas & Get Involved with the Future Organic Grant Fund

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.


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