future organic farmers

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Meet Emilio Otontiopa: A CCOF Foundation Future Organic Farmer

Emilio Otontiopa was born on a ranch in Hildago, Mexico and began farming at age 11 growing beans, corn, cilantro, and squash. He immigrated to the United States when he was 19, and did irrigation for large farms. He went on to be an artichoke harvester, which was very hard work.

Meet Erin Franey & Get Involved with the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund

Erin Franey
Erin Franey is honored to be part of the CCOF farmer community as a second season apprentice at Rainshadow Organics, a 200-acre full-diet farm in central Oregon. Her interest in farming is rooted in a boundless curiosity in food systems, food culture, and a commitment to building a more just and equitable world. She has worked as a community organizer, director of an international youth leadership program, and most recently at a cooking and nutrition education nonprofit in San Francisco.

Meet Fidel Lazaro: A CCOF Foundation Future Organic Farmer

Fidel Lazaro was born in San Jose las Flores, an indigenous village in Putla, Oaxaca, and grew up on his grandmother's cattle and goat ranch. He also farmed his own land for five years while living in San Jose de Flores. When he was 18, Lazaro moved to the United States and spent eight years working in landscaping and 22 years as a harvester on a large organic farm.

Meet Gabriela Verdusco & Get Involved with the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund

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.

Meet Gerald Peters & Get Involved with the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund

Gerald Peters
Gerald Peters is from and currently resides in Willows, California, where he graduated from Willows High School in 2015. After his graduation, he applied for his current job at Tractor Supply Company.  Peters attended Butte College and then transferred to California State University, Chico in fall 2017 to pursue his bachelor’s degree in crop science.

Meet Gracie Lynn Hauser: A CCOF Foundation Future Organic Farmer

Gracie Lynn Hauser

I currently grow vegetables in our small garden located on 13 acres of farmland. I am 16 years old, and my dad is a used car salesman and my mother teaches at a rural public school. I am involved in the FFA program and take courses in plant science, which allows me to work in our school’s two greenhouses and a high tunnel.

Meet Gwen Larrow: A CCOF Foundation Future Organic Farmer

Gwen Larrow believes that pursuing a career in organic agriculture will benefit the people, oceans, and economy of Hawaii. The vast majority of Hawaii's food is imported, and Larrow believes she has a responsibility to provide an option of affordable local produce to the people of Hawaii.

Meet Hailey Hughes & Get Involved with the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund

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. 

Meet Haleigh Jones: A CCOF Foundation Future Organic Farmer

Haleigh Jones is an agriculture and environmental plant science major at California Polytechnic State University of San Luis Obispo. She was born and raised on the Central Coast of California in the Santa Maria Valley. Growing up, Jones was surrounded by conventional farming—as it is a huge part of the local economy—and she never really questioned the production techniques being practiced until she was introduced to organic farming.


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