CCOF Foundation

CCOF CEO Kelly Damewood Interview with Polipoli Farms

If you’ve been following the CCOF blog, you’re likely aware of Lehia Apana, co-founder of Polipoli Farms in Waiehu, Maui. Polipoli Farms describes itself as “tucked away in the Waiehu foothills,” and is located “on the same ʻāina mōmona [fertile land] that fed generations of Native Hawaiians.” Says Apana, “As a Hawaiian-run farm, we blend indigenous and modern growing practices.”

Meet Santiago Contreras, Future Organic Farmers 2020 Grantee

For the last 15 years, Santiago Contreras has been a vegetarian—conscious of healthy eating and healthy food. After many years working in the restaurant industry, he made the leap to learn to become a farmer by enrolling in the Farmer Education Course (PEPA) at the Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association (ALBA) to develop his knowledge and skills to work the land.

Webinar for Meat Producers Addresses Marketing, Organic Labeling, and the Lack of Slaughter Facilities

Join the CCOF Foundation and EcoFarm on May 18 for a webinar that dives into the details of the organic labeling requirements for organic meat producers, including marketing strategies for organic livestock producers who don’t have access to c

Meet Lynn Batten: Land Steward and Community Builder

Meet 2020 Future Organic Farmers Grant Recipient Lynn Batten!

Hawaii is a state with a biodiverse ecosystem and a strong heritage of caring for and connecting to the earth. Lynn Batten, a Native Hawaiian, seeks to continue this care by combining her passion for the community with stewardship of the land to help further the goal of creating a more responsible, sustainable, and people-oriented food system.

A Closer Look at Organic Valley Cows

While some outliers still exist, most of America’s farmers have smartphones. As modern technology continues to advance, increased smartphone adoption in rural farming communities brings new opportunities to apply emerging technologies that assist farmers with planning crop calendars, managing employee time cards, and tracking input applications, all in the palm of your hand. While this causes worry for some who would rather keep things simple and data-free, it also provides an unprecedented chance for farmers to tell their stories directly to their audiences.

Increase Your Farm Income Part 2: Finding your Niche in the Market

Breaking into new markets may seem daunting when other farms grow or raise similar products. I remember trying to navigate this when I was first starting out. There were so many farmers with strong followings who already grew unique varieties that I questioned my ability to make a name for my farm.

But that wasn’t the case at all! With a little forethought and planning, I found that there is lots of room for innovation. Don’t be discouraged as the new farmer in town. With a little creativity, there is always a way to set yourself apart from other farms!

The Story of One Hawaiian Farmer, Lehia Apana

In a recent interview, Lehia Apana, multi-year Future Organic Farmer grant recipient and co-founder of Polipoli Farms on Maui, Hawaii, recalled her struggle identifying as an organic farmer. Despite using agroforestry and applying organic methods on the farm for many years, Apana speaks of having imposter syndrome and wondering when she and co-founder Brad Bayless could call themselves farmers. Their journey is not unlike that of other young farmers across the United States or even of young professionals in the first five years of their careers.

City Girl Turned Organic Agriculture Student and Advocate

Meet 2020 Future Organic Farmers Grant Recipient Audrey Jen!

While many people are drawn to agriculture because of a family background in farming, Audrey Jen was drawn into agriculture through her interest in science. The deal was sealed for Jen by hands-on experience farming organically for school.