Future Organic Farmers - Vocational & Higher Ed
Interested in getting involved in organic agriculture? Brady Kazmier, Future Organic Farmers grantee, urges, “Do it. Dive in and don’t look back. Education in organic agriculture is extremely extensive, and the possibilities are near endless. The amount of good you can do is astonishing. We can bring upon a revolution to be better to our planet through organic agriculture.” And that is exactly what Kazmier intends to do.
After 13 years of working in the fields processing lettuce, Celsa Coronel decided it was time for a change.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Future Organic Farmer Grant winners were judged to have the strongest combination of commitment to leading a lifelong career in organic agriculture, investment and participation in the organic community, and dedication to growing the organic movement. Each grant recipient will receive $2,500 to apply toward their studies in organic agriculture.