CCOF Attends the 91st FFA Convention and Expo!

Zackery, Dylan, Josaphine
Through our Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, the CCOF Foundation has partnered with the National FFA Organization (FFA) to provide just under $100,000 in grants to middle and high school students for organic Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) projects over the last six years. CCOF Foundation Program Manager Josaphine Stevenson recently attended FFA’s National Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Convention and Expo were attended by 67,000 FFA students from across the nation. 
Stevenson had an opportunity to meet several talented students who received CCOF’s organic SAE grants this past year. Dylan Hopma and Zackery Lemmen attend Montague High School in Michigan. Hopma is growing organic shitake mushrooms and selling them at local farmers’ markets and plans to increase his production in the coming year. Lemmen is raising organic broiler chickens and used funds from his grant to build a brooder shed. Both students mentioned how much they appreciate the support for their organic projects.  
Stevenson was inspired by the students’ energy and enthusiasm for agriculture and FFA’s focus on increasing diversity among its membership in the coming years. FFA is the largest youth-led organization in the nation, with over 650,000 members. It is an important resource that helps middle and high school students develop leadership skills and prepare for careers in agriculture, science, and technology. CCOF is excited that FFA is looking to make its programs more accessible to a broader diversity of students.
FFA is accepting applications for organic SAE grants through November 15, 2018. Find out more about application guidelines and how to apply. The CCOF Foundation is excited to build upon our partnership with FFA. The 650,000 students participating in FFA nationally will be the future farmers of America, and CCOF is thrilled to offer them the opportunity to try organic!