This season of giving, I’d like to ask you to consider a gift to the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund through an incredible matching opportunity in partnership with Patagonia Action Works. Your gift will be doubled, resulting in changed lives such as that of Celsa Ortega.
Thirteen years ago, Celsa was living in her home community in Oaxaca, Mexico. Her family farmed there without added chemicals, using integrated natural systems to promote healthy soil and grow nutritious fruits and vegetables. When she immigrated to the United States, Celsa never imagined she could have her own organic farm in California. Many of you are familiar with the obstacles to farming: land, financing, inputs, and training. Manifesting an agricultural dream takes more than perseverance. It takes the support of a community.
The CCOF Foundation provided Celsa with the financial support and resources she needed to begin her studies with the Agriculture & Land-Based Training Association (ALBA), a farmer education and enterprise development program for low-income farm workers seeking a better life. Encouraged by the financial support and through the support of her community, Celsa forged ahead. Her cohort at the ALBA training program, her women’s support group Mujeres Latinas en Acción, and donors like you and me let her know that she is not alone. When I asked Celsa what advice she would give to those just starting out on their dream of organic farming, she told me, “Work very hard, aim high, and never give up!”
Celsa’s tenacity paid off. In November, she launched her own organic farm in the Salinas Valley.
With any size gift to the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, you will help students like Celsa realize their dreams and contribute to the growth of organic.
I know you care about the integrity of our food system, how we grow our food, how we support our farmers, and how we nurture our community. Your support will help others committed to this mission. Please consider making a donation today and sharing this message as we let the next generation of organic farmers know they are not alone.
Jessy Beckett Parr
CCOF Foundation Director
P.S. Patagonia Action Works will match your gift 100%, if you give to the CCOF Foundation on November 29 through December 31! Thank you, Patagonia!