Meet a CCOF Foundation Future Organic Farmer Grantee

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Written by Cassie Kent on Tuesday, March 26, 2024
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Sheila Wambui

As a child, Shelia Wambui lived in Kenya with her family, where they tended land, grew their own vegetables, and reared hundreds of chickens and a handful of pigs. She believes it is our responsibility to be ethical stewards for the environment and its inhabitants. Sheila values conscious farming practices because of their effect on all ecosystems. She notes that organic farming, by avoiding the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, reduces harmful exposure to humans and waterways. Sheila envisions an agricultural system that protects the environment, the farmers, and the communities they feed. Sheila acknowledges the beauty in blemishes and the flavor that comes from organic products, and she has always been able to see and taste the difference between what she grows and store-bought vegetables. 

Today, Sheila resides in Texas, farming a garden that is part of her studies with Farmshare Austin’s Starter Program. She grows ‘Bravo’ radishes, ‘Heart of Gold’ tomatoes, ‘Dazzling Blue’ kale, ‘Chioggia’ beets, and ‘Deep Purple’ bunching onions, to name a few. With a grant from the CCOF Foundation, Shelia is able to cover the full cost of tuition at Farmshare Austin. Sheila looks forward to owning her own organic farm.

The CCOF Foundation empowers organic professionals to grow organic agriculture, which in turn creates a more prosperous, resilient world. Our grant programs are designed to offer support during pivotal times in an organic farmer or professional’s journey. This program offsets the costs of gaining an education in organic agriculture for emerging farmers, while helping to bridge the gap between farmers aging into retirement and those just entering the field. To date, our Foundation has awarded $923,942 to 474 new organic farmers. To learn more about our granting program, visit us at https://www.ccof.org/page/grant-programs. If you would like to contribute to the success of Future Organic Farmers in the United States, please reach out to the CCOF Foundation's Donor Relations Manager Shawna Rodges at srodgers@ccof.org to learn more.