My name is Celsa Ortega and I am 32 years old. I am from the state of Oaxaca in Mexico. Growing up in the mountain ranges with my grandparents, we harvested a ‘milpa’ and I quickly grew fond of my grandparents love and dedication for agriculture. I now have four children, three boys and one girl ranging from 13 to five years old. My family and I arrived in the Salinas Valley in 2006, and we have since been field workers. I enjoyed working in Greenfield, CA harvesting cilantro by contract. This job provided well for my family with the high pay and hours that I was able to achieve. A past coworker invited me to her land under ALBA and I was in complete shock to see what mother nature can grow. I witnessed several crops that I had yet to recognize and it motivated me to apply to ALBA. I wanted to be part of the farm-to-table movement and learn to farm organically. Over time I have learned that organic farming not only takes care of the land but of my own health and my family’s. I enjoy contributing to the organic and farmer lifestyle by providing healthy food choices to those around the world. I hope to be a great example to my own children throughout my life and for them to be aware that field work is enormously important and worthy.
Please join us in congratulating the recipients of the CCOF Foundation’s Future Organic Farmer Grants.