Meet Darlene Ruiz—Future Organic Farmer Grantee

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Written by Larissa Hernandez on Monday, April 1, 2024
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Darlene Ruiz—Future Organic Farmer Grantee

As a small farm business owner, Darlene Ruiz has always wanted to promote organic agriculture through education. She does this both through her own family farm, as well as through her educational pursuits. “My goal is to connect people to their food sources and to connect people through food by creating opportunities to share knowledge and create memories which can make lasting impacts that benefit the community well-being and our environment.” 

Ruiz is currently putting this goal into action by studying for her basic crop inspection training through the IOIA, or the International Organic Inspectors Association. This certification allows her to become an organic inspector and to continue educating the public about the importance of organic agriculture practices. “I am strengthening my background in organic production, crop systems, integrated pest management, soil science, finance, and winemaking as I aim to be well-rounded. I would like to not only educate the public about the importance of organic agriculture practices, but I would also like to contribute by becoming an organic certification inspector.” Additionally, as a bilingual person, she feels that this certification can also help her serve minority farmers who may need additional support. 

The CCOF Foundation’s Future Organic Farmers grant proudly supports Ruiz’s educational path. In the near future, she hopes to purchase land for farming, continue her endeavors as an inspector, and seek additional entrepreneurial pathways, all related to the education and promotion of organic agriculture.  

Applications for the Future Organic Farmers grant are open now until April 19. Visit our website to begin your application and receive funding to offset the costs of gaining an education in organic agriculture, while helping to bridge the gap between farmers aging into retirement and those just entering the field.

The CCOF Foundation empowers organic professionals to grow organic agriculture, which in turn creates a more prosperous, resilient world. 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.