Meet Deseree Fontenot: A CCOF Foundation Future Organic Farmer

Response times may be slow due to the wildfires affecting Santa Cruz County and Covid-19. Organic compliance deadlines and inspections will be delayed for businesses affected by these crises. Read the latest updates on the Northern California wildfires, and visit our Covid-19 webpage to find pandemic-specific information »

Los tiempos de respuesta serán lentos debido a los incendios forestales afectando al condado de Santa Cruz y COVID-19. Los plazos de cumplimiento orgánico y las inspecciones se retrasarán para los negocios afectados por estas crisis.  Lea las últimas actualizaciones sobre los incendios forestales del norte de California y visite nuestra página web de Covid-19 para encontrar información específica a la pandemia »

The Future Organic Farmer Grant winners were judged to have the strongest combination of commitment to leading a lifelong career in organic agriculture, investment and participation in the organic community, and dedication to growing the organic movement. Each grant recipient will receive $2,500 to apply toward their studies in organic agriculture. 

Find out how to apply for your own Future Organic Farmer Grant.

Learn more about supporting the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund through a donation.

Deseree Fontenot is a scholar, activist and budding farmer rooted in Oakland, California by way of Eunice, Louisiana. She is currently an apprentice at the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems’ ecological horticulture program at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Fontenot holds an interdisciplinary Master of Arts degree in social transformation from Pacific School of Religion, where she focused on ecological technologies, African-diasporic spiritual traditions, and geographic histories of food and land-based movements. She is passionate about transforming relationships to food, land, and place by addressing land access, pathways to ownership, and creating more educational farm sites and farmer training programs led by Black, Latino/a, Asian, Pacific Islander, and indigenous growers and educators.

As a descendant of three generations of rural Louisiana sharecroppers, Fontenot is passionate about building the next generation of activist-farmers who are committed to strengthening movements for food justice and community self-determination. She intends to be a part of making organic agriculture a radically inclusive sector by using her skills as a farmer, scholar, and activist to build bridges between organic food industries and grassroots food and land-based movements.

Congratulations Deseree!

Please join us in congratulating the recipients of the CCOF Foundation’s Future Organic Farmer Grants.

The Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund 2017 grants were made possible by the generous support of CCOF, the UNFI Foundation, the CCOF Processor/Handler Chapter, the Clif Bar Family Foundation, Dr. Bronner’s, Driscoll’s, Duncan Family Farms, Frey Vineyards, Frontier Co-op, Heath & Lejeune, Gary and Meg Hirshberg, Lost Republic Distilling Co., Organic Valley, SunRidge Farms, and True Organic Products, Inc. Thank you to these organizations for helping us inspire the next generation of organic farmers!

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Today, less than 1% of America’s farmland is organic, and farmers who want to transition their land face a long and costly process. Hear from CCOF's CEO Kelly Damewood about what we're doing to address this challenge:

One percent