Meet Jesse Cruz: A CCOF Foundation Future Organic Farmer

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.

Jesse Cruz
Mira Costa Junior College, Horticulture – California

After graduating high school in New Jersey in 2003, Jesse enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. He spent eight years in the Marine Corps from 2003-11, during which he served a six-month tour of duty in Iraq.

During his final year in the Marines, Jesse began to consider his transition into the civilian sector and what he was going to do for a career after the time he spent in the military. At the same time, he underwent personal shifts in his attitude towards food, health, and the politics surrounding those issues.

By watching documentary films and reading books and articles, he educated himself on the growing organic movement in the country and subsequently enrolled at San Diego City College to study sustainable urban agriculture.

Since then, Jesse has taken courses at San Diego-based Wild Willow Farm and Education Center and Archi’s Acres. Jesse has also been working on an organic aquaponics farm and Edge of Urban organic farm in Vista, California. Most recently, he has returned to school in an effort to complete and obtain his associate’s degree in Horticulture and Crop Production from Mira Costa Community College in Oceanside, California.

Jesse’s dream is to eventually create a space that not only cultivates healthy food and herbal medicines, but is also a thriving community and ecosystem. A business that supports and enriches his family and community for generations to come is his ideal career.

Congratulations Jesse!

Please join us in congratulating the vocational and higher education recipients of the CCOF Foundation’s 2015 Future Organic Farmer Grants.


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:

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