Meet 2020 Future Organic Farmers Grant Recipient Lynn Batten!
Hawaii is a state with a biodiverse ecosystem and a strong heritage of caring for and connecting to the earth. Lynn Batten, a Native Hawaiian, seeks to continue this care by combining her passion for the community with stewardship of the land to help further the goal of creating a more responsible, sustainable, and people-oriented food system.
Batten is currently studying for her bachelor’s degree in political science and sustainable community food systems at the University of West O’ahu. A combination of her classroom education, hands-on field experience, and work on the land with fellow students and community members is her recipe for success. “I envision my future goal to increase sustainable food systems and organic farming starting from my community while impacting/influencing the rest of the islands of Hawaii and the rest of the world to look into food systems that support biodiversity, ecosystems, and natural resources that support political, social, and economic change within our current systems.” For Batten, this means growing organically to create a “symbiotic relationship between Earth and human.”
Batten believes her training in organic farming is the best way to increase knowledge of the multidisciplinary aspects of the food system, and in turn, bring that knowledge and understanding to her local community. The Farm2Fork program at MA’O Organic Farms, where Batten is an apprentice, does just that, providing a platform where she can foster a “community exchange for students and visitors through place-based learning (teaching concept of mālama/aloha ʻāina (taking care/love land) and to grow ʻai Pono (good food).” By utilizing the farm not only as a place to grow food but as a learning space for the community as well, Batten strives to create a holistic approach to organic farming in the local community and to strengthen people’s relationship to the land.
Last year was the first time that the CCOF Foundation supported Batten’s career in organic agriculture. Batten plans to complete her degree at the University of West O’ahu in political science and sustainable community food systems. She is the lead coordinator for the Farm2Fork program and was recently hired for the MA’O Farm Management Apprenticeship program. The CCOF Foundation congratulates and wishes the best to Lynn Batten during her upcoming studies in 2021!
Applications for CCOF’s Future Organic Farmer are open now and close on May 14. Find out more and apply at the Future Organic Farmers website now!