Meet Makshya Tolbert & Get Involved with the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund

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.

Makshya Tolbert
Organic farming is a trade and lifestyle that naturally lends itself to storytelling. Makshya Tolbert first found that to be true as an undergrad, studying the intersection of nature poetry and black history and wanting to write poems that expressed the intimacy between the two. Tolbert began learning to grow food on campus farms and gardens and felt empowered to write about her experiences. She was eager to fill the gap of women of color farmers, striving to reassert our multidimensional roles across the environment. Since then, Tolbert has met black farmers, ranchers, beekeepers, and thru-hikers, all of whom are everyday manifestations of what it means to tend closely to the land. Finally, farming has taught her to love working with her hands. 
 
What began with organic farming at Stanford has evolved into seeing herself as a cook and potter who feels most empowered when her hands are wedging, blending, kneading, and carving. Beyond her months as an apprentice, Tolbert is planning to continue crafting a career that integrates her passions for storytelling and farming with her emerging work with food and clay.
 
Congratulations Makshya!
 
Please join us in congratulating the recipients of the CCOF Foundation’s Future Organic Farmer Grants.

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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