Meagan Farrell, 2021 Future Organic Farmer grant recipient, was born and raised on a dairy farm in Wisconsin. To broaden her knowledge and build on her heritage, Farrell has enrolled in the Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship program at the Managed Grazing Innovation Center to help steer the family farm toward organic production. Farrell continues her in-depth learning of managed grazing production systems, farm business management, and conservation stewardship that will help propel the family farm toward changes that can increase production and soil health.
With a financial boost from the CCOF Foundation, Farrell is diving deeply into these techniques and goals in order to fully integrate them into her farm: “We utilize our land in a way to increase production, decrease costs, minimize labor, increase safety, and optimize soil health. We pride ourselves on being good stewards to the land by practicing management-intensive grazing and no-till drilling on our forage fields.” Through classwork, Farrell enhances her knowledge base and also has access to mentorship and other resources for adapting study into practical, hands-on applications, with real results. She explains, “the 80 acres of rented land came to us as conventional crop fields. When we took over that land, I was able to literally watch dirt turn into soil by following our same organic practices.”
The education and mentorship support from the Managed Grazing Innovation Center, paired with the financial resources and community support from CCOF, have only accentuated Farrell’s strength and drive to maintain her family dairy farm as organic. The CCOF Foundation is proud to support students immersing themselves in organic practices, who in turn bolster our organic farming community through healthy food and land stewardship.
This is the first year that the CCOF Foundation supported Meagan Farrell’s career in organic agriculture. Farrell plans to finish her training program through the Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship and continue to manage her dairy farm organically. The CCOF Foundation congratulates and wishes the best to Meagan Farrell with her studies!
Find out more about the Future Organic Farmers grant fund from CCOF on the Future Organic Farmers website now! Applications will be accepted from March 15 through April 15, 2022.