Raymond Barsch, 2021 Future Organic Farmers grant recipient, grew up in Sacramento in a family with a passion for farming and exotic plants. Following a lifelong dream of farming, Barsch’s family purchased land with the intention of growing organically. “My dad liked the idea of organic, and I researched a little bit. I was like, oh yeah! And as we started actually doing it, there's a lot of struggles, but it turned out being a lot of fun for me. Everyone needs to eat; we all know this. But after seeing the smiles of my friends after having tasted my produce, I knew I needed to be the one to grow their food.” Initially inspired by his family’s passion for organic farming, Barsch now studies plant sciences at the University of California, Davis. There, he learns sustainable organic practices that he will incorporate into his own farm and expands his understanding of the complex and dynamic farming profession.
The intersection of taste and environmentally friendly practices is what drives Barsch’s studies and fieldwork. “One of the big motivations for me is eating. I love eating, and I love fruits and vegetables. And one big thing for me is, when you grow something organically, it is just so clean, so fresh, so nice. We are bringing smiles to people's faces and knowing that you're doing something that's helping improve the world.”
With the support of the CCOF Foundation’s Future Organic Farmers grant, Barsch prepares for his future in farming with courses ranging from plant sciences to biology and math. With the goal of improving organic food access, Barsch wants to use his science and math skills to better understand and advance research tools, experimentation, and organic farming methods. “Using modern technologies, sustainable practices, and organic growing methods, I have a dream to bring premium produce at an affordable price to everyone.” Thinking outside of the typical course load with this winning combination will give Barsch unique insights into crop modeling and biostatistical applications that will be useful for his own farm in the future.
This is the first year that the CCOF Foundation supported Raymond Barsch’s career in organic agriculture. Barsch plans to finish his senior year this year in the department of plant sciences at the University of California, Davis, and continue his formal education while working on his family farm. The CCOF Foundation congratulates and wishes the best to Raymond Barsch with his studies in 2022!
Find out more about this grant fund from CCOF on the Future Organic Farmers website now!