Ulises Castillo, 2021 Future Organic Farmers grant recipient, grew up on farms and has been involved in agriculture for as long as he can remember. Within the agriculture industry, Castillo has gained hands-on experience, primarily with berries and apples, in diverse positions ranging from harvesting to irrigation and packaging. Seeking to formalize his knowledge, Castillo enrolled in Cabrillo College’s horticulture and crop production degree program to bolster his holistic understanding of farming organically.
Castillo’s awareness of the benefits of organic—including how growing organically helps to restore soil health and reduce chemical impacts—has shaped his ambitions for what he’ll do after receiving his degree. “My ultimate goal is to be able to acquire land and farm organically in order to not only provide healthier food for the consumers but to help the ecology in the community.” Castillo’s extensive firsthand work in agriculture, coupled with his current studies both in the classroom and as a student–farmer at the college’s organic farm, is setting him up for future successes on his own farm.
This is the first year that the CCOF Foundation supported Ulises Castillo’s career and deeper growth in the organic agriculture field. Castillo plans to finish his associate degree in horticulture and crop production with an emphasis on organic agriculture at Cabrillo College and pursue a career in organics, with the ultimate dream of owning his own fully organic operation. The CCOF Foundation congratulates and wishes the best to Ulises Castillo with his studies in 2022!
Find out more about the Future Organic Farmers Grant fund from CCOF on the Future Organic Farmers website.