National Cooperative Grocers Association Donates over $50,000 to Support Future Organic Farmers

(July 25, 2014) Santa Cruz, CA – The CCOF Foundation announced today that it has received a $50,437 donation from the National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA) to support the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund. The fund provides grants to aspiring organic farmers, K-8 teachers who design organic agriculture curriculum for their classrooms, and high school students completing organic projects through Future Farmers of America’s Supervised Agricultural Experience program. The CCOF Foundation established the fund earlier this year.

Cathy Calfo, CCOF Executive Director/CEO, and Melody Meyer, UNFI Vice President of Policy and Industry Relations

“NCGA’s partnership will allow us to double the size of our grant fund in 2015 to provide more opportunities for students of all ages and for their families to learn about organic agriculture,” said Cathy Calfo, CCOF Executive Director/CEO.

Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund partners include the UNFI Foundation, Driscoll’s, Organic Valley’s Farmers Advocating for Organic (FAFO) Fund, and Bradmer Foods. It is a first-of-its-kind collaboration of industry leaders working to address the declining number of farmers in the United States and to promote organic agriculture.

NCGA represents 142 independent food co-ops and over 190 storefronts in 38 states. The donation is made in spirit of its annual Convergence grocery and wellness conference, which this year focused on generative relationships with family farmers. “Given the theme of Convergence this year, the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund was the perfect partner for our event. NCGA, our co-op retailers and our sponsors are proud to contribute to the fund’s important work,” said Kelly Miles, NGCA Purchasing Programs Specialist.

NCGA was able to leverage relationships with manufacturers, suppliers, and other partners to maximize its initial contribution of $20,000. Nearly three-dozen manufacturers pledged additional donations. Totaled, NCGA’s Convergence event generated an impressive donation of $50,437.

The CCOF Foundation congratulates the following 2014 Future Organic Farmer Grant recipients in the higher and vocational education category:

  • Stephanie Ayoub, Michigan State University, Organic Farmer Training Program
  • Emily Barber, Washington State University, Organic Agricultural Systems
  • Carlos Cervantes, California State University, Fresno, Plant Science
  • Octavio Garcia, California State University, Fresno, Plant Science
  • Kristofor Ludvigson, Washington State University, Organic Agricultural Systems
  • Anna Mays, University of Vermont, Farmer Training Program
  • Fernando Mendez, Columbia Basin College, Crop and Soil Sciences
  • Eliza Milio, University of California, Santa Cruz, Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems Farm & Garden Apprenticeship
  • Sarah Spear, Montana State University, Sustainable Food and Bioenergy Systems – Agroecology
  • Madeline Valentine, Michigan State University, Horticulture

The CCOF Foundation is also proud to announce the following 2014 grant recipients in the K-8 category. These teachers will receive grants through a partnership with California Agriculture in the Classroom that help fund classroom projects on organic agriculture:

  • Raelynn Antrim, Ocean Knoll Elementary School, Encinitas, CA
  • Linda Cassady, Paradise Intermediate School, Paradise, CA
  • Diana Chavez, Don Riggio Elementary, Stockton, CA
  • Kevin Hesser, Toyon Middle School, San Andreas, CA
  • Rebecca Newburn, Hall Middle School, Larkspur, CA
  • Susan Moen Nunes, Pacific Coast Charter School, Watsonville, CA
  • Paige Pleasant-Howard, Phillips Elementary School, Napa, CA
  • Barbara Roether, Casa di Mir Montessori School, Campbell, CA
  • Barbara Simpson, Pinewood Elementary School, Pollock Pines, CA
  • Samantha Stuller, Valley Oak Middle School, Visalia, CA

The CCOF Foundation is now accepting contributions to the 2015 Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund. Industry partners are invited to participate in growing the organic movement through this important initiative. For more details on donating to the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, please email

Learn more at



About The CCOF Foundation

CCOF’s mission is to certify, educate, advocate, and promote organic. The CCOF Foundation’s 2014 program priorities include providing direct financial support for future organic farmers, providing hardship assistance grants to organic producers, offering technical assistance to organic producers, and promoting public education about the benefits of organic foods and agriculture. CCOF (California Certified Organic Farmers) represents 2,700 organic producers, handlers, and processors.



Robin Boyle, CCOF Director of Marketing and Sales
Author contact information: 

2155 Delaware Ave, Suite 150
Santa Cruz, CA 95060