Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund

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Meet Deseree Fontenot: A CCOF Foundation Future Organic Farmer

Deseree Fontenot is a scholar, activist and budding farmer rooted in Oakland, California by way of Eunice, Louisiana. She is currently an apprentice at the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems’ ecological horticulture program at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Meet Dylan Hopma & Get Involved with the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund

Dylan
My Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) project is organic vegetable production. My garden currently produces 200 pounds of produce each summer, and I recently expanded my garden to include shiitake mushrooms. My mushrooms gave me 15 pounds of produce this past summer.  I'd like to increase my mushroom production so I can sell at the local farmers’ market. I can use the logs for approximately six years and after a one year wait for the first crop, I will be able to harvest mushrooms twice a year.

Meet El Vista Elementary School & Get Involved with the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund

El Vista Elementary School
Third through sixth grade students at El Vista School received a grant to learn about organically and conventionally grown fruit and vegetables. They compared the look, taste, and smell of the fruit and vegetables, researched both farming practices, and visited a conventional farm and an organic farm. Ninety eight percent of El Vista School’s student body receives reduced or free lunch and many of its students do not get the chance to eat fresh fruits and vegetables, even though they live in a farming region.

Meet Elda Garcia & Get Involved with the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund

Elda Garcia
Elda Garcia was born in Guadalajara, Mexico but grew up in Puerto Vallarta. She has fond memories of working on her grandmother’s watermelon farm over the summers during her youth. At age 20, Garcia immigrated to the United States. Like many newly arrived immigrants in California, she found work in agriculture.

Meet Emilie Clarke & Get Involved with the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund

Emilie Clarke
Emilie Clarke is a student at Cabrillo College in Santa Cruz, California studying horticulture with a focus in organic crop production. Due to the inclusive and supportive nature of the Santa Cruz community, working at farmers’ markets and involving herself in farming and ecological opportunities has led her to meeting some of the most inspirational organic farmers in all three surrounding counties.

Meet Emilio Otontiopa: A CCOF Foundation Future Organic Farmer

Emilio Otontiopa was born on a ranch in Hildago, Mexico and began farming at age 11 growing beans, corn, cilantro, and squash. He immigrated to the United States when he was 19, and did irrigation for large farms. He went on to be an artichoke harvester, which was very hard work.

Meet Erin Franey & Get Involved with the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund

Erin Franey
Erin Franey is honored to be part of the CCOF farmer community as a second season apprentice at Rainshadow Organics, a 200-acre full-diet farm in central Oregon. Her interest in farming is rooted in a boundless curiosity in food systems, food culture, and a commitment to building a more just and equitable world. She has worked as a community organizer, director of an international youth leadership program, and most recently at a cooking and nutrition education nonprofit in San Francisco.

Meet Fidel Lazaro: A CCOF Foundation Future Organic Farmer

Fidel Lazaro was born in San Jose las Flores, an indigenous village in Putla, Oaxaca, and grew up on his grandmother's cattle and goat ranch. He also farmed his own land for five years while living in San Jose de Flores. When he was 18, Lazaro moved to the United States and spent eight years working in landscaping and 22 years as a harvester on a large organic farm.

Meet Gabriela Verdusco & Get Involved with the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund

Gabriela Verdusco
My name is Gabriela Verdusco. I'm am from Le Grand CA, a small town in the Central Valley. After high school I attended Merced Community College to obtain my Associates in general agriculture while working for the Le Grand High agricultural department as a teacher’s aide. I also spent a significant amount of time on my family’s almond orchard assisting my dad with day to day chores. After attending my junior college, I transferred to CSU Chico to pursue a degree in Animal Science.

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