Future Organic Farmers program

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Meet Happy Valley Elementary School & Get Involved with the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund

Happy Valley Elementary School
Happy Valley Elementary School in Santa Cruz, California received a grant for the entire school population of 152 K-6 grade students to participate in the planting, care, and eating of an organic salad. Each grade was responsible for growing one part of the salad from seed to harvest: kindergarten students grew carrots, first-grade students grew spinach, second-grade students grew lettuce, third-grade students grew beets, a combo class of fourth- and fifth-grade students grew radishes, and a combo class of fifth- and sixth-grade students grew celery.

Meet Ignacio Mendoza & Get Involved with the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund

Ignacio Mendoza
Ignacio Mendoza is the first in his family to graduate from high school and attend college. Mendoza is a senior at California State University, Fresno majoring in plant science with the intention of becoming a Pest Control Adviser (PCA), Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) and continue his passion of farming. Mendoza is a member of CCOF and has helped his father grow delicious organic strawberries on the Central Coast. 
His motivation for further education is to discover, understand, and improve the world we live in.

Meet Isaac Watkins & Get Involved with the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund

My FFA Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) will be selling organic heirloom starts—including numerous varieties of tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, watermelon, squash, cucumbers, basil, and others—to people in our area, as an alternative to what is commercially sold to consumers at large national retailers. However, I need a complete greenhouse for my SAE. Our farm has everything in place for one: electricity, water, and frames. I only need to install plastic, end walls, and build tables for seed trays.

Meet Jacob Schreiber: A CCOF Foundation Future Organic Farmer

Jacob Schreiber
My Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) project plan is to purchase two of my father's organically-bred raised heifers to start my own herd. 
My father has been raising organic beef for over 10 years. The beef is grass fed, and all the rations meet organic standards with the corn in the ration being organically grown. The beef is marketed as organically raised and most are sold privately to people who take them to the locker plant. 

Meet Jacob Schrieber & Get Involved with the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund

My plan for my FFA Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) project is to expand my organic beef herd. I now have two bred cows and two six-month-old calves, which run with my father's organic beef. I want to purchase a registered Black Angus bull to breed my Hereford cattle, which will give me the benefit of heterosis as I work towards an all crossbred commercial organic herd. My cattle are on grass all summer with salt and mineral blocks. They get certified organic ground corn and corn silage in the winter from an organic crop farm thirty miles away.

Meet James Harris: A CCOF Foundation Future Organic Farmer

James Harris
UC Santa Cruz, Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems Apprenticeship – California

Meet Janice Fama & Get Involved with the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund

Janice Fama ran a farm for seven years on remediated soil, where she grew and sold organic fruit, vegetables, annuals, perennials, and organic eggs. Fama wants to pursue a career in organic agriculture because she believes restoring the valuable microenvironment of the soil is one of the most important challenges of our time. She believes that revitalizing and restoring our farmland is crucial to continue to feed people globally. The more Fama learns about organic sustainable practices, the more she feels the need to teach people of all walks of life how to grow their own food.

Meet Jaynie Miller: A CCOF Foundation Future Organic Farmer

Jaynie Miller grew up in rural Michigan, where she spent much of her time outdoors, leading her to develop a deep love of the natural world. Later, as a college student in sustainability studies in the Sierra Nevada mountains, she discovered organic agriculture while volunteering one Saturday morning on a small farm. While peeling garlic on the farm, she had what she describes as her first and only major epiphany, realizing that farming could be a career that provides a meaningful bridge between modern life and the natural world. She has been farming ever since.

Meet Jennie Wagner: A CCOF Foundation Future Organic Farmer

Jennie Wagner

Jennie Wagner
North Carolina State University, Plant and Soil Science with an Agroecology Minor – North Carolina

Meet Jesse Cruz: A CCOF Foundation Future Organic Farmer

Jesse Cruz
Mira Costa Junior College, Horticulture – California

After graduating high school in New Jersey in 2003, Jesse enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. He spent eight years in the Marine Corps from 2003-11, during which he served a six-month tour of duty in Iraq.


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