Future Organic Farmers

Meet the CCOF Foundation’s Future Organic Farmer Grantee—Abigail Lazier

Utah native and Future Organic Farmer grantee Abigail Lazier’s earliest memory of farming is of running through her family’s garden as a child and collecting fresh carrots and ripe tomatoes. Lazier credits her family’s garden for planting the seed that propelled her into her organic farming career.

Meet Darlene Ruiz—Future Organic Farmer Grantee

As a small farm business owner, Darlene Ruiz has always wanted to promote organic agriculture through education. She does this both through her own family farm, as well as through her educational pursuits. “My goal is to connect people to their food sources and to connect people through food by creating opportunities to share knowledge and create memories which can make lasting impacts that benefit the community well-being and our environment.” 

Meet a CCOF Foundation Future Organic Farmer Grantee

As a child, Shelia Wambui lived in Kenya with her family, where they tended land, grew their own vegetables, and reared hundreds of chickens and a handful of pigs. She believes it is our responsibility to be ethical stewards for the environment and its inhabitants. Sheila values conscious farming practices because of their effect on all ecosystems. She notes that organic farming, by avoiding the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, reduces harmful exposure to humans and waterways.

Meet a CCOF Foundation Future Organic Farmer Grantee

Connection is the heartbeat of Angie Oliva’s organic journey. “The food is medicine mantra is very important, along with the revitalization of small farm businesses through America. So, when I look at the needs of our nation, and I notice how we’re connected to food, it’s those things that really drive me to be a part of organic farming”. 

Future Organic Farmer’s Story of Organic Passion

Starting the journey into agriculture is no easy feat, and the fear of not knowing enough can be extremely nerve-racking. But for Finley Tevlin, 2023 Future Organic Farmer, this feeling fueled his passion and set him on a quest for knowledge. Tevlin writes, “I have found purpose in farming, and I want to do it for the rest of my life … in a way that supports farmers and ranchers who are growing food in a way that benefits their community and the planet.” Traveling catalyzed his curiosity for organic agriculture. During a cross-country bike trip, he discovered the prevalence of U.S.

From Berrypicker to Organic Farmer—Meet Ismael Perez

Ismael Perez grew up in California’s Central Coast region, a prolific agricultural area that’s well known for producing the vast majority of the United States’ berries, lettuces, artichokes, and other fresh produce. As soon as he graduated high school, Ismael himself got involved in the berry industry by getting a summer job picking raspberries. That summer job rolled into more berrypicking summers, and eventually Ismael was given enough promotions that he was working every day of the week with time off only for attending school at San Jose State University. 

Holistic, Innovative Family Farming With Adam Simonian

“The way we farm—the way I’m farming with my father right now—I have found true beauty in being able to grow high-yielding, great quality food for consumers without the use of chemicals and other practices that the industry has used for so long. I find beauty in that philosophy,” explains Adam Simonian, a fifth-generation farmer from Fowler, California, and recipient of a CCOF Foundation Future Organic Farmers grant.