-Organic Farmer Scholarships-
Did you know that according to the 2012 USDA Farming Census, the average age of a US Farmer is 58 years old. That means that in less than 10 years more than half of America's farmers will retire. Did you also know that less than 1% of all US farms are certified organic? Educating our next generation of farmers is becoming a priority. If we want chemical free, healthy food, our focus needs to be on supporting organic farmers. In the past, most farmers were educated at their parents' side, inheriting the farm along with the knowledge to run it. Those days have passed. Now farmers' children go to college and become lawyers, doctors and accountants. We need more young folks going to school to learn how to be farmers. Michigan State University has one of the few programs in the United States that is training new organic farmers.
In 2015 we started an annual scholarship program to help pay for at least one new farmer to go through the Organic Farmer Training Program at MSU each year. So far we have sponsored Nick Iafano, Daniel Moffat, Antonia Cosme and Giina Aguilar De La Cruz. They are our next generation of new organic farmers.
2018 New Farmer Scholarship recipient
Aliza manages four school gardens in Lansing and spends her days gardening, cooking and eating with over 1,000 awesome K-6th graders. When she's not leading worm hunting expeditions with her favorite students, Aliza can also be found playing the drums or getting cozy by the wood stove with her three cuddly pups.
Joannée attended MSU's Organic Farming Training Program (OFTP) in 2010 and that education helped in the founding of Stone Coop Farm. In this video, Joannée DeBruhl speaks about her education through the OFTP and what farming has come to mean to her: