I first met Rhyne Cureton at the “We Are Organic” CCOF Foundation dinner. He was the guest speaker as a CCOF Foundation 2018 grant recipient. He grew up in Charlotte, NC and attended North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.
I recently interviewed him. I first asked him to share what prompted him to choose agriculture as his career, and he said, “I always had an interest in working with animals. So, I transferred to A&T as an animal science major. I came to realize that agriculture is basically the fundamentals of human survival of civilization. It’s the background of all economics—the bread and butter of civilization. Agriculture isn’t just about farming; it’s about economics, energy research, education. It encompasses everything we do—whether it’s the clothes on your back, your housing and especially what you eat.” Continue reading →
This is the second of a two part interview with Gary Hirshberg. He has worked tirelessly for years building a better food system. He’s followed his heart to encompass a love for the planet and its people. From building a business with seven cows, his heart has driven his mission. Tirelessly defending people from toxic chemicals, protecting the environment all the while selling some darn good yogurt, propels him still tirelessly to this day.
With his accomplishments and accolades in hand many like him would have sauntered off into the sunset of retirement. But Gary keeps pressing and driving hard for a better tomorrow. With such passionate energy I had to sit down and ask him: “Why do you do it?” Continue reading →
I have been honored to be the Executive Director for the UNFI Foundation since its inception in 2012. Early on my board asked me how we could bring together like-minded Foundations to make a larger impact in our priority areas, together as a community.
I began holding monthly calls with other funders who supported organic agriculture and we all coalesced around the idea of fostering new organic farmers. We were concerned that the average age of the US farmer was over 65 and we knew that organic farming provided a clear path to prosperity.
When Cathy Calfo from the CCOF Foundation joined those funders’ calls she immediately resonated with the idea. How could we make a difference and grow the next generation of organic farmers? Continue reading →
Pei-Yee Woo is the Associate Director of Kitchen Table Advisors (KTA), a non-profit organization helping organic farmers access the tools, knowledge and resources they need to build viable businesses. I had the pleasure of speaking with her to learn more about how they help beginning farmers. Continue reading →
In response to my blog earlier in the week I sat down with the Coalition for Sustainable Organics (CSO) . They’re a group of growers committed to maintaining the USDA’s current high standards for certifying organic produce. They advocate for the continued allowance of containerized growing methods under the National Organic Program while enabling growers to select the most appropriate production system for their specific site and commodity needs.
They believe that everyone deserves organic produce, and growers must continue to find ways within the organic framework to expand supply.
Lee Frankel is the Executive Director of CSO. He recently elaborated on the current state of hydroponic and container growing in the US organic standards and the movements to create additional add-on labels in the organic marketplace. Continue reading →