Education for farmers in organic, sustainable and resilient farming systems

Photo courtesy of Practical Farmers of Iowa

Ceres Trust supports organizations of farmers that are creating, from the ground up, organic, sustainable, equitable and resilient farming systems. There is no substitute for the knowledge exchanged between farmers working in similar ecological, community, sociopolitical, and market conditions. Farmers must have ready access to learning opportunities and hands–on resources, including scientific research, cultural knowledge, best practices and tangible support.

Ceres Trust is honored to learn from grantee partners about the ancestral and more recent research, practices and farming solutions that produce healthy food while nourishing the land and ecosystems upon which we all depend. Most Ceres Trust grantee partners are organizations led by farmers and those who have worked the land for generations, and those who seek to revitalize and amplify Indigenous food ways and land management systems to restore and sustain ecosystems and communities. Ceres Trust partnerships are primarily in the upper Midwest, the San Joaquin Valley of California, and Hawai’i – along with efforts that provide support for small–scale farmers more broadly.

Due to the significant undue influence of multinational agrichemical and seed corporations on the public educational system within the United States, formal agricultural educational systems largely emphasize research and reliance on proprietary products that are the primary tools of high input, industrial agricultural production geared toward contract agriculture and export systems, rather than sustainable and ecological farming systems. It is within this context, in particular, that farmer–led research and knowledge exchanges, support systems and organizing – along with public and independent scientists who work in collaboration with farmers and Indigenous people, are key to a transformation to resilient farming, food ways, and rural communities.

Organic Taro Farming with Chris Kobayashi & Demetri Rivera

Stories from the Field

Organic Farming Research Foundation Materials

Organic Farming Research Foundation Video
Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) has produced a five-minute about how organic farmers are caring for the soil, and how this addresses climate change. The video highlights voices from the south and can be seen here. Also, OFRF has created soil health guidebooks, webinars, past reports, and their new “Basics of Organic Farming” course, available on their education page for free.
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The Cultural Conservancy Hosts a Powerful Gathering

The Cultural Conservancy meeting
In August 2019, we were honored to host a powerful gathering of Elders, Traditional Knowledge Holders, Native youth, farmers and community allies to come together and listen to the land... the gathering quickly became a space rich with the revitalization of language, traditional knowledge systems, Native sciences and land relationships.
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Garden Warrior Alumna Joins the Dream of Wild Health team

Dream of Wild Health
In 2019 Dream of Wild Health hired their first Garden Warrior alumna, Faith Gronda, to the Dream of Wild Health team as a seed intern. Faith had participated in the Garden Warriors and Youth Leaders programs at Dream of Wild Health for several years before applying to be an employee at Dream of Wild Health to help teach the younger generations of youth at the farm during the 2019 summer.
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Solidarity Farm/Pauma Tribal Farms awarded California’s Climate Smart Farm of the Year

CAFF Awards
Solidarity Farm, in partnership with the Pauma Band of Luiseno Indians, have transformed their farming operation into a working, outdoor laboratory for a variety of new and rediscovered techniques to combat climate change.
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Climate Justice Alliance

Climate Justice Alliance (CJA) project
CJA's Our Power Loan Fund was developed as a vehicle through which to move capital away from the extractive economy and into a regenerative economy that shifts control to the people, advances ecological restoration, drives racial and social equity, and relocalizes most production and consumption.
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Practical Farmers of Iowa

Practical Farmers of Iowa workshop
PFI uses farmer-led investigation and information sharing to help farmers practice an agriculture that benefits both the land and people. Their values include: welcoming everyone; creativity, collaboration, and community; viable farms now and for future generations; and stewardship and ecology.
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Ecology Action

Ecology Action Workshop
A key component of Ecology Action’s mission is to catalyze education and training opportunities in sustainable food production in communities around the world. The result: people in 151 countries around the globe are using the method in virtually all climates and soils where food is grown.
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Hmong American Farmers Association

Hmong American Farmers Association
In 2011, a group of Hmong American farming families formed the Hmong American Farmers Association (HAFA) because they believed the best people to support Hmong farmers are Hmong farmers themselves and that we are all lifted up when those who are affected by an unfair food system lead the change we seek.
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Hui o Kūapa

The first nonprofit organization in the world to focus its efforts on the restoration of loko i‘a, traditional Hawaiian fishponds. Through the tireless work of Hui o Kūapa, there are numerous organizations that do similar work across Hawaii, a hui (group) of fishpond practitioners that work as a collection for the restoration of fishponds, and a program that works to revitalize these traditional aquaculture systems.
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Ecología y Población Workshops

A successful GROW BIOINTENSIVE farm in Latin America
Ecology Action’s primary Latin American partner organization, Ecología y Población, has continued a full schedule of GROW BIOINTENSIVE activities in many countries across Latin America and in Europe.
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Increasing Production, Building Topsoil

grow biointensive mini-farm
Ecology Action's GROW BIOINTENSIVE enables small-scale farms and farmers to significantly increase food production and income, utilize predominantly local, renewable resources and decrease expense and energy inputs while building fertile topsoil at a rate 60 times faster than in nature.
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