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NORWAY, IOWA (September 14, 2010) - Evelyn Rosas is one of three dozen aspiring organic farmers planting, cultivating and harvesting organic botanicals on a 25-acre farm at the University of California Santa Cruz. What distinguishes Rosas is how she got there. She’s able to participate in this apprenticeship thanks to the Simply Organic Scholarship Award for the Apprenticeship in Ecological Horticulture at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
As the first winner of this newly endowed scholarship, Rosas is already planning how she’ll incorporate her experience at UCSC into her dream of making organic foods accessible and affordable to low-income populations. In her opinion, locating an organic farm and/or farmer’s market near low-income neighborhoods encourages positive neighborhood interactions and provides healthy food alternatives to the cheap fast food that is contributing to the health crisis of poor nutrition.
Rosas spent several years working at internships around the Austin area and saw first-hand the challenges of getting healthy organic food to low-income populations. Having witnessed the immense community impact of City Farm, a nonprofit urban farm, and Urban Roots, a nonprofit youth program on a farm, helped develop her community and ethical goals.
“I intend on being near an urban center, focusing on growing and providing affordable, accessible, organic food for all income levels,” says Rosas, adding, “What’s better than pesticide-free and chemical-free food grown with love?”
Since the establishment of this scholarship award in perpetuity back in December of 2009, Simply Organic and Frontier Natural Products Co-op™ have made a combined contribution of $130,000 to the UCSC Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems.
“This is the premier sustainable and organic training program in the U.S.,” says Kathy Larson, Vice President of Sustainability at Frontier. “During my visit in August 2009, I was impressed with the quality of the program – and even more so with the apprentices enrolled in the program. Our scholarship empowers a new generation of sustainable agricultural leaders, who otherwise might not have the opportunity to participate in advanced training and contribute as fully to the organic community.”
Each year, one apprentice will receive tuition assistance to learn organic farming techniques, develop and evaluate new ideas to tackle issues of inequality in the food system, and integrate social and natural science research, academic and experiential education, and public service to transform the food system. The Frontier Foundation™ donated $60,000, while the remaining $70,000 came from the Simply Organic One Percent Fund (SO1%), which is generated by one percent of sales on all Simply Organic products.
SO1% supports organizations and events that further education, training and growth in the organic industry. “Each time you buy a Simply Organic spice, seasoning or mix, you make a small contribution that, when combined with many others, provides significant support to organizations and projects that research, develop, teach and promote organic agriculture,” says Kory Kazimour, Simply Organic Senior Brand Manager.
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Simply Organic®, an all-organic brand from Frontier Natural Products Co-op™, offers an extensive and growing selection of certified organic spices, seasonings and baking flavors while supporting organic agriculture around the globe. By providing the best available organic seasonings and donating one percent of sales to organic farming causes, Simply Organic genuinely offers "a way to eat, the way to live." Find out more about Simply Organic at www.simplyorganic.com.
Frontier Natural Products Co-op™
Founded in 1976 and based in Norway, Iowa, Frontier Natural Products Co-op™ offers a full line of natural and organic products under the Frontier, Simply Organic®, Aura Cacia® and Aura Cacia Organics® brands. Products include culinary herbs, spices and baking flavors; bulk herbs and spices; and natural and organic aromatherapy products. Frontier's goal is to provide consumers with the highest-quality organic and natural products while supporting and promoting social and environmental responsibility. For more information, visit Frontier's website at www.frontiercoop.com.