Like many first generation farmers, Joannée DeBruhl came to agriculture in a roundabout way. After being laid off, Joannée and a few friends started a community garden to benefit Gleaner’s Community Food Bank. The success of this project ignited Joannée’s deep passion for agriculture and her desire to become a full-time farmer. Recognizing her need for a more formal agricultural education, Joannée enrolled in the MSU Student Organic Farms’ Organic Farmer Training Program (OFTP) in 2010. In the OFTP, she spent 9 months immersing herself in the nuances of growing healthy, organic plants and running a farm business.
After graduating from the OFTP, a fortuitous partnership allowed Joannee to pursue her dreams and establish Stone Coop Farm. Today, the philanthropic and community roots of her original agricultural endeavor shine at Stone Coop Farm. The farm strives to be more than a place where produce is carefully tended. Through cooking and gardening classes, farm-to-table dinners, and farm tours, Stone Coop Farm has become a space for connection, community building, and giving back.
One of the most notable community events at Stone Coop is their New Farmer Scholarship Dinner. This farm-to-table event helps fund the education of a least one new farmer enrolled in the MSU Student Organic Farm OFTP. This scholarship makes farming a more accessible career path for young people; something that is critical to all of our futures. As our environment and food system change, we need more young people stepping up to the plate to get involved in sustainable, regenerative, and innovative forms of agriculture. This scholarship helps make that possible. In its third year, the scholarship has funded three OFTP graduates. This year, the scholarship dinner is supporting its fourth farmer.
Stone Coop Farm would love to welcome you to the farm to support the next generation of organic growers. Stone Coop Farm’s Third Annual New Farmer Scholarship Dinner will be held Saturday August 26th from 5- 10 PM. Tickets are $100 per person and 100% of the proceeds go to the scholarship fund. This year’s featured chefs include:
Matt Tulpa – Salt & Saffron
Eirik Kauserund – La Vita Bistro & Go Taco
Joseph Gardner – Rocky’s of Northville
Matt Currie – Republic Tavern
Allie Lyttle – Parks and Rec Diner
To learn more and to register: New Farmer Scholarship Dinner
Kelly Wilson is the local food coordinator for SE Michigan. She also operates Simple Gifts Farm in Oxford, MI and is a registered Dietitian. Contact her at [email protected]