Tilth Producers Programs
Tilth Producers is the leading advocate for organic and sustainable farming in Washington. We educate farmers, further organic research and advocate for policy that safeguards food, family farms and the good green earth.
Our annual conference convenes more than 600 organic growers, students, researchers, advocates and businesses to teach successful farming practices, inform growers of the latest research, develop policy platforms, facilitate an intergenerational transfer of knowledge and build effective partnerships to strengthen Washington’s organic agriculture sector.
Tilth Producers popular Farm Walk series brings beginning and expert farmers together throughout the growing season to learn about innovative organic farm practices and business models. Farm Walks take place at farms across the state and each one features a unique topic that demonstrates successful methods. Agricultural research faculty is also on hand to disseminate the latest in organic research to growers.
We offer a variety of hands-on workshops and new this year are on-farm “crop mobs”, similar to an old fashioned barn raising whereby beginning farmers assist with an all-day project to learn new skills. Inexperienced farm owners are paired with veteran growers to ensure information and knowledge is transferred to the next generation.
Each September Tilth Producers hosts Washington Organic Week. WOW! educates thousands of Puget Sound consumers about the benefits of local organic agriculture to their family, community and environmental health. We partner with grocers, restaurants and others to celebrate Washington’s organic growers and promote local organic farm products. We host fun and educational events, distribute educational material at retail outlets and generate media coverage of organic agriculture’s faces and stories.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
Tilth Producers is proud of its long-time commitment to the organic industry. We recently organized a workshop to raise funds for organic research and provided testimony for the continuance of research that supports Washington State’s tree fruit growers. We continue to partner with other organizations to ensure our members have access to valuable information and opportunities that help them succeed.
There is no shortage of potential educational programming that would benefit Washington’s organic and sustainable growers. We are fortunate to have so many young and beginning farmers in Washington, and Tilth Producers continues to be the go-to organization for educational and networking needs. Our challenge is ensuring new growers have access to the teachings of experienced growers. Tilth Producers has a long wish list of program concepts to help meet our challenges, most of which require additional organizational capacity to implement. We would like to offer more on-farm experiences for the public and develop programming to educate consumers year-round. Implementation of research results is often critical to the economic success of growers; a research program position would allow us to develop a steady source of revenue for organic agriculture research. Many of the policy issues we track are important not only to growers but to consumers as well: farm to school programs, food safety, animal welfare, land use, farmers markets, GMOs and more. Our members and the community as a whole would benefit from a Tilth Producers policy staffer to develop, monitor and respond to legislative and policy initiatives that affect organic and sustainable farmers and consumers.