Oregon Tilth Educates
Oregon State University’s Center for Small Farms and Community Food Systems with funding from the USDA’s Risk Management Agency helped develop these instructional videos regarding costing basics for multi crop vegetable farms.
We work to make our food and agriculture biologically sound and socially equitable. When Oregon Tilth started out, sustainable agriculture and organic weren’t familiar buzzwords. Forty years later, our core initiatives of certification, education, and advocacy continue to shape food systems that benefit people and planet, together.
In 1974, farmer-poet Wendell Berry spoke at the “Agriculture for a Small Planet” symposium in Spokane, Wash. He said, “If we allow another generation to pass without doing what is necessary to enhance and embolden the possibility of strong agricultural communities, we will lose it altogether.” A few months later, our organization was born.
Oregon Tilth was founded on the far-reaching idea that our food and agriculture should be equitable and sustainable. It began as a fringe movement. Now, it almost feels (almost) mainstream. But there is a lot more work left to do. We’re ready to push on as a community builder, nonprofit leader, informed educator, and passionate disruptor bent on reimagining our $992 billion food system.
We know that certification services alone will not secure social and environmental sustainability in our food. But it’s a good start. We’re reshaping the marketplace, enabling communities to engage and transform our food system into something different, something better.
Sharing knowledge is a big part of what we do. It empowers people. Our goal is to capture the benefits — economic, environmental, and social — of sustainable food production and then share it with producers. We develop programs and services that make producing sustainable food possible. Furthermore, we serve as a trusted resource in a crowded landscape of food claims. We believe that everyone deserves the right to know the impact of their purchase and how it supports what is most important to them.
Relationships are critical.
The starting point for dependable, quality services is a meaningful connection. We work hard to respond to and support the needs of a community of committed change makers.
Leadership is transformational.
It takes guts to be a risk-taker. We are passionate and determined to disrupt the status quo in pursuit of equitable and sustainable food.
Principles are everything.
Integrity is earned, not bought. Everyone’s connection with our mission is different; what’s important is that we grow these connections through shared values and transparency.
Knowledge is strength.
High-quality, trusted information drives change. We develop and distribute research and education on our own and through partnerships with respected thought leaders.
Challenges are opportunities.
Innovation flourishes in the face of big problems. We embrace collaboration and open-mindedness to find new solutions.
Oregon Tilth sees the marketplace as our best opportunity to drive change in how we produce food and other products. Our certification services create a values-directed path for growers and processors to connect with consumers. We like to think that our job is to build bridges to make good things happen. But we don’t stop there.
Additionally, our education team sits side-by-side with our certification program, turning firsthand experiences into projects that address immediate needs. In turn, we invest in strategies that expand practices that account for environmental and social capital in our food. Oregon Tilth shares the most innovative methods for sustainable food production through a combination of partnerships and technical assistance.