Annual Farmer & Advocate Awards

The Board Directors and the membership of Tilth honor individuals who have gone above and beyond to promote the mission of the organization and embody the spirit of our core values. Awarded at the Tilth annual conference in November, these awards are given to one outstanding farmer, Farmer(s) of the Year, for their efforts in land stewardship and one outstanding advocate, Advocate(s) of the Year, for their efforts in representing organic and sustainable farmers.


 Jerry Pipitone, Pipitone Farms – Farmer of the Year

The Farmer of the Year Award recognizes an outstanding steward of the land. This year, at the annual conference in Wenatchee, WA, the Tilth community recognized Jerry Pipitone of Pipitone Farms. An important part of this community and leader in the organic farming movement, Jerry has been a cornerstone of the marketplace in Washington state. He is a wise and generous farmer who always ready to share his time and ideas with young farmers. For over 30 years, people have looked to Jerry for guidance and support. He has lent this time to non-profit boards and helping steward the movement and land. He is a champion for organic farming, and has shown a generation of young farmers that farms can be successful.


Nathaniel Lewis, Organic Trade Association and Oyster Bay Farm – Advocate of the Year

The Advocate of the Year Award honors a representative organic and sustainable farmers. This year, the Tilth community acknowledges our gratitude to Nate Lewis for this commitment to help advocate for organic farmers across Washington state and across the country. Nate is a seasoned organic specialist, and has proficiency in all scopes and aspects of organic certification, and experience in periodic residue sampling programs. Nate’s commitment to this movement is motivating and honorable. With fifteen years of experience in the movement, he fights for small famers on a daily basis. The Tilth community is grateful for your long hours of work with Organic Trade Association helping to protect producers while managing your own farm.

Past Recipients

YearFarmer of the YearAdvocate of the YearLifetime Achievement Award
2015Terry CarknerDick CarknerDiane Dempster
2014Ray & Becky de Vries David GranatsteinAnne Schwartz
2013Kole & Sonia TonnemakerEllen Gray
2012Juana Lopez Paramo & Clayton BurrowsKaren Kinney
2011Eric & Sheryl ZakarisonColleen Donovan
2010Watershine WoodsFred Berman & Patrice Barrentine
2009Hilario AlvarezMary Embleton
2008NoneGus Hoover
2007Rick & Marilynn LynnGoldie Caughlan
2006Jim & Harlyn MeyerDiane Dempster
2005Michaele BlakelyJerry Pipitone
2004Nash HuberMiles McEvoy
2003Grant GibbsDiane Dempster