2016 20.3 A Letter From The President

Say hello to Kelsey

We are very pleased to welcome Kelsey Maki to our staff She has a masters in communication, worked for a Minnesota farmer’s market as well as with Edible Austin in Texas. She has extensive computer and organizing skills along with a deep passion for food system work. She will help with web site design, conference and educational program organizing, and keeping the office running. She’s been on the job just a few weeks and we can already see evidence of her talents and hard work.

News from the office

We are in our new office (Good Shepherd Center, 4649 Sunnyside Ave N #305, Seattle 98103) and the atmosphere is great. Seattle Tilth Children’s garden is just below and it is great to see them playing in the garden. We are grateful to Small Planet Foods and Charlie’s Produce for donations of furniture, Tri-Tech Communications for a discount on the telephone system, and Ian Gray for helping set up the computers.

We are still in the process of hiring a financial manager. This person will take care of all bookkeeping as well as oversee processes for maintaining our financial health. This person is a key part in making our office run smoothly and assuring our finances are in order. If you know someone who could help us out with this critical work, please have them contact Nancy to apply.

Computer system
Just recently, we experienced a large bump in the road towards implementation of our new computer system. The one we planned on using had significant transaction limitations, so we decided to postpone the upgrade until we can find an appropriate system. In the meantime, Kelsey will be key in helping keep the current web site updated. If you have knowledge and experience with different operating systems, and have some time to help us work through this challenge, please call 206.632.7506 or email nancy@tilthproducers.org.

Farm walks

We had several wildly successful farm walks so far this year, and more on the way (schedule on page 4.) There were over 100 attendees, with at least 70 being farmers from around the region. We learned about high tunnels, green-houses, and machinery. On another farm walk attendees heard Nash Huber talk about handing the farm on to the next generation.

Save the date! November 12-14

What a wonderful return to our roots! Fort Worden State Park near Port Townsend was the site of the very first Tilth Producers conference back in 1993.

Friday’s symposium will focu~ on grain production followed by a Jam-packed list of workshops on Saturday and Sunday.

Once again the conference crew has found a great band (Jangle Bones from Seattle) for the Saturday night soiree; expect to see your favorite farmers relaxing and kicking up their heels after a very long and hard 2010 season. Bon Appetit and Board Member Kia Armstrong will be putting together great meals using as many local i?gre,-dients as possible with Saturday mght s banquet being sourced from within 50 miles of Port Townsend. Everyone always has a marvelous time, makes many new connections, and comes away with lots of new information and food for thought. For more information on the conference, see page 5.

Help build the future of Tilth

This is a great time to think about running for the Tilth Producers board of directors. We want the board to represent organic and sustainable agri-culture all over the state. We are always seeking more farm members from the eastside along with folks experienced with computers, fundraising, and/or finances as well as policy and research. We meet four to five times a year and ask board members to serve on one committee. It’s a great group of people with a marvelous synergy. Please contact Nancy if you are interested.

Fundraising

Our new investments leave us with a significant deficit this year. We actively pursue all types of fundrai~ing, b~t one of the best ways is by asking busi-nesses and individuals to sponsor the conference. Sponsors are recognized in several ways, allowing for all levels of participation. You can help by asking your suppliers to sponsor the conference. Please contact Nancy Allen for more information.

Washington Organic Week … WOW!

This year we are taking a new slant on the Buy Washington Organic campaign by designating Sept. 12-19 as Washington Organic Week or…WOW! We have hopes the City of Seattle will help make it official! In addition, we’ll be creating a brochure-Ten Reasons to Support Organic Growers-and plan events during the week to educate consumers about the benefits of buying organic food from Washington growers.

There will be back-to-school pro-motions and stories in the media on growers and issues that affect local agriculture along with celebrations at retail outlets and farmers markets. We’re looking for your involvement; please contact Nancy or me to see how you can help.

Last minute policy news

When the Governor vetoed the Legislature’s Food Policy Forum bill, she promised to establish one by Executive Order. She recently signed that order stating, “This executive order will help identifY the gaps in the food system that prevent nutritious food from get-ting to all people in Washington, and to find solutions and bridge those gaps.”

Here’s hoping the solutions identi-fied will become reality very soon!

Diane Dempster

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