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

Year Farmer of the Year Advocate of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award
2015 Terry Carkner Dick Carkner Diane Dempster
2014 Ray & Becky de Vries David Granatstein Anne Schwartz
2013 Kole & Sonia Tonnemaker Ellen Gray
2012 Juana Lopez Paramo & Clayton Burrows Karen Kinney
2011 Eric & Sheryl Zakarison Colleen Donovan
2010 Watershine Woods Fred Berman & Patrice Barrentine
2009 Hilario Alvarez Mary Embleton
2008 None Gus Hoover
2007 Rick & Marilynn Lynn Goldie Caughlan
2006 Jim & Harlyn Meyer Diane Dempster
2005 Michaele Blakely Jerry Pipitone
2004 Nash Huber Miles McEvoy
2003 Grant Gibbs Diane Dempster