2012 22.3 A Message From The President

Tilth Producers of Washington Board PresidentWELCOME ABOARD!

We are pleased to welcome Amy Besunder as our new Executive Director. Amy has a strong background in nonprofit management and contagious enthusiasm. She will focus her efforts on fundraising, human resources, and organizational management. Read more about Amy on page 10. Nancy has shifted to Program Director, giving her more time to focus on conference planning and program management. Additionally, Melanie McConachie has joined our staff as Program Assistant. She has terrific office and computer skills and will oversee the website, listserve, and overall office needs.


On September 15 we will host our first Seattle benefit auction, “Under the Harvest Moon.” The event will include drinks, appetizers, and a fabulous action benefiting Tilth Producers. If you would like to volunteer or donate goods for the event (CSA share, fruit, gift certificates, artisan products, farm stays), please contact Amy at tilthproducers.org/programs/washington-organic-week/. Learn more about scheduled events and how to get involved on page 6.


Many thanks to Ariana Taylor-Stanley for her work in coordinating the first Tilth Producers policy fundraising dinner in March. The event provided inspiration for similar future fundraising strategies. The Washington State legislature retained funding for the Farmers Market Nutrition Programs, which provides low-income families with vouchers to purchase farm products at Washington farmers markets. Action is being taken on the 2012 Farm Bill right now, so look for more information on that in the coming weeks. We are also working with partners on a campaign to require labeling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Read more about Tilth Producers policy efforts on page 20.


Participating in on-farm research can benefit both the grower
and the researcher. Tilth Producers facilitates research by matching needs of researchers and growers. We will be looking for creative ways to fund research for organic projects statewide. Additionally, we are excited about WSU’s organic livestock program and will push for continued expansion in organic education at the university level.


Tilth Producers and WSU have organized eight incredible farm walks for 2012. Kudos to the Farm Walk Committee and our partners at WSU’s CSANR Small Farms Program for organizing this year’s schedule. Look for a list of upcoming farm walks on page 9. If you can’t make it out to one of the events, a full report, photos, and accompanying resource booklets are will be posted online at tilthproducers.org.


The Conference Committee has worked diligently over the winter to create a great line-up of workshops and speakers for the 2012 Annual Conference in Port Townsend. Alan Savory, holistic management creator and founder of the Savory Institute, is this year’s keynote speaker. Join us at Fort Worden State Park in Port Townsend November 9-11,, 2012. Read more about the upcoming conference on page 22.


Summer is almost here and the rain is finally slowing. Crops are in the ground and growing. Tilth Producers is also beginning to see sprouts of the seeds we have been planting. Our new staffing model will enable us to move forward with new programs and initiatives to benefit our constituency. I am very excited to be working with our dedicated and talented Board of Directors and staff and can’t wait to see what we will do. Have a great summer! P.S. We send our healing thoughts and best wishes to Nash Huber, who is recovering from a serious mountain biking accident—get well soon, Nash!

Tags: Amy Besunder, Conference, Executive Director, Farm Walks, Fundraising, Policy, President, Research, Washington Organic Week, Website