In 1974, Tilth became the name for a regional network of organic farmers and gardeners in the Pacific Northwest that Wendell Berry called, “a constituency for a better kind of agriculture.”
“Regional Tilth” became a community addressing issues relative to sustainable agriculture. In 1984, Willamette Valley Tilth began an organic certification program to serve the needs of growers looking to protect and promote organic farming. These standards inspired certification programs in other states. In 1986, Oregon Tilth was incorporated, and became a non-profit in 1987. Oregon Tilth formed the Western Alliance of Certification Organizations with CCOF and the WA State Dept. of Agriculture’s Organic Program to formulate materials list standards and further align the three western certification programs.
In 1997, Oregon Tilth helped form the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI), evaluating materials for use in organic farms and processors nationally. Today, Oregon Tilth is the third largest USDA accredited organic certifier, serving over 1,450 processors and growers, restaurants and retailers representing the entire food chain, from seed to fork.
Our leadership in the organic movement is well-documented and ongoing. Tilth’s work alongside our partners, collaborators and stakeholders, continues to shape our mission of promoting biologically sound and socially equitable agriculture.