Mentorship Program

Supporting Farmers


Peer mentors

Learning with and from each other enhances our ability to put new knowledge and hands-on experiences into practice.

The ability to share expertise and skills with fellow farmers is a powerful way to focus on and highlight how people learn from each other. When two well-matched individuals are given the space to exchange ideas and resources, good things happen. Our goal is to build engaged and sustained relationships in the organic farming community. When peers — one acting as a mentor — are brought together to define and create their learning outcomes, lasting impact is possible.

Oregon Tilth launched its farmer-to-farmer mentorship program to support peer-led, experience-based learning for new and transitioning organic practitioners.

Program details

Participants are paired based on several criteria — organic expertise, farm size, production type, and location — to match complimentary learning goals and skills.

The year-long program begins in winter with an initial planning meeting to set shared goals. We will bring in guest speakers to share resources and expertise on organic certification and production practices. Additionally, participants will engage in at least two farm visits for on-site learning, one on each person’s farm. Each mentor will be available by phone or email as needed by his or her mentee, with communication expectations agreed upon during the initial planning meeting.

Participants finish the program by joining next year’s mentors and mentees initial planning meeting to share their experiences.


We encourage both non-organic farmers transitioning to organic practices and organic farmers pursuing certification for the first time to consider becoming a program mentee. All mentee applicants must have at least two years of commercial farming experience.

For interested mentor participants, we accept applications from certified organic farmers with at least five years of experience and are enthusiastic about providing peer-learning leadership for a fellow farmer. The 2017-2018 program is offered only in the following states: Oregon, Idaho, and Washington.

The Farmer-to-Farmer Organic Mentorship Program is a project of Oregon Tilth, made possible by funding from Risk Management Agency and partnerships with Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides and Tilth Alliance.

Value for Mentees

The mentorship program offers new and beginning organic farmers the unique opportunity to learn from experienced organic farmers who are going through (or have experienced) similar challenges. From technical expertise to business know-how, mentorship is a chance to learn from someone else’s practice to help define your own goals and approach.

We believe that when farm peers have matched appropriately, mentees will be empowered to engage effectively. You will develop shared learning goals, areas of interest, and opportunities for regular idea exchanges over the course of your relationship with your mentor.

For a mentee participant, the program includes:

  • One mentor visit to your farm for on-site learning and support
  • One visit to your mentor’s farm for on-site learning and observation
  • Two years of free admission to an agricultural conference
  • Cost of participation for mentees: $200
  • Access and engagement with Oregon Tilth staff, organic stakeholders, and support services (e.g., extension agents, organic buyer groups, etc.)

Value for Mentors

Being a mentor places you squarely in a position to positively influence those new to organic agriculture. Time and again, well-practiced farmers tell us that having a mentor impacted their ability to be successful. Our program is a learning partnership. We support you in becoming a role model and teacher for those just starting out in organic farming.

For a mentor participant, the program includes:

  • Participation stipend of $1,000
  • Access and engagement with Oregon Tilth staff, organic stakeholders, and support services (e.g., extension agents, organic buyer groups, etc.)
  • Opportunity to formally share your knowledge and experiences
  • Two years of free admission to an agricultural conference


Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, and there are still slots available for the 2018 season.

Apply to become a farm mentor online or download and send your application by email to <>.
Online 2018 Mentor Application Download 2018 Mentor Application Form
Apply to become a farm mentee online or download and send your application by email to <>.
Online 2018 Mentee Application Download 2018 Mentee Application Form

Education / Request

Get technical support and expertise

Interested in having Oregon Tilth provide a training, workshop or webinar? Want a staff member to attend and present at an upcoming event?
Send us an email at <>.

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