Oregon Tilth Joins Paul Quinn’s Corporate Work Program Where Ambitious Beliefs in Food, Organic Agriculture, and Education Converge

September 19, 2023

Partnering with the Dallas-based Historically Black College, the leading organic certifier amplifies its commitment to both progressive agriculture and education.

DALLAS — Sept. 19, 2023 — Oregon Tilth, a leading nonprofit organic certifier in advocating for biologically sound and socially equitable food and agriculture, announces a partnership with Paul Quinn College (PQC) to become a member of the school’s celebrated Urban Work College Program. This collaboration melds Oregon Tilth’s commitment to sustainable agriculture with Paul Quinn’s dedication to providing students with real-world work experience, aiming to build future servant leaders in the organic agriculture industry.

“When we established the WE Over Me Farm more than 13 years ago, our goal was to nourish our community and our students while teaching them that they do not have to accept the status quo,” said Dr. Michael J. Sorrell, President of Paul Quinn College. “Our collaboration with Oregon Tilth represents an exciting and innovative opportunity for our students to gain invaluable experiences across all facets of agriculture and reinforce our commitment to expanding access to healthy foods and opportunities for our students and neighborhood.”

Paul Quinn is the first Urban Work College and only minority-serving, federally-recognized work college in America. Paul Quinn’s Corporate Work Program, which started in 2015, provides students with the opportunity to gain real world work experience while limiting their reliance on student loans. The Corporate Work Program encourages students to embody disciplined work, servant leadership, and initiative, preparing them for lives marked by financial freedom, community engagement, and unwavering integrity. 

Oregon Tilth is excited to promote diverse academic, social, and workforce development opportunities preparing them to be future leaders and agents of change in the global marketplace.  

“This partnership responds to the organic sector’s need to develop a well-qualified workforce in the face of continued growth. Oregon Tilth knows increased diversity will yield increased resilience and impact. Sharing our work experience and expertise with students is an investment in their future and ours,” said Chris Schreiner, Executive Director of Oregon Tilth.

Oregon Tilth will provide two internships in Spring 2024. Those interns will dive deep into a variety of our departments throughout the organization. The Oregon Tilth Certified Organic (OTCO) Program is a beacon of global excellence in eco-conscious and socially just food practices. Beyond agriculture, students will explore the nexus of technology and sustainability in Oregon Tilth’s IT Department, where innovation is harnessed to drive synergies between food and tech, supporting sustainable and ethical practices while also driving growth and innovation.

“Paul Quinn College’s Corporate Work Program and Oregon Tilth have joined forces, laying a foundation of empowerment and paving pathways to opportunities. We’re not waiting for diversity to come to us; we’re going to where it is, at Paul Quinn College, connecting with innovative student talent. This is more than a collaboration; it’s a commitment to revealing opportunities hidden in plain sight, igniting the potential of the next generation, and shaping the future,” said Leonard Freeman, Jr., Managing Director for Oregon Tilth.

“Oregon Tilth is committed to pursue a future where people and the planet thrive together. Our partnership with the Paul Quinn Corporate Work Program is more than just an alliance; it’s a promise. We are offering students not just paid internships, but a transformative journey into sustainable agriculture’s core,” said Edward Johnson III, Communications and Marketing Deputy Director of Oregon Tilth.

About Oregon Tilth 

Oregon Tilth is a leading certifier, educator, and advocate for a brighter food future. We’re a team of regulatory experts, biologists, farmers, technical specialists, horticulturalists, communicators, administrators, inspectors, advocates, certification specialists, and educators working together to make our food and agriculture system socially equitable and biologically sound. We’re honored to serve hard working farmers, ranchers, handlers, and operators who empower consumers. For more information, visit tilth.org.

About Paul Quinn College

Paul Quinn College is a private, faith-based, four-year, liberal arts-inspired college that was founded in 1872, by a group of African Methodist Episcopal Church preachers in Austin, Texas. The school’s original purpose was to educate freed slaves and their offspring. Today, Paul Quinn proudly educates students of all races and socio-economic classes under the banner of its institutional ethos, WE over Me. It is the first Urban Work College and only minority-serving, federally-recognized work college in America. Paul Quinn is viewed as one of the most innovative colleges in America, one that continuously expands the boundaries of higher

education and community advocacy in its quest to eradicate intergenerational poverty. For more information, visit paulquinn.edu.


Contact Information

Oregon Tilth Main Office
PO Box 368
Corvallis, OR 97339
Phone: (503) 378-0690
Toll Free: (877) 378-0690
Email: organic@tilth.org

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