Over 30 years ago, Lynn Coody jumped into the back of a crowded van with a group of women headed to Ellensburg, Wash. for a Regional Tilth sponsored conference for women farmers. Time and again, she would stuff a few essentials into a backpack, roll up her red sleeping bag and join kindred spirits looking to change how we grow our food.
Lynn slept on the floor at Evergreen State College as Regional Tilth separated into Washington and Oregon. She traveled to meet other Oregon chapters to consolidate membership into a statewide, 501(c)(3) nonprofit. She helped build a vibrant, 40-year old community with a file card box and Xeroxed labels. She worked with other volunteer members to write a certification program and standards. She joined a dozens of others in a crowded hotel room in Washington, D.C. to fight for the Organic Foods Production Act.
We are just trying hard, all with good hearts, to find a way forward.
Lynn never expected this whole movement was going to be a lifelong commitment, a career. It was just good-heartedness.
For 40 years, Lynn has carried things forward. She sees the need for systems thinking and integration, not isolation. She sees Oregon Tilth’s membership as the same community of dedicated souls. She still feels the call to gather like-minded people to go and make a difference.
“I have great hope and belief in the power of Oregon Tilth’s membership. I hope it provides inspiration and motivation to help individuals find their place in the organic community, to take leadership and make it happen. Because that’s what we had to do in the beginning. It’s what we need to continue to do, together.”