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Tilth Conference: Farm Tour

This year, the symposium will climate change and Northwest agriculture and the farm tour will be stopping at four farms in the area.

Tilth Conference 2019

Home | Registration | Keynote Speakers | Farm Tour | PSA Grower Training 

Schedule | Sessions | Lodging | Sponsorship & Trade Show | Award Nominations


Attending the Farm Walk? Meet at the Registration Desk at 9:30 a.m. When everyone is present we will board the bus and begin the tour!

Join us on Friday for a Farm Walk at local farms in Yakima. First, we'll visit Inaba Produce Farms who are implementing sustainable practices on 1200 acres. Next, we'll stop at Gilbert Orchards, a GLOBAL GAP certified farm growing apples, pears, apricots, cherries and more. We'll wrap up at Bale Breaker Brewery, surrounded by the sustainable hop farm where they grow the hops they use in their beer.

Farm Tours will begin around 9:30 a.m. and end around 5 p.m. Lunch and transportation are included for all Friday sessions.

Stops will include:

  • Inaba Produce Farms
    10:30 a.m.-noon
    Inaba Produce Farms is a third generation family farm that produces a variety of fruit and vegetables in the Yakima Valley. Shukichi Inaba started the farm in 1907 after immigrating from Japan, and the farm is now run by his grandson Lon. Today, the farm covers 1,500 acres with one-third in certified organic production. Inaba Produce Farms grows, packs and ships throughout the Pacific Northwest and Canada, selling mainly to wholesale markets. Because soil and water conservation are a high priority for Inaba Produce Farms, they have switched a lot of their acreage from furrow irrigation to drips and sprinklers and operate an intensive composting system. Their composting operation not only diverts vegetable waste from the farm but accepts manure from other farms and plant waste from schools and neighbors. Inaba Produce Farms also prioritizes their workforce and, with a loan from the Farmers Home Administration, has built on-farm duplexes for their workers to live and provides work almost year-round. Learn from Farmer Lon about Inaba’s robust compost system and fertility management. We will also have a chance to touch on storage techniques and food safety practices as we tour the packing house. 
  • Lunch
    noon-1 p.m.
  • Gilbert Orchards
    1-2:30 p.m.
    Gilbert Orchards is a fifth-generation family-owned business that has been growing tree fruit in the Yakima Valley since 1897. Gilbert Orchards grows a variety of stone and pome fruit, both organic and conventional, which they sell wholesale through Starr Ranch Growers to domestic and international markets. Today, the business is owned by Sean Gilbert who is the great-great grandson of founders H.M. and Marion Gilbert. Learn from Sean and other members from the Gilbert Orchards team as we learn about their harvesting techniques, their on-farm food safety plan and their fertility management systems. 
  • Bale Breaker Brewing
    3-4:30 p.m.
    B.T. Loftus Ranches is one of Yakima Valley’s longest running hop farms. Established in 1932, it is a fourth-generation family farm now managed by Patrick Smith, with his parents Mike and Cheryl. The farm grows nine different varieties of hops including Citra and Mosaic. They value quality, sustainability and innovation in their farming practices. Bale Breaker Brewing Company is located on hop field #41 of B.T. Loftus Ranches and is run by Meghann Quinn and Kevin Smith, the younger siblings of Patrick, as well as Kevin Quinn, Patrick's brother-in-law. With a thirty-barrel brewhouse and 27,000 ft2 facility, it is the fourth largest independent craft brewery in the state of Washington. They craft four year-round canned beers that are sold throughout Washington, as well as Idaho and Oregon and have additional seasonal beers available in their tap room. Bale Breaker sources their hops from the land they reside on as well as other hops producers in the Yakima Valley. Join us as we tour the brewery and learn from the Bale Breaker team about their vertically integrated ground to glass business model, hops harvest techniques, and their production quality and sensory management.  


Lunch and transportation are included for the farm tour.

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