Dryland Organic Agriculture in the PNW:
Meeting Opportunities and Challenges
A special symposium of the 2011 Tilth Producers of Washington Conference
Speaker Bio - David Stelzer
David Stelzer’s father started farming organically in 1973. In the late 80’s, when it became apparent that the key to profitability was marketing, David started delivering products to natural retailers and consumers. The level of service his farm provided excited customers, and they started asking for other products, so David used the contacts his family had developed and worked with other growers and suppliers to meet the developing demand. In a few years, they added to the line and founded Azure Standard with an extensive catalog of natural and organic items. Now, about 20 years later, Azure Standard has become the 4th largest health food distributor in the nation, covering most of the country west of the Mississippi. They have also expanded their organic farming operation to over 4,000 acres and diversified from dryland grain to a wide variety of specialty grains, meat products, produce, and orchard fruit. Azure Standard has also been involved in value-added processing, including a flour mill, a specialty products packaging plant, produce packing lines, and a breakdown facility. With a loyal, active customer base, David is now more active than ever in supplying the healthy food that the market is demanding.