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Steve Crider Oral History Interview

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Steve Crider Oral History Interview


In the interview, Crider describes his childhood, including the different places he lived and his early interest in gardening. He notes that his family originally came from the South and had an agricultural background, and that they continued that tradition even when they moved away.

Crider then discusses his experiences travelling after college, which stoked his interest in environmentalism. He notes that he lived in Japan for around nine years, and became involved in the organic food movement there. From there, Crider explains how he became involved in Oregon Tilth, and how he advocated for the creation and enforcement of international standards for organic produce. He describes the difficulties he faced while engaging in political advocacy, and talks briefly about how trade in organic produce between the United States and Japan functioned.

Next, Crider briefly notes the influence that The One Straw Revolution had on him, before turning to his move back to the United States. He notes that he began working at Cascadian Farm after moving to Oregon, and describes his time there. He discusses the impact of the National Organic Program on the organic movement, and discusses the development of his career while in Oregon. He shares his views on GMOs and how the organic movement should respond to new agricultural practices, as well as how the agricultural industry at large has succeeded and failed in the past few decades.

The remainder of the session is largely devoted to Crider’s work on the board of Oregon Tilth. He discusses his experiences on the board, his beliefs about Oregon Tilth’s role in the world, and the reasons he had for stepping down. He also describes his work with Viva Farms and other organic growers. The interview concludes with a brief discussion of the movement to bring organic food to elementary schools, along with Crider’s reflections on his career.

Steve Crider was born in 1956 in Michigan. He was raised Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania, where he developed an early interest in gardening and agriculture. After graduating from college, Crider moved to Japan, where he worked in the organic food industry and helped to develop connections between organic farmers in the U.S. and Japan. After spending nine years overseas, Crider returned to the U.S., where he began working with Cascadian Farm before becoming a board member of Oregon Tilth, a position he held until 2018. After stepping down from Oregon Tilth, he continued to work with organic food companies and organic farms, most notably Viva Farms.


Steve Crider


Oregon Tilth Oral History Collection (OH 40)


Special Collections and Archives Research Center, Oregon State University Libraries


November 1, 2019


Tiah Edmunson-Morton


Born Digital Video




Oral History



Oral History Item Type Metadata


Tiah Edmunson-Morton


Steve Crider


University of Washington campus, Seattle, Washington

Original Format

Born Digital Video



OHMS Object

Interview Format


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  1. crider.jfif