There is little doubt that over the next 5-10 years upwards of 400 million acres of land in the U.S. will change hands as farmers and ranchers retire. What will happen with that land is of great concern to me and to Agrarian Trust. Will that land become parking lots, housing developments, and highways? Or, will we preserve it for and make it available to a new generation of farmers who otherwise could never afford to farm that land. I am thrilled to be partnering with you and working with Agrarian Trust to develop innovative models of land ownership, land stewardship and efforts to grow food sustainably in ways not seen for generations.
I am the new development director for Agrarian Trust. Let me begin by sharing with you how privileged I feel to be working with an incredibly dedicated and professional staff, board and volunteer base. I am sure I do not have to tell you how important this work is as we strive to support farmland access for the next generation of farmers with an important focus on those who have been substantially prevented from such land access. This emphasis on land justice fits very well with the kind of work I have done my entire career.
Over the last 25 years I have served as either the lead fundraiser or the CEO of seven different domestic or international justice organizations. I have worked in both rural and urban parts of the United States and in more than twenty-five countries in the global south. My work has spanned agriculture, community development, health care, education and sustainability. I have served on the boards of a variety of nonprofit organizations and chaired the board of a major agriculture-based organization at a time of planned major growth.
I hail from the mountains of Western Maryland where all of my extended family were engaged in some kind of small-scale farming, mostly using some of the more sustainable approaches to farming that we have rediscovered today.
My family and I spent a decade living on a small, organic farm in Northern California and moved in 2015 to our current small farm in Southern Ohio. We are the parents of two children–Joel and Emma. Joel lives with his wife in Southern Indiana and Emma will be a junior in high school in the fall of 2022.
Please be in touch with me if you have ideas on how you might want to give financial support to this very important effort.