Agriculture, Land Protection

40 Years of Farmland Protection

May 5, 2020

A note from MALT’s Executive Director, Jamison Watts.

This year MALT celebrates 40 years of farmland protection! In honor of this momentous year, rather than share with you what MALT means to me, or what I believe MALT has meant for Marin, I have invited MALT’s community members to contribute their own words. 

Every day, we each can make choices to support farmland preservation, regenerative agriculture and the future of our planet. We at MALT are very grateful to those who do, and who have, for the last 40 years. Our success is entirely thanks to you. 

The contributions below are from just a handful of members of the incredible community that has advanced MALT’s work over the years: valued agency partners, devoted donors, hardworking landowners, board members and an acclaimed chef working to curb climate change through the careful selection of the foods she prepares. Thanks to all of you for joining us in celebrating 40 years of farmland protection! So, without further ado, I dedicate this column to you. 

Jamison Watts
Executive Director 

“The love we have for our ranch has truly deepened because of [MALT’s] amazing stewardship program. [MALT has] assisted us in using best practices to nurture our ranch so it will continue to thrive for generations to come. Thank you, MALT, for your high standards and for the wonderful work you do to protect and preserve our farmlands! You are much admired and truly appreciated. Congratulations on forty beautiful years!” 

– Jerry and Cleo Gause, Chick and Gina Kretz, Owners/Operators, Ryan-Tocalino Ranch, MALT protected since 1993 

“MALT has been incredible in helping us market our operations. Every time MALT highlights Morgan’s [Tomales Bay Pastures] eggs, his phone blows up!” 

– Mike Giammona, Owner/Operator, Millerton Creek Ranch, MALT protected since 2018

“We are responsible for the path of our purchasing choices. Our food purchase choices can turn around climate change. This is our power. I only want to support animals raised on pasture. Stemple Creek’s cattle roam free.” 

– Duskie Estes, chef and owner of Black Pig Meat Co., James Beard Award-winner and Michelin star recipient 

“The Marin Resource Conservation District (Marin RCD) has enjoyed a robust working partnership with MALT over the years which has allowed our organization to provide an expanded service to our agricultural producers within the county. Our organizations share mutual goals: MALT is about the conservation of agricultural land and the Marin RCD is about the conservation of natural resources on agricultural land. It is natural that our organizations would come together because our goals are so intricately twined. MALT has matched our grant funding and provided ranchers with the necessary leverage to further natural resource protection goals across Marin County. It is through our combined strengths that we are able to accomplish great environmental achievements.” 

– Nancy Scolari, Executive Director, Marin Resource Conservation District 

“The collaborative work we do with MALT is one of our most valued and effective partnerships, a model that is known throughout the state for getting some serious restoration work done on our agricultural landscapes. We particularly value our shared appreciation of the ‘long view’ for a thriving Marin County: protecting our agricultural spaces and history in perpetuity, restoring ecosystems that will be resilient to a changing climate, and empowering multiple generations of our community members to actively engage in ensuring our county’s health. An added bonus is being able to do this work together with our friends, including the wonderful staff of MALT. Thanks, MALT friends, and congratulations!” 

– Laurette Rogers, STRAW founder, Ambassador at Point Blue Conservation Science and fourth-generation Marinite 

“MALT is the essence of West Marin for me. Having grown up spending summers and weekends in Inverness, and the farms are one of the things that make West Marin so special to me. . . I am in awe of the forward-thinking founders of MALT. Thank you to the founders, thank you to the ranchers, thank you for allowing all of us to experience intergenerational families working on the land, thank you for preventing development of West Marin, thank you for providing habitat for plants and animals.” 

– Lisa Williams, MALT donor since 1997