The Path Ahead
June 6, 2019
by Jamison Watts, MALT’s Executive Director
Now that we have surpassed the 50,000-acre milestone, we’ve set our sights on protecting the rest of Marin’s privately owned productive farmland — a total of 100,000 acres — forever. With perennially high land values and generational transfer on the rise, this next phase of our work will be critical to our long-term success.
As I mentioned last fall, to create a framework to guide us toward this goal and beyond, MALT’s Board of Directors convened a strategic planning committee in the spring of 2018.
Our strategic plan
Today, I am proud to announce that we have completed that process and have adopted a new strategic plan!
Over the duration of this project, we have engaged MALT landowners, staff, former staff, board and former board, partners, supporters and members of the greater agricultural community.
With their valuable and informed feedback in our minds, we’ve developed a strategic plan for the next five years.
It’s comprehensive. It’s measured. It is also, I think, visionary.
But what I am most proud of as I look back on the hard work our team has done in the last 12 months, as well as the plan we’ve created, are the strategic priorities that we’ve identified together.
Our Strategic Priorities
Over the 39 years that MALT has existed, we have been steadfast in our adherence to our mission — to permanently protect Marin’s agricultural land for agricultural use.
Our current programs, fundraising priorities and organizational capacity are all aimed at continuing to advance that mission, continuing to protect farmland for farming. That will not change.
But while MALT has been — and continues to be — clear on how to further our mission, we’ve had less clarity about how to best realize our vision for Marin County — a thriving agricultural community in a healthy and diverse natural environment.
The strategic planning process opened a dialogue as to what, beyond land protection, MALT needs to engage in to realize our vision as well as to advance our mission.
The Big Questions
As part of the planning process, big questions were raised:
- What good is protecting farmland if there isn’t a next generation of farmers?
- How do we best support a thriving agricultural economy?
- How do we advance a healthy environment especially in light of the impacts of a changing climate?
- To what extent can MALT advance principles of community conservation, engaging with the community at large as part of the strategy to protect the land?
Our new strategic plan reflects MALT’s commitment to advancing both our mission and vision. Like the agricultural community that we support, MALT must try new things, learn from experience and adapt to an ever-changing world.
Our Major Priorities
Acknowledging that there are many ways to articulate MALT’s priorities, we have organized our thinking about how to advance our mission and vision into three major categories:
the agricultural economy, and
How MALT can best support each of these priorities, and begin to answer some of the big questions outlined above, is addressed in our newly minted strategic plan.
We look forward to sharing more as we do the hard planning work ahead, identifying measurable outcomes within each priority and fine-tuning our strategies to achieve them.
Thank you for your support. Without you our work would not be possible.