Protecting Farmland Forever

Across the country, we lose a staggering 175 acres of farmland every hour. But here in Marin, we’re writing a different story.

The first farmland trust in the nation, MALT was founded in 1980 by Ellen Straus and Phyllis Faber — and a broad coalition of ranchers, environmentalists and community leaders — to protect the future of farming in Marin County from mounting pressures for development. MALT’s co-founders, Ellen Straus and Phyllis Faber, came together in their desire to protect the land, preserve West Marin’s agricultural community and promote local food. Ellen and her husband, Bill, ran a dairy on the eastern shores of Tomales Bay; Phyllis was a meticulous botanist and active environmentalist.

To date, MALT has protected more than 58,739 acres of Marin farmland, forever. MALT’s model of using conservation easements to prevent development has been replicated to save family farms all over the country.

Mission and Vision

MALT’s mission is to permanently protect Marin’s agricultural land for agricultural use.

MALT’s vision for Marin County is a thriving and inclusive agricultural community in a healthy and diverse natural environment.

Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice

Today, MALT is committed to advancing social and racial justice in all aspects of its mission. We believe that having an organization of diverse gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, physical ability, age, and other distinctions along with varied skills, perspectives and experiences, contributes to a balanced and effective nonprofit—one that is well-positioned to address the changing needs of the communities we serve.