MALT Board Welcomes Two New Members!
September 1, 2021
One strength of the MALT board of directors is the diversity of voices it represents, including those of farmers and ranchers, business professionals, lawyers, financial experts and community members. The two newest additions — Vivien Straus and Molly Myerson — further enhance the board. Please join us in welcoming them!
Vivien Straus: Bridging Past and Future, Agriculture and Urban Perspectives
The daughter of MALT’s late co-founder Ellen Straus, Vivien Straus comfortably straddles disparate perspectives, all of which she brings to the MALT board. She grew up on the family’s dairy ranch in Marshall, steeped in her parents’ dual passions for environmentalism and agriculture. She then spent many years in the big cities of New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, working as an actor and playwright — before returning to Marin as VP of marketing for Straus Family Creamery and creator of the California Cheese Trail. Vivien now manages the Straus Home Ranch, leasing organic pastures for grazing and silage, and offering various agritourism opportunities.
“I see serving on the MALT board as a continuation of what my mother wanted: perpetuating the vision to protect farmland from development, keep it in agricultural production and help farms remain viable,” she said. “MALT is a core shared resource as we deal with climate change, lack of water and how to support the next generation of farmers. MALT is able to extend help to everyone in the region without any other agenda except to help.”
Molly Myerson: The Next Generation of Farmers
Molly Myerson is MALT’s first agriculturalist board member who leases the land on which her farming business is located. Her Little Wing Farm occupies nearly 3 acres on MALT-protected Black Mountain Ranch. Although she never imagined herself as a farmer when she was growing up in New York City, Molly has become an effective advocate for the importance of small-scale farming. Still in her 30’s, she also offers a potent voice for next-generation farmers.
“I’m very interested in sharing my knowledge and experience with a style of agriculture that supports all creatures — the insects, the birds, the mammals — and that takes care of the water and the soil,” she said. “Recognizing the challenges presented by climate change and our water-scarce environment, MALT has the respect and local connections to be a leader in navigating the future of Marin agriculture. What does preservation forever of agricultural lands for agricultural use really look like in these changing times? Who are the next generation of farmers to steward the land, and how can MALT best support them?”