Agriculture, Environment, Land Protection, Supporting MALT

MALT Takes Action for Earth Day 2021

April 19, 2021

This Earth Day…

In response to the intensifying drought conditions, MALT has launched an emergency six-month Drought Resilience & Water Security (DRAWS) initiative to help Marin County ranchers and farmers invest in drought-resilient practices. The DRAWS initiative commits an additional $250,000 through MALT’s Stewardship Assistance Program to projects centered around long-term water security.

For Earth Day, we set an ambitious goal to raise the first $50,000 for this initiative. Donations will be matched dollar for dollar up to $25,000 by MALT co-founder Phyllis Faber and our Board of Directors.

Sustainable access to water is crucial to the survival of a thriving agricultural community, the economic viability of West Marin family-owned farms and ranches and a robust local food system. 

Will you join MALT in supporting local farmers and ranchers bolster the ecological health of our working lands, promote climate resiliency and support the vitality of the local agricultural economy and community?

Conservation and innovation — the foundation of MALT’s work.

Earth Day is all about people from different walks of life coming together — and the story of ranchers and farmers working with environmentalists to protect the land is one that needs to be celebrated and strengthened.

Back in 1980, MALT’s co-founders — Ellen Straus and Phyllis Faber — and a broad coalition of ranchers, environmentalists and community leaders successfully fended off the large-scale development of Marin’s remaining agricultural lands. 

Coming together with their mutual desire to protect the land, preserve West Marin’s agricultural community and promote local food, Ellen and Phyllis created the first agricultural  land trust in the nation — MALT. Without the innovation and foresight more than 40 years ago, Marin’s landscape, unique sense of place and thriving agricultural community would be vastly different today.

“Mom knew the importance of protecting agriculture and family farming in West Marin,” said Michael Straus, Ellen’s youngest son. “Thanks to MALT, many Marin County farmers have been able to safeguard their land, transition to organic production and develop value-added products like artisan cheese. It’s rewarding to be a part of an agricultural community where farmers and ranchers are committed to regenerative agriculture practices.” 

After more than 40 years since MALT’s inception, hear MALT co-founder, Phyllis Faber, speak to MALT’s past, present and her hope for the future.

MALT’s vision still holds strong today. 

To date, MALT has protected more than 54,000 acres of farmland — a truly amazing achievement. Our trailblazing method of partnering with agriculturalists and purchasing conservation easements to protect agricultural lands means MALT-protected farms and ranches stay in agricultural use, forever. See where MALT works!

And thanks to community collaborations, partnerships and support, MALT continues to forge ahead through innovative programs that implement sustainable agricultural practices, fight against climate change and work to restore our earth. 

Through its Stewardship Assistance Program (SAP), MALT has invested more than $1.25 million dollars in 135 different stewardship projects on 52 ranches across Marin. 

These efforts help safeguard and support important ecosystem services such as soil health, water quality, enhanced habitat and carbon sequestration, and in return, benefits the robust local food system that we rely on. Collectively, the benefits of these projects have put Marin County at the forefront of showcasing that agriculture can be sustainable, regenerative and climate beneficial. Learn more about SAP.

So far in our 2020–2021 season alone, SAP has successfully helped farmers and ranchers:

Will you join us for Earth Day?