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Review for American Farmland Trust, Washington, DC, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

I was raised on a cattle ranch in the San Luis Valley of Colorado where my ancestors started raising cattle and horses in 1875. My father and grandfathers raised us to be good stewards of our water and grassland resources and were early participants in conservation practices, like "rotational grazing", livestock and wildlife water development, establishing recreation easements on private lands with miles of fishing streams and pristine views for public use, etc. Today my uncle and his son continue to work with government and private sectors to improve land and water use and quality.

After college graduation I worked in the agricultural irrigation business, which afforded me the opportunity to work with farmers and ranches in Washington and Oregon's Columbia River basin, the San Joaquin Valley, desert farmlands of Arizona, Midwestern corn and grain growers, and, during droughts, growers in many Southeastern states.

During those years I gained a broad understanding of the challenges farmers and ranchers face when dealing with weather, droughts, fluctuating commodity markets, and the temptation to sell-out to land developers.

My first introduction to AFT came when the idea of Conservation Easements were first being introduced to ranchers as a vehicle to save critical farm and ranch lands for future generations while simultaneously improving the economic viability of the operation.

In 2002 our company, after researching nearly 100 different non-profit organizations, chose American Farmland Trust as a partner in a program we developed to: protect farm and ranch lands, educate consumers about where and how food is produced, help update and change US Farm Policy to better meet the economic, environmental, and market needs of U.S. family farmers and ranchers.

American Farmland Trust has proven to be a thought leader in forming Public Policy, a harbinger of innovative ideas aimed toward improving our nation’s watersheds, and a leading advocate of protecting farm and ranch land from development.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

AFT played a role in our ranch obtaining a conservation easement. AFT organized meetings with key Congressman regarding improvements to the Farm Bill. AFT organized and facilitated regional listeneing sessions regarding key issues facing farmers and ranchers.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Expand financial support from corporations foundations, and other organizations desiring to be aligned with thought leading organizations like AFT.

Role:  Volunteer & Distributed multipage guide to over 4000 ranchers. Work was done in conjunction with AFT.