Marin Agricultural Land Trust

Protecting Farmland Forever

aka MALT   |   Pt. Reyes Station, CA   |  www.malt.org

Mission

MALT’s mission is to permanently protect Marin’s agricultural land for agricultural use. MALT’s vision for Marin County is a thriving agricultural community in a healthy and diverse natural environment.

Notes from the nonprofit

MALT was founded in 1980 to protect family farms from mounting development pressures. In the decades since its founding, MALT continues to advance farmland protection, as well as support the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices throughout West Marin. There are innumerable benefits of this work. In protecting farmland, MALT strengthens: a thriving agricultural community; the economic viability of West Marin family-owned farms and ranches; a robust local food system that provides sustainably-produced foods to communities throughout the Bay Area and beyond; the ecological health of habitat for more than 100 species of wildlife; and scenic, climate-resilient landscapes.

Ruling year info

1981

Acting Executive Director

Mr. Ray Fort

Main address

PO Box 809

Pt. Reyes Station, CA 94956 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

94-2689383

NTEE code info

Land Resources Conservation (C34)

Environmental Beautification (C50)

Environmental Quality, Protection, and Beautification N.E.C. (C99)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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 54,000 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.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Conservation Easement Acquisition

MALT raises funds to purchase agricultural conservation easements on privately held farmland.

These easements are a legal agreement between MALT and the landowner that prohibits non-agricultural residential or commercial development, subdivision, and uses or practices which would be destructive to the agricultural value of the land. Any future owners are bound by its terms in perpetuity. The land remains privately held and on county tax rolls.

Population(s) Served
Farmers

After the agricultural conservation easement is in place, MALT continues to work with farmers and ranchers to ensure that the agricultural and natural resource values of the land are protected through time. Just as importantly, MALT staff work in partnership with easement landowners to enhance those conservation values. For example, MALT has been able to leverage private stewardship funding to raise public funding to help farmers implement costly conservation projects such as fencing sensitive habitat areas or upgrading infrastructure to improve water quality. MALT also provides technical and funding assistance to address future challenges such as climate change adaptation and invasive species control and management.

Population(s) Served
Farmers

Where we work

Accreditations

Land Trust Alliance 2016

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of acres of land protected

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Farmers

Related Program

Conservation Easement Acquisition

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

MALT's ambitious goal is to protect all the privately-held farmland in Marin County, just over 100,000 acres of land. To date, we've preserved over 54,000 acres or a little more than half, and there is still more work to do. Help us reach 100%!

Using a tool called an agricultural conservation easement, MALT purchases development rights from landowners, extinguishing them in perpetuity. The land remains in the farmer’s or rancher’s ownership, and the legal agreement formed with MALT guarantees the land’s ongoing agricultural use.

Once a conservation easement is in place, MALT’s staff supports landowners with conservation planning and land management challenges.

In preserving farmland, MALT protects the local foodshed, maintains the agricultural character of Marin and safeguards thousands of acres of habitat for native plants and wildlife.

Founded in 1980, MALT is the nation’s first agricultural land trust and has been a leader in agricultural conservation since its inception. We have protected 54,209 acres on 86 ranches and farms and have extensive experience within our staff in both conservation and stewardship work.

MALT has protected more than 54,000 acres of Marin’s farmland, more than half of all the privately-held agricultural property in the county. But we have more work to do…50,000 acres remains at risk.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Farmers, ranchers, and agriculturists in West Marin.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Individual meetings and check ins,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board, Our community partners,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, It is difficult to get honest feedback from the people we serve,

Financials

Marin Agricultural Land Trust
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Marin Agricultural Land Trust

Board of directors
as of 2/23/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Neil Rudolph

Businessman, Tiburon

Term: 2019 - 2021

Robert McGee

Businessman, Petaluma

Diana Hagan

Businesswoman, Point Reyes Station

Tamara Hicks

Rancher, Tomales

Ralph Grossi

Farmer, Novato

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 02/22/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 02/22/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.