The Board of Directors of the Brentwood Agricultural Land Trust (BALT), announced via email, Monday night, December 19, 2016 a change in their executive directors. Following is their announcement:
“We are writing to let you know about some significant changes that are taking place at the Brentwood Agricultural Land Trust. Since 2002 BALT has been working to preserve Contra Costa’s productive agricultural land and to work with farmers and the community to create a vibrant local agricultural economy.
In June of 2003 BALT hired Kathryn Lyddan as our first Executive Director. Prior to her work at BALT, Kathryn had 10 years of experience as a practicing attorney, specializing in land use and public finance law. During the past 13 years, under Kathryn’s professional leadership, BALT has permanently protected nine farms and has been instrumental in reforming County zoning to support a sustainable economic future for Contra Costa farmers.
Kathryn recently informed us that she has accepted a position Assistant Director of the California Department of Conservation, Division of Land Resource Protection. In her new role, Kathryn will be overseeing programs to protect California’s farmland and open space resources, including the Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program, the Williamson Act and Farmland Mapping and Monitoring Program This is an exciting opportunity for Kathryn and we know that all of you join our Board in congratulating Kathryn and wishing her well in this exciting new professional position.
While we are sad to lose Kathryn and her professional expertise, we are excited to let you know that our Board of Directors is currently engaged in the development of a new strategic planning process that is exploring a number of opportunities for ways in which BALT can be even more successful in protecting and enhancing our agricultural protection mission and in strengthening our community’s agricultural economy.
To assist us in conducting our Strategic Planning process, the Board of Directors is pleased to let you know that we have engaged Ron Brown to serve as our Interim Executive Director. Ron recently retired as the Executive Director of Save Mount Diablo where he served for over 15 years. Ron has a Master’s Degree in Management with a specialty in Marketing Non-Profit organizations.
Ron’s experience as a successful non-profit organization leader, in addition to his familiarity with Contra Costa County will assist us in maintaining our current operations and in supporting the Board of Directors, as we excitedly undertake the responsibility of planning for the next phase of BALT’s organizational lifecycle.
We value your support of BALT, so please feel free to contact Ron or any of the members of the Board of Director by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tom Bloomfield, Chairman
Janet Caprile, Secretary
Jon Harvey, Treasurer
Patrick Johnston, Stewardship Director
Jim Gwerder, Director”
BALT works with Contra Costa farmers and the community so that future generations in the Bay Area will have a local source of food. The rich agricultural lands on the urban edge of Contra Costa County include more than 12,000 acres of irrigated farmland located just fifty miles from the Bay Area. With rich delta soils, ample water and a year-round growing season, Brentwood farms have provided food for the Bay Area since the 1880’s. Today Brentwood farmers continue to grow a remarkable diversity of food, primarily fruits and vegetables.
BALT permanently protects the fertile orchards and farms in this rapidly developing region with an active farmland conservation program. BALT promotes local farming and builds new markets for farmers through the Buy Fresh Buy Local marketing program. Working closedly with local governments, BALT develops programs and policies that supports a vibrant agricultural economy for Contra Costa farmers. Together with community partners, BALT is creating food connections between farmers and their urban neighbors.
For more information on BALT, visit www.brentwoodaglandtrust.org.