How Does the Foundation Operate?

How Does the Foundation Operate?

A thirteen-member Board of Trustees and a staff of seven administer the Foundation’s programs. The Board of Trustees is composed of four ex officio members (the Comptroller, the Treasurer, and the Secretaries of Agriculture and Planning) and nine Governor-appointed members. The Governor’s appointed members include representatives of the Maryland Farm Bureau, the Maryland Grange, the Maryland Agriculture Commission, and the Young Farmer's Advisory Board. The Board seeks a diverse membership based on geography, gender, race, and type of farming operation.

MALPF is based on a partnership with local governments which appoint advisory boards generally of five members to assist in the administration process. The local agricultural land preservation advisory board works with the local governing authorities to develop local rankings systems, approve easement applications, and review requests from program participants, making recommendations on those requests to the Foundation’s Board of Trustees. No easement purchase is approved by the State that has not already been reviewed and approved by individual counties.

Each county has a designated program administrator to act as the primary contact with and liaison between the agricultural community and the Foundation and the local governing authorities and the Foundation. County program administrators also have day-to-day responsibility for monitoring easement properties, helping landowners prepare easement applications, and subsequent requests to be reviewed by the county and the Foundation. Local program administrators are in an excellent position to advise landowners on the range of options and programs in addition to MALPF that are available to help landowners seeking to preserve their properties.