TEXAS AGRICULTURAL LAND TRUST

Conserving Texas Land for Future Generations

aka TALT   |   San Antonio, TX   |  www.txaglandtrust.org

Mission

The mission of the Texas Agricultural Land Trust (TALT) is to conserve the Texas heritage of agricultural lands, natural resources and wildlife habitats. TALT works to sustain the long-term stewardship of private lands for the benefit of all Texans. TALT accomplishes its mission through the use of voluntary conservation measures and through education and outreach efforts. TALT only works in the state of Texas.

Ruling year info

2007

Chief Executive Officer

Ms. Blair Fitzsimons

Cheif Operating Officer

Mr. James Oliver

Main address

PO Box 6152

San Antonio, TX 78209 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

26-0161807

NTEE code info

Land Resources Conservation (C34)

Natural Resource Conservation and Protection (C30)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Texas leads all other states in the loss of rural lands. These working lands produce food and fiber, host diverse wildlife habitats, and provide clean, abundant water. They support rural economies and a multi-billion outdoor recreation industry.

A recent study by Texas A&M University (www.texaslandtrends.org) reveals that, between 1997 and 2007, more than 1.1 million acres of working lands were converted to non-agricultural use. While suburbanization plays a role in rural land loss, fragmentation is also a serious threat. As large properties are divided into smaller parcels they can no longer support agriculture. Fragmentation can lead to loss of wildlife habitat, water quality problems, increased risk of flooding and higher demand for county services.

Land conservation is needed to protect rural economies, wildlife habitats, and our watersheds.

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?

Coastal Land Legacy Initiative

The Gulf Coast Region is one of Texas' most valuable agricultural and environmental area and is losing open space at an alarming rate. TALT is positioned to help coastal residents understand the vital connections between land, water, and a sustainable future through outreach and education events in the Coastal Bend region.

Population(s) Served

The goal of No Land, No Water is to promote the conservation of Texas' private working lands as an immediate and cost-effective way to help ensure a future of abundant, clean water for all Texans. Through this program, TALT will raise awareness of the role of rural lands in providing the state's water resources and the need for financial incentives, like conservation easements, so that private landowners can continue stewarding this important resource for the benefit of all Texans.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

Land Trust Alliance 2012

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.

The mission of the Texas Ag Land Trust is to conserve the Texas heritage of agricultural lands, wildlife habitats, and natural resources.

Our vision is that our work will lead to an open, productive Texas rural landscape that has abundant grazing lands, croplands, healthy forests, wildlife habitats, and scenic and recreational lands. Texas Ag Land Trust easements will help keep families on the land; reduce the high rate of fragmentation of ranches and farms into smaller parcels; and contribute to retention of larger tracts that are economically sustainable.

We work to conserve private working lands and to raise awareness that the stewardship of private lands provides benefits for all Texans.

Our goals are:

1) to have 250,000 acres of land under conservation easement by 2021;
2) to serve as a respected resources for the agricultural community;
3) to establish funding sources for the purchase of conservation easements;
4) to communicate the vast public benefits provided by private lands stewardship.

Texas Ag Land Trust strategies for mission impact fall into three broad categories: conservation, sustainability, and policy. Strategies implemented in each of these categories are listed below:

We focus on helping families conserve and pass their land down to future generations.

Conservation: We work to stem the rapid fragmentation and loss of Texas' rural lands through our outreach, education and land conservation programs.
⦁ Outreach & Education:
⦁ Host 3-5 conservation easement workshops annually.
⦁ www.txaglandtrust.org and ⦁ www.nolandnowater.org serve as our primary digital platforms.
⦁ Monthly e-newsletter goes out to over 3,000 contacts.
⦁ Social media outreach via Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter @txaglandtrust.
⦁ Strategic partner engagement. Founded by members of the "Big Three" landowner organizations in Texas, (Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, Texas Wildlfie Association, and Texas Farm Bureau) Texas Ag Land Trust seeks to serve as THEIR land trust. Our staff participates on Boards of Directors, committees, and participates in meetings and conferences as an exhibitor and/or speaker. Through these events, Texas Ag Land Trust reaches 4-5,000 people annually.

⦁ Conservation Easements:
⦁ The Texas Ag Land Trust has partnered with landowners to protect over 235,000 acres of Texas working lands from fragmentation through the use of the conservation easement.
⦁ Our goal is to secure 250,000 under easement by 2021.

Sustainability: Conservation easements last forever, and so must the Texas Ag Land Trust.
⦁ Current annual budget is $1,087,000.
⦁ In 2014, TALT created the Texas Agricultural Land Trust Foundation, which will eventually hold an operating endowment that will cover approximately 60% of TALT's annual operating needs. The fundraising goal for TALTF is $10 million, of which $2.5 has been raised.

Policy: We promote policies and programs to foster the stewardship of farms and ranches, remove barriers to sustainability for ranching and farming families, and promote the conservation of the open spaces that provide the food, water and wildlife habitats that make our state great.
⦁ Member of the Partnership of Rangeland Trusts, and the Land Trust Alliance, and work in collaboration with other members to influence national policies that impact land conservation, private lands, and agriculture. Examples include development of Farm Bill funding, IRS regulations, endangered species and water policy.
⦁ Work with the Texas Land Trust Council, and other state-based trusts and organizations to secure funding for the Texas Farm and Ranch Lands Conservation Program, and influence state policy in regards to private lands, conservation and agriculture.

Generous, dedicated, visionary Board of Directors: To ensure that the focus of the Texas Ag Land Trust does not waiver from its mission of protecting agricultural lands and native wildlife habitats, TALT by-laws require that the Board members be chosen from the membership of several of the state's leading agricultural, hunting and landowner organizations. TALT Board members own land themselves, and therefore understand the challenges of protecting land in perpetuity while ensuring its long-term economic vitality.

Talented, committed staff: With expertise in ranching, agricultural production, range and wildlife management, finance, fundraising, and environmental and tax law, our staff is uniquely capable of interacting with landowners and helping them to navgate the conservation easement decision.

Unique Selling Proposition: What distinguishes the Texas Ag Land Trust from other land trusts is that we do not interfere with day-to-day management. Our conservation easements do not prescribe grazing or other practices.

We are accredited! An accredited land trust has demonstrated their commitment to national quality standards for nonprofit management and land conservation, and has proven that they have systems in to keep its promise of permanent land protection.

In 10 short years, the Texas Ag Land Trust has established itself as the largest land trust in Texas and the 11th largest state-based land trust in the nation.

We have partnered with landowners to conserve over 235,000 acres of Texas' working lands. These conservation easements have in turn protected 228,000 acres of watersheds and 960 miles of streams, creeks and rivers, 224,000 acres of rangeland where cattle can continue to graze, and 860 acres of farmland can keep producing the food we eat. And there's more: Our easements have permanently protected habitat or potential habitat on 38,000 acres for white-tailed deer, 191,716 acres for mule deer, 147,198 acres for pronghorn antelope, 60,184 acres for wild turkey, 6,782 acres for Lesser Prairie Chickens, 226,000 acres for Texas quails, 633 acres for the endangered Golden Cheeked Warbler, and many many more wildlife species!

Financials

TEXAS 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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TEXAS AGRICULTURAL LAND TRUST

Board of directors
as of 07/10/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Bob McCan

Mark Bivins

Norman Garza Jr.

Steve Lewis

Richard Lucas

Robert Potts

Jane Richardson

Jesse Womack III

Perry Bass

Charles Davidson

Herff Cornelius

David Crow

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