FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 25, 2016 530-795-9569
CENTER FOR LAND-BASED LEARNING FOUNDER
ANNOUNCES SHIFT IN POSITION
Craig McNamara retires from the board, will act as an advisory board member
(Winters, CA) - The Center for Land-Based Learning founder, Craig McNamara, announced at the organization's annual board retreat that he will shift from his role as an active board member, a position he has held since 2001, to that of advisory board member, effective immediately. In 1993, McNamara started the FARMS Leadership Program at his farm in Winters, CA, which, in 2001 grew to become the Center for Land-Based Learning, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
"My work for the Center for Land-Based Learning is simply shifting", says McNamara. "I will still be actively involved as an advisory board member and look forward to my new role." Craig plans to put a renewed focus on farming, working with his son Sean, who has been learning the business of Sierra Orchards, the family's organic walnut operation, for the past year.
Craig, with his wife Julie, started the FARMS Leadership program out of a concern for the disconnect he saw at that time between youth, the environment and in particular the source of their food-farms. With 30 high school students from schools in the Bay Area and Yolo and Sacramento counties , Craig provided monthly visits to working farms, processing facilities and environmental restoration sites over the course of the school year. The experience culminated with an overnight stay on a farm. In 1998, Mary Kimball was hired as the first employee and as the popularity of FARMS Leadership grew, so too did the potential for new programs.
In 2001, FARMS Leadership became the Center for Land-Based Learning, with two programs, SLEWS, an environmental restoration program, and FARMS Leadership. Since that time, the organization has grown to include more youth programming in 28 California counties, and in 2012, the California Farm Academy, a beginning farmer training program, was launched.
"Craig's leadership and vision have truly helped make this organization the success that it is. With Craig becoming an advisory board member, we know he will continue to play an active role, we just won't see him in our regular session board meetings. We will miss him around the table, but we know he will continue to have a hand in the great things we are accomplishing throughout the state," says board chair Andrea Clark.
The Center for Land-Based Learning was founded in 2001 and is dedicated to creating the next generation of farmers and teaching California's youth about the importance of agriculture and natural resource conservation.