Meeting of the Minds Speaker
Center for Land-Based Learning
Mary started with Land-Based Learning in 1998, and has led its growth since that time; in 1998, there was one program and 30 high school students.
Today, Land-Based Learning runs five different model programs that serve thousands of high school students and adults each year in 28 counties. This includes the California Farm Academy, the only beginning farmer training, business incubator, and CA-approved apprenticeship program in beginning farm and ranch management in California.
Raised on a small farm in Yolo County, Mary is very active in local, regional and statewide groups, including serving as Board member of the Yolo County Flood Control and Water Conservation District, a member of the California Community Colleges Agriculture & Natural Resources Statewide Advisory Committee, and the Agriculture, Water, and Environmental Technology Industry Representative to the California Community Colleges “Doing What Matters for Jobs and the Economy” statewide committee. She is a member of the American’s Farm-to-Fork Capitol’s Steering Committee, the Sacramento Chamber’s Food and Agriculture Committee, and the Golden1 Arena’s Food Sourcing Advisory Committee. Mary also serves on the Wells Fargo Community Advisory Board, and as a co-lead for the Workforce Development Committee of the Central Valley AgPlus Food and Beverage Manufacturing Consortium.
Additionally, Mary served on the Yolo County Planning Commission from 2006-2014 (including two terms as chair), as a member of the Board of the Yolo Land Trust from 2004-2014, including three years as President, and is a founding member of the Yolo Food and Ag Alliance, which began in 2003.
Mary holds a Master’s Degree in Human and Community Development from the Ohio State University (1996), and a B.S. Degree from the University of California at Davis in Agriculture Science and Management, Plant Science Option (1992). She is an alumnus of the California Agricultural Leadership Program (Class XXXII) and the American Leadership Forum, Mountain Valley Chapter (Class XV). She received the Award of Distinction from UC Davis College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences in 2003, the Profiles in Leadership Award from the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation in 2014, the Wells Fargo CARES Award in 2015 for her work promoting agriculture and youth education in the Sacramento Region, and the Common Threads North Community Service Award for Women in Agriculture in 2016.