Farmland Preservation Workshop

  • Thursday, February 18, 2016
  • 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM
  • Apple Annie's, Tulare
  • 19


Registration is closed

AEP is pleased to announce a workshop on the emerging importance of farmland preservation here in the central San Joaquin Valley. This workshop brings expertise from the State Department of Conservation, American Farmland Trust and Sequoia Riverlands Trust together for a panel discussion covering farmland designations, the LEESA Model as a tool, policy initiatives and perspective, facilitating conservation easements, and creative mitigation strategies and solutions.

Speakers are:

Molly A. Penberth, Dept. of Conservation’s, Land Conservation Programs Unit

Molly has worked in the agricultural conservation field for more than thirty years.  As manager of the Department of Conservation’s Land Conservation Programs Unit, she is responsible for administration of many of the State’s farmland evaluation and protection efforts.  These programs include the California Farmland Conservancy, the Land Conservation (Williamson) Act, and the Farmland Mapping and Monitoring Program.  These programs emphasize voluntary conservation by landowners and offer technical assistance, financial support, and data to local planning efforts.  Most recently she has been tasked to develop the Sustainable Agricultural Land Conservation Program (SALC Program), which will invest greenhouse gas reduction funds into agricultural conservation easements and land management practices that will sequester carbon in soils.  Molly’s small but highly effective staff is key to the implementation of these programs, from evaluating CEQA documents to securing permanent conservation easements on some of California’s best farmland.  Molly has a Masters in Water Resource Management from UC Davis.   

Daniel O’Connell, San Joaquin Valley Program Manager with American Farmland Trust

Daniel O’Connell is the San Joaquin Valley Program Manager for American Farmland Trust. Before starting with AFT, he worked at Sequoia Riverlands Trust where he negotiated the first agricultural conservation easements with farmers in Kern and Tulare counties, launched that organization’s farmland conservation program, and facilitated its growth into a regional land trust. Daniel has a Master of Science in International Agricultural Development from U.C. Davis and a Doctoral degree in Adult and Extension Education from Cornell University.  The focus of his graduate scholarship was on San Joaquin Valley with particular emphasis on community development practice, the region’s socio-economic structure and the role of scholars working with its marginalized communities. Currently, his professional work is centered upon land use planning policy, practice and advocacy.

John W. Fox, ESQ, Aleshire & Wynder, LLP

John Fox is a partner in the Fresno office and handles a wide variety of legal issues involving land use, environmental and municipal, the Brown Act, the Political Reform Act, CEQA, NEPA, the Subdivision Map Act, the Mitigation Fee Act, the Permit Streamlining Act, the Public Records Act, the Cortese-Knox Hertsberg Act, and code enforcement.

John currently serves as the City Attorney for the City of Arvin and Assistant City Attorney for the City of Morro Bay.  He also currently serves as Special Counsel to the City of Fresno providing legal advice related to the City’s revitalization and planning initiatives for its downtown and the associated environmental review under CEQA and NEPA.  In this role, Mr. Fox also provides legal advice and services related to the City’s consideration of development entitlements and Environmental Impact Reports for significant development projects. 

From 2005 until 2012, Mr. Fox worked with the Fresno City Attorney’s Office as a Deputy City Attorney for seven years.  He was promoted twice and given greater responsibility in advising the City’s staff and leadership on all aspects of the Brown Act, Political Reform Act, California Environmental Quality Act, Subdivision Map Act, Mitigation Fee Act, Public Records Act, Cortese-Knox-Hertsberg Act.  During his tenure, John worked with staff in drafting significant amendments to Fresno’s Zoning Ordinance and Historic Preservation Ordinance.  John was the lead attorney in negotiating and drafting development agreements for several large development projects and in advising staff on the preparation of a new community and specific plan for Fresno’s downtown and a major update of the City’s General Plan.

John earned a B.A. in Economics and Business from Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois.  He  earned his J.D. from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles in 1993.  Upon graduation, he entered private practice as a civil litigator handling all types of tort and business litigation matters involving serious personal injury, wrongful death, professional malpractice, fraud and other business torts for 11 years before he joined the Fresno City Attorney’s Office.


Lunch Choices:

  • Chinese Chicken Salad - Chicken breast, crisp noodles, mandarin oranges, almonds, green onions, tossed with lettuce and dressing.        
  • Vegetarian Sandwich - Alfalfa sprouts, lettuce, tomato, avocado, cheddar cheese on whole wheat toast.   
  • Soup and Sandwich - Turkey sandwich with green chicken enchilada soup.
  • Annie's Cheese Steak - Thin sliced rib eye, chopped on the grill with onions, mushrooms, bell peppers, provolone cheese on a roll.    


Date:               Thursday, February 18, 2016

                       11:30 AM – 1:30PM


Location:          Apple Annie’s

                       1165 North Blackstone Street

                       Tulare, California  93274



Time:              11:30 AM Lunch, 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM Seminar


Registration:    AEP Members – $5.00 (USD)

                      Student Non-Members – $ 10.00 (USD)

                      Non-Members - $25.00 (USD) 


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