Mallory O’Steen Joins AFT as First Georgia Program Manager
(Washington, D.C.) Mallory O’Steen joins American Farmland Trust today as the organization’s first Georgia Program Manager, where she will play a key role in leading high-impact programs that help respond to urgent threats facing farming in Georgia, including the protection of farmland from real estate development.
“AFT created this new position in part because our Farms Under Threat: State of the States report found that Georgia has the fifth most threatened farmland in America with nearly 545,000 acres of farmland lost to real estate development between 2001-16,” said David Haight, AFT’s Vice President for Programs. “Mallory will play a critical leadership role in responding to these threats and ramping efforts to protect farms from development and bring a new generation of farmers onto the land.”
O’Steen joins AFT from Georgia’s Athens Land Trust, where she managed the organization’s outreach, application, acquisition and ongoing monitoring of easements. She also managed GAFarmLink, an online platform and resource center to connect farmland seekers and landowners to place beginning farmers securely on the land and protect farmland from development and increased the user base by 400 percent since August 2019.
“I am excited to join AFT and work with our partners across Georgia to support local farmers while keeping our most productive land available for farming and ensuring that it is well managed,” said O’Steen. “These efforts are so urgent and important. I’m excited to help shape policy and lead new programs to respond to these threats facing farming in the state.”
O’Steen is a seventh generation Georgian and has most recently worked in the state, yet also has experience in science and the environment as engagement specialist and lab programs assistant at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science in Colorado.
American Farmland Trust is the only national organization that takes a holistic approach to agriculture, focusing on the land itself, the agricultural practices used on that land, and the farmers and ranchers who do the work. AFT launched the conservation agriculture movement and continues to raise public awareness through our No Farms, No Food message. Since our founding in 1980, AFT has helped permanently protect over 6.8 million acres of agricultural lands, advanced environmentally-sound farming practices on millions of additional acres and supported thousands of farm families.