Election of New Board Member - Tom AmRhein

Election of New Board Member - Tom AmRhein

Director Tom AmRhein is a native of the Pajaro Valley. He has over 40 years of experience owning and managing farming operations in California and Mexico, focused primarily on berry production. His experience in Central Coast agribusiness (Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties) is unmatched.

Tom is a past President of the Santa Cruz County Farm Bureau, a past Chairman of the California Strawberry Commission, and was elected the Farmer of the Year award recipient for the Pajaro Valley. Over the years Tom has served on a number of water related boards including the Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency, Central Coast Water Quality Protection, Inc.,  and the Salinas Valley Basin Agricultural Sustainability Group.

Additionally, Tom has worked on a number of projects serving our farm worker populations. He was a founding member of the non-profit organization Agri-Culture which has provided bridge loans for constructing farm worker housing in the Pajaro Valley, as well as community education programs related to agriculture. Tom was also the Chair of the Santa Cruz County Covid Task Force, which created the first major farm worker targeted vaccination clinics in the United States.

Tom worked with the Ag Land Trust and the Elkhorn Slough Foundation where he developed and preserved strawberry farming on our Azevedo Ranch based on practices which were consistent with the goals of both organizations. As a general aviation pilot, Tom has donated pilot and aircraft time in conjunction with Lighthawk Conservation Flying and the National Park Service to track and locate Condors along the central coast, as well as other flights in Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary.

In 2023, Tom retired from his role as Vice-President of Naturipe Berry Growers, Inc., the oldest Strawberry marketing organization in California. Tom looks forward to serving on the Ag Land Trust Board of Directors and we are honored to have him!