Leadership Change: A Joint Statement from the Boards of LSP & LSAF

On Friday, Feb. 12, Jess Anna Glover resigned as the executive director of the Land Stewardship Project and the Land Stewardship Action Fund. The boards of these two organizations have accepted her resignation and have proposed to engage Jess Anna as a consultant to help the board and management team take over her responsibilities. The boards of both organizations are working to ensure a smooth transition to future leadership, including hiring an interim executive director.

As board members, we express our deep gratitude to Jess Anna for the passion, energy, and vision she brought to her work during the past 10 months.

Despite spending her tenure with us in the midst of a global pandemic and working at the epicenter of a national racial justice uprising, Jess Anna led staff in advancing the missions of the Land Stewardship Project and the Land Stewardship Action Fund, as well as strengthening our ability to take on new challenges. She added new depth to our work in the areas of racial, gender, and rural economic justice, as well as challenging corporate control of our food and farming system. Internally, Jess Anna worked with LSP’s programs to implement a major overhaul of the organization’s departmental structure, empower new leaders, and put in place a pay equity initiative.

Transition is never easy, and it’s been a challenging year in so many ways, for so many people, including members of our staff. During this time of transition, our commitment to you as members is to continue to fulfill our mission — fostering an ethic of stewardship for farmland, promoting sustainable agriculture, and developing healthy communities.

As members of the LSP and LSAF boards, we have the highest confidence in the staff of these two organizations as we move forward together in this next chapter.

We are very fortunate to have a staff that is committed to working with members like you to continue to build our nationally-recognized work on soil health, beginning farmer training, and land access. In addition, our policy organizers are working with members on the state and federal level “fighting the worst while advancing the best,” including pushing for a moratorium on mega-dairy operations and putting in place groundbreaking soil health/climate change legislation. And the recent elections demonstrated the power that the Land Stewardship Action Fund brings when we organize with farmers and other rural residents in support of elected officials who will advance public policies that are good for people and the land.

As was mentioned above, the LSP and LSAF boards will be working with staff on putting in place interim leadership. We are also beginning discussions around LSP’s long-term leadership model.

If you have any questions on this transition or LSP and LSAF’s work in general, don’t hesitate to contact board members Laurie Driessen (507-530-4207, e-mail), Deborah Allan (651-270-4620, e-mail), or Beth Slocum (612-360-5955, e-mail). However, if you have a relationship with another board member, feel free to connect with any of us using the contact information below. You are also welcome to contact LSP staff member Brian DeVore via e-mail or at 612-816-9342.

Members like you, through your support and passion for stewardship and justice on the land, create a rock-solid foundation that makes our work powerful and effective, even during these trying times.

Thanks to you, the roots of these organizations provide the kind of depth required to remain resilient, no matter our changing daily circumstances. We are excited to continue to develop this resilience and to see what we can accomplish together in the future.

the members of the LSP & LSAF boards

• Deborah Allan, Saint Paul, Minn., 651-270-4620, e-mail

• Laura Frerichs, Hutchinson, Minn., 320-296-1569, e-mail

• Rachel Henderson, Menomonie, Wis., 612-280-2438, e-mail

• Laurie Driessen, Canby, Minn., 507-530-4207, e-mail

• Andrew Ehrmann, Northfield, Minn., 970-389-5416, e-mail

• Jon Jovaag, Austin, Minn., 507-460-8144

• Dan McGrath, Saint Paul, Minn., 651-261-2816, e-mail

• Darrel Mosel, Gaylord, Minn., 507-381-3776, e-mail

• Linda Peck, Saint Cloud, Minn., 320-685-3365

• Paula Williams, Barnum, Minn., 218-428-2862, e-mail

• Beth Slocum, Welch, Minn., 612-360-5955, e-mail

• Anna Racer, Webster, Minn., 612-816-8292, e-mail

• Sylvia Luetmer, Alexandria, Minn., 320-766-6084, e-mail

• Kristin Tombers, Minneapolis, Minn., 612-963-1445