The US-LT RCD is led by a Board of Director’s which is comprised of local landowners appointed by the County Board of Supervisors. As a state special district, the Board can make legal agreements with county, state and federal governments for work in the district. Associate directors may be appointed by the US-LT RCD to assist in special areas of interest.
Susan Cochrane, Chair. Susan was born and raised on the edge of the Carrisa Plains raising grain, cattle and horses. She attended Atascadero High School and went on to Cal Poly to receive a BS in Home Economics (dietetics, interior design, child development, education, and accounting) and then to Monterey Peninsula College to receive an Ornamental Horticultural degree. Susan worked as a Landscape Designer for 22 years and has been a cattle rancher for 42 years. In her free time, Susan has served as a volunteer for the Parent Teacher Organization, Future Farmers of America, 4-H and Cattlewoman’s Association. She enjoys riding the ranch checking cattle, fences, and range, gardening and spending time with her husband and three daughters and friends.
Michael Broadhurst, Vice-Chair. Mike grew up on a Kansas farm and worked in agricultural research and development for almost 30 years, rising to lead research and development activities for Zeneca Ag Products. In 2001 he returned to farming in SLO County where he and his wife have developed a direct marketing business based in produce from about 20 acres near Cambria. The experience of practical farming has engendered a passion for local farming, community, and the impacts of government regulation on small business. As a consequence he works diligently to support the RCD’s non-regulatory mission of preserving soil and water in SLO County. He represents the RCD on the county’s Water Resources Advisory Committee and is a member of the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Certified Farmers Market Advisory Committee. He also manages Cambria’s farmers market.
Tom Mora, Secretary, Tom is a SLO County Rancher and is an active member of the County Water Resources Advisory Committee (WRAC).
Robert Hartzell, Treasurer, Robert is a resident and landowner in San Luis Obispo County. His previous community involvement includes Board President of Handley Rock Association, which is a land trust in San Mateo County, and Board President of Emerald Hills Homeowners Association in San Mateo County. In addition to the RCD, Robert currently serves as a board member for North County Newcomers in SLO County. Robert’s main interest lies in local land use and water issues and he has attended several workshops in SLO County on water and range management. Robert obtained a B.S.E.E. from the University of California at Berkeley and most recently worked as an engineer for OPNEXT and Harmonic Lightwaves.
Chuck Pritchard, Director, Chuck is a long time local rancher in SLO County; former president of the California Association of Resource Conservation District’s (CARCD); former member of the California Biodiversity Council; past national councilman of the National Association of Resource Conservation District (NACD); member of the Range Management Advisory Committee to the State Board of Forestry; Chairperson of the California Grazing Lands Initiative Committee; current chairman of the Central Coast Resource Conservation & Development Council (CCRC&D), San Luis Obispo County Agricultural Liaison Committee, California Agricultural Leadership Alumni Association, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) District Work Group, Farm Bill; California Cooperative Extension Work Group, International Society for Range Management, California Cattlemen’s Association and California Farm Bureau Federation.
Mike Bonnheim, Director, Mike is a fourth generation rancher specializing in multiple use management. He is the state Cattlemen’s Association Wildlife Management Committee Chair as well as an associate director for the San Luis Obispo County Range Improvement. Mike obtained his B.S. in farm management from Cal Poly State University in 1976 and completed Ranching For Profit School in 1990. He attended the Holistic Management International Ranch and Rangeland Managers Training Program in 2003 and was the US Delegate representing Holistic Management International at the Terra Madre Conference in Italy. Mike is a SLO County Native Tree Committee member and received the SLO County Native Tree Stewardship Award recipient in 2006.
Randy Heinzen, Director, Randy recently moved back to the Central Coast in order to be closer to family and raise his children ‘on dirt’. He is currently employed as the Vice President of Vineyard Operations for Vineyard Professional Services in Templeton, with direct management over ~2,000 acres of wine grapes. A graduate of Cal Poly in 1999, he further completed post-graduate studies in wine and business at UC Davis, Sonoma State and the University of Adelaide (Australia). He is an Accredited Farm Manager of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers. Randy served on the Napa RCD Board as a Director in 2011/2012 and as an Associate Director from 2008-2011. During the past ten years, he has worked with many RCD-managed projects, including leadership positions with the Carneros Creek Stewardship Group, the Carneros Groundwater Monitoring team, the Napa Sustainable Winegrowing Group, and various RCD-liaison positions with other agriculture advocacy groups and public agencies.
Royce Larsen, Associate Director. Royce is the Area Watershed/Natural Resource Advisor for San Luis Obispo and Monterey Counties and has served here since December 1997. He received his Ph.D. degree in Watershed Management and Rangeland Ecology from Oregon State University. Royce actively participates in the Society for Range Management and is a Certified Rangeland Manager with the California State Board of Forestry. His work with the University of California Cooperative Extension includes conducting educational workshops, outreach and applied research in the area of water quality, watershed function, and natural resource issues on rangelands. He also addresses issues that affect farmland and food safety as they relate to rangelands. Other issues Royce covers in his program include endangered species, noxious invasive weeds, wildland fires, grassland restoration, forage production and ecology.
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