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, Director. Tom is a SLO County Rancher and is an active member of the County Water Resources Advisory Committee (WRAC).
Chuck Pritchard, Director.Chuck is a fourth generation 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.
George Kendall, Secretary. George Kendall grew up in rural San Diego county. He studied geology at UCLA (BS – 1972) and at Oregon State University (MS – 1975). He worked in the domestic and international oil industry for 30 years, specializing in oil field development, reservoir description and secondary recovery. In 1997 he and his wife purchased land on Santa Rosa Creek and over several years established a commercial citrus and avocado ranch. He is active in local agricultural and water organizations.
Eric Kaltenbach, Treasurer. Eric moved to Paso Robles with his wife Candice in 2015 and purchased property that included an olive orchard with over 1,100 olive trees. They now produce award winning extra virgin olive oil and operate a popular vacation rental cottage. Being a process improvement driven, hate to continually fix it type of person, Eric immediately started improving every aspect of the operation. After a year of research, he replaced the entire irrigation system using newer techniques such as subterranean drip for their grapevines and repositioning the drip emitters to more effectively water the olive trees due to steep slopes. He also added a weather station to calculate ET (evapotranspiration), and to save even more water instituted a deficit irrigation program developed by UC Davis to reduce water and maintain olive oil quality. Eric was born in Orange County California where he participated in many tennis tournaments and actively raced sailboats winning first-in-class in the 2004 Newport to Ensenada sailboat race. He received a BS in Business Administration in 1982 from Cal-Poly Pomona and an MBA from Pepperdine in 1997. He spent most of his career working in finance and accounting for both large and small corporations. From 2008 to 2014 Eric was Group Controller/CFO for a large multi-franchise auto group in Orange County. The auto group was sold in 2014 so Eric relocated to Paso Robles to enjoy an active retirement. Eric also serves on the board of the Central Coast Olive Growers and he is a member of the California Olive Oil Council.
Mary Bianchi, Director. Mary is a retired University of California Horticulture Advisor from San Luis Obispo County and was the Program Advisor for the UC Master Gardener Programs in San Luis Obispo and in Santa Barbara Counties. She was also County Director for UC Cooperative Extension programs in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties from 2013 to 2017. Mary holds BS and MS degrees in soils and agricultural sciences from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. During her career, she worked with the University of California Cooperative Extension in Santa Cruz, Tulare, Napa, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties and at the UC Kearney Agricultural Center. She transferred to San Luis Obispo County in September 1992. After 26 years in SLO County, Mary retired in June 2017.
Mary is a member of the Soil Science Society of America, the American Society for Horticultural Science, the California Avocado Society, and the California Chapter of the American Society of Agronomy.
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.