Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association

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The Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association (ALBA) is an organization that offers first hand educational opportunities for present and aspiring farmers. ALBA's mission is to "advance economic viability, social equity and ecological land management among limited-resource and aspiring farmers." ALBA also "work[s] to create opportunities for family farms while providing education and demonstration on conservation, habitat restoration, marketing and whole farm planning."[1] By aiding small farms with limited resources, ALBA hopes to increase economic opportunities for independent farms, and promote sustainable farming practices that increase biodiversity, and employ land management practices that mirror the local ecology. Alba was formed in 2001 from the original frame work of the Rural Development Center (RDC), founded by the Association for Community-Based Education (ACBE).
Welcome sign on an ALBA farm[2].


ALBA owns two properties in Monterey County that are used for hands-on training and research.

The Rural Development Center (RDC)

The RDC, located on a 110-acre organic farm in the Salinas Valley, is ALBA's headquarters. From the Salinas farm, ALBA provides the Small Farm Education Program, a program that teaches new farmers about organic farming and marketing (Need citation). The RDC includes a resource center, classroom, distribution facility and produce cooler, and an on-site maintenance workshop.

The Farm Training and Research Center (Triple M Ranch)

The Triple M Ranch is a 195 acre farm situated in the lower part of Carneros Creek Watershed. Only 60 acres of the farm are cultivated due to a natural land easement on the property (Need citation). The property that is farmed is leased out to small farms for training in organic farming, and education in sustainable and environmentally friendly farming practices (Need citation).

Rural Development Center

The Rural Development Center was the organization that existed prior to ALBA. In 1985 the Rural Development Center (RDC) was founded by the Association for Community-Based Education (ACBE) of Washington, DC. From 1985 to 2000 the RDC initiated numerous farm programs. These programs produced capital that aided in the construction of valuable infrastructure that was essential to the success of ALBA. Since its formation in 2001, ALBA has maintained previous strategies used by RDC and expanded many of the original ideas used in the development of RDC.

Environmental Stewardship in the Carneros and Elkhorn Slough Watersheds

In 2000 the Elkhorn Slough Foundation acquired a land easement for the land now known as Triple M Ranch[3]. Triple M Ranch is within the watershed boundaries of Carneros Creek and Elkhorn Slough watersheds with land management responsibilities given to ALBA in 2001. Only 60 acres of 165 acres are farmed within the property due to natural land easements. The farmers use cultivation practices that prevent soil loss, promote efficient use of irrigation water, and promote habitat conservation. These conservation efforts are taught to all ALBA clients with bilingual education programs available for Spanish speaking farmers. Meeting water quality regulations and conservation objectives are key components of the farmer education program.

Environmental Partners

ALBA operates in partnership with many local and national level organizations. Below is a list of some of the partners that work in cooperation with ALBA:

Th ere are many other partners of the Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association, including economic, academic, farming, policy, and distributor organizations. For a full list of partners and collaborators visit the ALBA Resources Site.


  1. ALBA website:
  2. Calrecylce:
  3. Holloway R. 2010. Annual Sediment Retention and Hydraulic Residence Time Variability in a Riverine Wetland Receiving Unregulated Inflow from Agricultural Runoff. [Master‟s thesis]. Seaside (CA): California State University, Monterey Bay. Available from:



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