Agricultural Stewardship AssociationAgricultural Stewardship Association

Field Notes Blog


ASA welcomes Stewardship Assistant, Drake McDonough
December 12, 2023
ASA welcomes Stewardship Assistant, Drake McDonough

In June of 2023, ASA was pleased to welcome Drake McDonough to the organization. In addition to playing a crucial role in managing ASA’s conservation easements, Drake will also provide support to landowners by addressing their easement questions and helping to facilitate and steward community land projects.

As many readers of this newsletter will no doubt be working with Drake in long-term stewardship of their land, we thought it would be nice to introduce him via this brief Q&A.

What is your role at ASA? What has been the most exciting part of your job so far and what are you most excited to do in the future?

My role as stewardship assistant involves visiting conserved lands and working with easement landowners to address any of their questions. For community lands, I work on improvements and upkeep at the Cambridge Community Forest and help develop new community lands. The most exciting part of my job has been visiting conserved land, connecting with landowners, and having the opportunity to see private land. I’m also excited to introduce new technology to ASA’s operations and to understand how tools like remote sensing can be implemented. It has been amazing to be out in the field while also providing meaningful benefits to the communities I grew up in.

What experience do you have that has prepared you for your role here?

My major at Union College was geology which has provided me with a perspective on how the earth changes over time and being able to view any human changes to the landscape through the lens of geologic time. Last year I had an internship at Saratoga PLAN which was a great way to bridge my geologic academic background with conservation and land trusts.

Why ASA and what specific aspects of the mission or values resonate with you?

ASA's work is invaluable to rural communities by conserving land and supporting working farms. With deliberate plans for growth and prevention of short-sighted development, ASA conserves land while also protecting communities. I’m from Saratoga County and grew up around the features that ASA aims to protect. Particularly in the context of climate change, sustainable rural economies, and ecological benefits, I came to recognize the importance and value of agricultural land. ASA has a unique balance of land conservation and farming which is essential for sustainable rural economies.

Welcome, Drake!

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