What is MLT?

The MICHIGAN LAND TRUSTEES a non profit 501(c)3 corporation dedicated to the goal of revitalizing rural and urban communities by promoting responsible land use and the development of localized food and energy systems.

What do you mean by that?

Everywhere we see the results of wasteful land practices in the name of expedience and short term profits. MLT seeks to examine and improve connections between people and the land and thus enhance personal responsibility for environmental health.


A land and capital intensive food production system that relies on short term chemical fixes that can result in the loss of small farms, meaningful employment, soil erosion, pollution of ground water and the general wasteful use of fossil fuel resources.

Another example is forestry, which as commonly practiced now, promotes short term expedient profits as a justification of even aged management and clear cutting when mixed aged management and selective cutting have been shown to be the most productive of quality wood and the other forest products that a healthy forest produces. Bounty

So what is the MLT doing about these issues?

MLT has a 30 year history of promoting stewardship of soil and land resources. In 1978 we acquired through donation, a 36 acre run down farm and started a living-learning homesteading program affiliated with Western Michigan University. Many men and women learned small scale organic farming and self-sufficiency skills, by actually doing it. This program existed in various forms through 1984. Then interest and energy evolved to delving into permaculture.

Permaculture is the concious design of land and its biota in ways that mimic natural ecosystems and provide the stability, efficiency of resource use, and productivity found in healthy ecosystems. Appropriate productive species and varieties are used along with symbiotic structures that maximize both the "edge effect", and three story woody polycultures, and by assimilating animals-both domestic and wild-to exploit their additive and synergistic productivity. People function as components of this polyculture.

What other activities has MLT been involved in?

Many. Although MLT sold the land trust farm in 1994(It is still farmed organically with permaculture principles in mind.), the interests and activities of MLT has been diversified as is the membership and the board of directors. A newsletter is produced about 2 times a year. The group has been involved, over the years and at present, with community gardens, a LETS program, and Moffa (Michigan Organic Food and Farm Alliance), among many others. The quarterly meetings of the board are always interesting and stimulating.

We are in hiatus at this point with no plans to become active again.  Membership dues  and donations are not being accepted at this time.  For the time being this web site will stay up just for informational purposes only.  Thank you. 

                   Jon Towne

MLT Brochure  (PDF)


For More:

Michigan Land Trustees Newsletter  

 38 years of articles, stories, poems, commentaries, and history.

NEW BOOK! (May 2017) THE ORGANIC MOVEMENT IN MICHIGAN edited by Maynard Kaufman and Julia Christianson
Informational flyer

Maynard's and Barbara's "off the grid" Solar House: Sunflower

Homesteading, a Compilation  

By students and others of the School of Homesteading and the Land Trust Homesteading Farm from 1973 to the present (about 1998).  Check it out!

Articles and essays    (taking contributions)  

Virtual Permaculture Slide Show

Documentaries       Mainly a pictoral record of MLT Events

A Couple of Offerings:

Getting Started In Sustainable Animal Husbandry:
Gastrointestinal Parasites of Sheep and Goats 
by Ron Klein  
How do you diagnose and prevent parasite infections, and if needed, how do you treat them?

The Roots of OGM, Organic Growers of Michigan

on  You Tube!

A 48 minute  video of a conversation between Founders: Judy Yaeger and Maynard Kaufman in 2010.  Maynard and Judy discuss the origins (1973), character, evolution, obstacles confronted and demise(late 1990's) of Organic Growers of Michigan, one of the earlier such groups in the country.  This Southwest Michigan chapter of OGM evolved into a statewide organisation with many regional chapters. 

Some links to related local organizations:

The Wild Ones    Kalamazoo Chapter

MIFFS   Michigan Food and Farming Systems

Fair Food Matters   of Kalamazoo

The Citizens Network for Michigan Food Democracy

Moffa   Michigan Organic Food and Farm Alliance

Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy 

Kalamazoo Soil Conservation District

Van Buren County Soil Conservation District

Michigan Land Trustees, Inc.
24760 CR 681
Bangor, MI 49013

Ken.Dahlberg@wmich.edu  Chairperson

Old Logo

Edited on May 31, 2017