Meet Our Directors
Tom Burkhart, Director
Sarah Cline, Director
Jim Heitkemper, Director
Tami Kruer, Secretary/Treasurer
After working as a teacher and administrator for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis for 14 years, Tami Kruer joined the staff at the Clark County Soil and Water Conservation District in 1996. She continues to fill that role, along with the role of the Executive Director. It was through her work with the SWCD that Tami became involved in land trusts. She is a founding member of the George Roger’s Clark Land Trust. Tami serves the GRCLT Board of Directors as the Secretary and Treasurer. As a young girl, Tami enjoyed playing on her paternal grandmother’s farm in Floyds Knobs, IN. Her grandmother placed the farm in a trust to protect it from development, and Tami views her role with the land trust as a continued example of the passion for farmland preservation. Tami is a 1982 graduate of Indiana University Southeast. She and her husband, Tom, have two adult children and one grandson. She lives in the community of St. Joseph Hill, outside of Sellersburg, IN.
Pat Larr, President
Pat is a founding member of the George Rogers Clark Land Trust. She owns and operates a 257 acre farm in Scott County where she enjoys raising approximately 100 meat goats as well as other animals. She also enjoys working with crop land, forest, and wildlife on her farm where she applies first-hand the same conservation principles that she spent years helping others to implement as District Conservationist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). She retired in 2009 after 35 years of government service. Currently she serves as a supervisor with the Scott Co Soil and Water Conservation District and was recognized in 2016 as Scott County’s “River Friendly Farmer”. She is a 1976 graduate of Purdue University.
Michael Loudon, Vice-President
As a boy and teenager, Michael Loudon spent many summers making hay and plowing corn at the family farm near Blue River in Harrison County with his grandfather, Charles Julius Loudon. While he enjoyed it, he realized then that the work was hard and the profits small, so he vowed he would never spend his life as a farmer. After graduating from Washington HS and Wabash College, he finished his PhD in English and American Literature at SUNY—Buffalo where he married Maureen Robinson, a social worker.
He taught at UNLV, Oklahoma and the College of Idaho before spending thirty years at Eastern Illinois University teaching English, philosophy and Africana Studies. In the summers, he helped his father, Carman Loudon, with his cattle operation on the farm, and, after his parents’ death, retired in 2014 to keep the farm, worked by Loudon’s since 1813, in the family. His son Brian, and his wife Paisley Rew, left teaching careers of ten years in Brooklyn, NY, to help him, and they live on the farm; his daughter Kate, a nurse, lives in on the farm. He has three young grandsons Soleil, Maddux, and Kaelen.
Rejuvenating the 200 acres of forest and pasture of Loudon Farms, and maintaining and expanding the herd of thirty cattle, is still hard work with little profit, but Michael and Brian have had mentoring from Roy Harmon, and have learned from many field days and workshops from Purdue extension, the Purdue Master Cattleman and Beginning Farmer programs, and NRCS. Michael continues academic pursuits through reading, writing, conferences and participation in the Black Church Studies program at the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, and he enjoys hunting, gardening and travel to South Africa and Sicily when time and money permit.
Inheriting a legacy for love of the land and the farm from his father, Michael attended George Rogers Clark Land Trust (GRCLT) meetings only to discover that his father had participated previously in GRCLT efforts to preserve farmlands. He now serves on the Boards of the GRCLT, and the Harrison County Cattlemen’s Association, and, despite his early vow never to farm, he is now doing exactly that: the work is still hard, the money still meager—and he loves it.
Jerry Roach, Director
Jennifer Knable Thompson, Director
Jennifer has been a member of the George Rogers Clark Land Trust since 2006. She and her husband own 100 acres in Perry County IN and manage a small cow/calf herd and 25 acres of woodland. She completed her studies in Natural Resources & Environmental Science and served as the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service’s District Conservationist for Harrison, Floyd and Crawford counties from 2003 to 2010. Prior to this role she worked as an engineering technician and soil conservationist working across southern Indiana helping farmers implement practices to address soil erosion, water quality and management issues using agronomic and structural conservation measures on cropland, grassland, woodland & wetlands. She is eager to help farm owners who voluntarily want to protect their family farms from developmental pressures.
Jim Kleinstiver, long time board member, passed away recently. We continue our work in memory of him.