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TerraFirma: Helping PA Land Trusts Uphold the Promise of Lasting Conservation


Terrafirma Risk Retention Group LLC is a unique charitable risk pool for conservation organizations that helps its members uphold the promise of lasting conservation. This presentation will provide a high-level overview of Terrafirma’s history, structure, benefits, costs and coverage, as well as data and analysis from a decade of covered claims and selected case studies relevant to Pennsylvania land trusts. Participants will take away information that they can use to help reduce disputes, know common issues affecting conserved properties, and understand how Terrafirma can benefit their land trust’s risk management strategy.

$25.00 (free for WeConservePA members)


Reach out to [email protected] if you need your member code.


Jeff Swinehart | President and CEO, Lancaster Farmland Trust

Jeff Swinehart began his tenure as President and CEO of Lancaster Farmland Trust in 2022. Prior to this role, he served as the organization’s Chief Operating Officer for 3 years and Deputy Director for 13 years. With 24 years of land trust experience, Jeff is responsible for carrying out the strategic plans and policies of the Board of Trustees. He provides direction and leadership toward the achievement of the organization’s vision, mission, and values as established by the Board of Trustees. Jeff and his team have built Lancaster Farmland Trust’s easement portfolio to more than 500 easements and 30,000 acres – the largest easement portfolio in Pennsylvania.

Jeff is a member of the WeConservePA Board and Policy Committee, serves as Chairman of the Manheim Township Planning Commission, and is Chair of the Lancaster Clean Water Partners. In 2022, Jeff began serving his second three-year term as the Mid-Atlantic representative for Terrafirma RRG, LLC.

Jeff graduated with a master’s degree in public administration from the Pennsylvania State University and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Geography, plus minors in Geology and Regional Planning from Mansfield University.

Tom Kester | Operations Manager and Secretary, Alliance Risk Management Services, LLC

Tom Kester is the Operations Manager and Secretary for Alliance Risk Management Services LLC (Terrafirma’s corporate manager) and is responsible for the day-to-day operations of Terrafirma. Tom’s background is insurance and regulatory law. He previously worked as assistant general counsel for an affiliate of a large U.S. health care insurer, staff attorney for the State of Vermont’s Medicaid and Affordable Care Act programs, and as an associate in a private practice firm where he focused on real property matters and general civil litigation. He earned his J.D. from Vermont Law School and his B.A. in Government from Franklin & Marshall College. He is an actively licensed Vermont attorney, and lives with his wife in central Vermont.


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