Secretary, San Antonio, Texas
Caroleene Hardee Dobson, a native of south Alabama, was attracted to Texas because people, even in the cities, still have pride of place.
“I’ve encountered many young professionals who have a connection and appreciation for the land,” said Hardee, who came to Texas to attend law school at Baylor University after earning her undergraduate degree from Harvard University in 2009. “There is a shared desire to conserve the land and preserve our heritage.”
Her experience in the northeast made her realize this isn’t commonplace.
“I met people who were only a generation or two from the farm, but they had no connection,” she said. “It was sad to see how many people were ‘rootless,’ and had no stake in or knowledge of natural resources.”
Her roots run deep. She is the fifth generation to be involved in farming and ranching near Kalem, Ala. She grew up doing ranch chores, showing cattle and riding cutting horses. The nearest neighbors were two miles away.
“The outdoors was our neighborhood,” she said. “My sister and I got to see first-hand the triumphs and heartbreaks of agriculture.”
Although she is a practicing real estate attorney, she has not lost sight of agricultural issues. She is an active member of Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers, the National Cattleman’s Beef Association, the National Cutting Horse Association, and serves on the “For Kids” Scholarship Committee at the San Antonio Livestock Show and Exposition.
Hardee was drawn to TALT because its mission sits squarely at the intersection of her life experiences, her personal passion and professional expertise.
“TALT is dedicated to keeping working lands open by educating landowners about their options,” Hardee said. “It’s an organization that makes a difference in a way that allows me to use my experiences, passions and expertise to make a difference, too.
She continued, “When TALT works to keep landowners on the land, there is no ulterior motive—no hidden ‘land grab.’ The organization affords dignity and respect to private landowners and trusts them to know what is best for their land—and their families—in the future.”