Professional Biography


Since February 2008, John Krist has been the chief executive officer of the Farm Bureau of Ventura County, the region’s oldest and largest agricultural association. As CEO, he is responsible for managing the nonprofit organization’s staff, daily operations and finances. He recommends policy to the organization’s Board of Directors, implements board directives, and represents the interests of the membership at legislative and regulatory hearings. He also serves as the organization’s liaison with the news media, as well as with numerous community organizations and groups.


Before joining the Farm Bureau, he was a journalist for more than 24 years, working as an editor, reporter and columnist for the Ventura County Star, a daily newspaper in Southern California. His commentaries on land-use policy, natural resources and environmental issues have been published in numerous magazines and newspapers throughout the United States, including the Sacramento Bee, San Diego Union-Tribune, San Jose Mercury News, Denver Post and Seattle Times.


Mr. Krist is a former contributing editor for California Planning & Development Report, a statewide newsletter for land-use and policy experts, and has written for Planning, the magazine of the American Planning Association.


Mr. Krist was the 1997 winner of the Pulliam Editorial Writing Fellowship, awarded by the Society of Professional Journalists, which supported his nationwide study of collaborative resolutions to conflict over natural resources and land use. His 1998 report on that research, “Seeking Common Ground,” won a Best of the West Award in natural resources and environmental reporting, and received honorable mention in competition for the John B. Oakes Award for Distinguished Environmental Journalism, regarded in the profession as the Pulitzer Prize of environmental reporting. For his work on that project, he was recognized with an Environmental Leadership Award by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.


A former editorial writer and city editor, Mr. Krist is also the winner of awards for reporting and editing from United Press International and Scripps Howard Newspapers, which in 2002 inducted him into its Editorial Hall of Fame. In 2003, his yearlong multimedia series on the Lewis and Clark expedition bicentennial, “Voyage of Rediscovery,” won first place in the EPpy Awards competition sponsored by Editor & Publisher and Mediaweek magazines, and a Digital Edge Award from the Newspaper Association of America.


The California Newspaper Publishers Association awarded him first place for environmental or ag resource reporting in 2002 for his series of stories about mercury contamination and in 2005 for his series about water in the West. In 2006, his series of stories about liquefied natural gas imports won second place in the CNPA and Best of the West contests. In 2007, his yearlong series about Ventura County agriculture, “Farming on the Edge,” won first place for environmental or ag resource reporting from CNPA, and third place in the Best of the West contest’s growth and development reporting category.


A past winner of Sierra magazine’s national nature-writing competition, he was awarded a journalism fellowship in 2000 by the National Tropical Botanical Garden to study endangered-species recovery programs, marine biology and other issues related to conservation of tropical biodiversity. In 2001, he was awarded a media fellowship by the University of Minnesota and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education to study forestry and public-lands recreation policy. In 2004, he was awarded a fellowship by the Institutes for Journalism and Natural Resources to study issues affecting the survival of rural communities economically dependent on natural resources. In 2005, the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy awarded him a fellowship to study land-conservation strategies.


Mr. Krist also has served as a lecturer, panelist, moderator and conference organizer. In 2005 and 2006, he was a member of the planning committee and a panelist for annual symposia on water policy sponsored by the Association of Water Agencies of Ventura County. In 2004 and 2005, he chaired and moderated countywide conferences on land use and growth, each attended by more than 300 people. In 2005, he lectured about the Lewis and Clark expedition as guest historian aboard the American West Steamboat Company’s Empress of the North during a weeklong cruise on the Columbia and Snake rivers.


He is the author of three books about California’s parks and wilderness areas, as well as Voyage of Rediscovery, based on his experiences retracing the Lewis and Clark trail. He also has contributed to books on urban renewal and wildfire policy. His most recently published book is Living Legacy: The Story of Ventura County Agriculture.


Mr. Krist holds a bachelor’s degree in cultural anthropology from the University of California at Santa Barbara, where he graduated in 1980 with high honors. Accepted into the doctoral program in anthropology at UCSB, where he was editor in chief of the student newspaper, he was awarded a Regents’ Fellowship and completed three years of graduate study before leaving to pursue a career in journalism.

                                                                                      john@johnkrist.com

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Text and photographs Copyright © 2007 John Krist. All rights reserved.