You’re Invited: Reconnecting with Purpose

hands tree team reconnecting unsplashAs farm and food system educators or change makers working alongside rural and urban farm communities, we face enormous challenges to our efforts to support improved livelihoods of those we serve. Among these are climate instability, rapidly shifting markets, exorbitant land/lot prices, lack of resources, race/gender/class inequities, and labor shortages. While we may design focused educational programs or convene groups to work towards change, our work can become daunting. Over time, we may find our energy, commitment and spirit depleted.

Are you seeking a space to step away from day-to-day work to pause, reflect, replenish and connect with a larger community of others doing similar work? The Cornell Small Farms Program is pleased to invite you to a unique development opportunity: Reconnecting with Purpose – A Retreat Program for NY Farm and Food System Educators and Change Makers. This 5-month program is designed for those working across the New York farm and food system and seeks participants from all backgrounds, roles and ages. This includes those working with NYS community gardens, urban farms, youth farms, food systems organizers (e.g. food hubs, food banks), farmer-educators, Cornell Cooperative Extension, USDA, NRCS, non-profit organizations, private consultants, and community foundations.

“Reconnecting with Purpose” aims to create a welcoming and trustworthy space for farm and food system educators to explore challenges, to re-engage with personal strengths and capacities to address them, and to renew a sense of inspiration and purpose in their work and lives. The program, which spans from October 2020 – March 2021, consists of a virtual 2½ day opening retreat followed by 4 monthly peer learning circles, and ending with a virtual 2½ day closing retreat. Although virtual, this program will not be led by ‘sage on the stage’ facilitators; facilitators will be guides on the side with your active engagement throughout. Retreats are comprised of 3-hour long Zoom sessions in the mornings and afternoons, with spacious breaks in between. All programming is aligned with the Center for Courage & Renewal principles and practices and is funded by the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program.

Learn More About Reconnecting with Purpose

Learn much more about the intended audience, retreats, peer learning circles, approach, key project dates and project leaders by visiting the project website.

Join Project Leaders for a Drop-in Q&A Session

Curious but have questions? Join a virtual session anytime on Wednesday, August 19th from 1:00pm – 2:00pm to meet the project leaders and ask questions.

How to Apply

To apply for the program, click here.  Thanks to support from NESARE, this program is offered at no cost. Applications are due Friday, August 28th.

Violet Stone

Violet's work focuses on creating retreats, workshops and programs for the agricultural community centered on themes of connection, wellness, purpose, integrity and courage. She sees this work as contributing to a more inclusive ‘culture’ of agriculture where all voices are warmly welcomed, honored and celebrated, including the voices of our ‘inner teachers’, sometimes referred to as 'spirit' or 'soul'. Violet serves as the NY SARE Coordinator and can help farmers and educators navigate NESARE grant opportunities.