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Reflections from Previous Participants

“This is a really important program for helping our food system stay sustainable because so many educators and farmers are just so burned out and it’s because of more than all the work we got to do. A lot of times it’s because we have forgotten to keep the things that give us life in our lives and work.”

“The program provided an opportunity to practice listening skills, to talk with people outside of their immediate professional circle, to learn how to discuss interpersonal topics in a professional manner – all of these are so important to a successful work life and even more important to a successful leader.”

“I’m passionate about the work I do and the folks I get to work with, but this program has really supported my journey in taking a look at myself outside of productivity and external expectations.”

“The Reconnecting with Purpose program gave me incredible insight into the passion and strength of individuals in the food systems field.  It also inspired me to become a productive member of this community to support and advocate for local food producers.”

“I feel less alone with many of the burdens I feel in my job and I feel as if I have the tools to help alleviate some of those burdens.”

“Allowing time (and instruction!) to listen and be listened to was honestly profound.  It was also great to have time allotted for introspection and encouragement to explore both the issues and beauty of what we experience and who we are.”

“The space for reflection allowed me to take a good long look at myself and learn some new things.  I feel very connected with where I am at this moment and where I want to go and that is hard to do in the everyday grind of life.”

“I feel the greatest benefit is that I know, better, how to balance not only me work and life, but also my emotional health and wellbeing in regards to my work. I am less afraid to bring to the table more of who I am to what I do – I know it is a muscle that will take practice (and thankfully we had regular practice during the project). I am willing to let my programs become less about ticking boxes and more about making differences in peoples lives (yes evalution is still an important factor to measure how my work impacts others – but I recognize that there is more to be considered than qualitative data in our work).”

“It has inspired me to take on new and exciting roles that I admittedly have butterflies about taking on, but believe that not only is this work important but that I have a responsibility and opportunity to help guide this work.”

“I really appreciated the comradery and relationship building with other’s in my field or similar fields, who have similar perspective to me and who I would not have come into contact with or gotten to know otherwise. I also really appreciated the safe environment and ability to share things I am usually uncomfortable talking about, especially in a “work” setting.”

“It’s truly bewildering how in the midst of a pandemic and virtual everything that I’ve still managed to connect deeply with so many wonderful individuals that share similar passions and hopes for their work. It’s been an honor to learn about others’ journeys and projects. This project has really added perspective to my work and influenced the expectations I set on myself.”

“This program is a missing link in our world and in our professions, one that we definitely need to nurture and pay attention to.”

Violet Stone

Violet is the coordinator of the Reconnecting with Purpose project, which offers farm and food system educators and change makers a retreat space to explore challenges and renew a sense of inspiration and purpose in their work and lives. She is also a collaborator on the Be Well Farming Project. This project creates reflective spaces for farmers and food producers to connect meaningfully and explore strategies that can ameliorate challenges and bolster quality of life. Violet serves as the NY SARE Coordinator and can help farmers and educators navigate NESARE grant opportunities.
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