Be Well Farming

Project Leads: Violet Stone and Anu Rangarajan


Farmers face stress and uncertainty in many aspects of their businesses and livelihoods. Yet with animals to feed, crops to tend and products to sell, it can be hard to rest, to set aside time to invest in one’s own well-being and cultivate supportive relationships within a community. This attentiveness toward personal resilience is important, as the entire system is dependent on the vitality of the farmers and farm employees.

The Be Well Farming Project creates reflective spaces for farmers to connect meaningfully and explore strategies that can ameliorate challenges and bolster farmers’ quality of life.

Announcing Virtual and In-Person Retreat Details - full description, click here.

The retreats will be held both in an online format and in-person.  In-person attendees are required to submit proof of COVID-19 vaccination as part of the registration process.  In the event that the in-person retreat is not possible, both sessions will be offered online.

  • Online/Virtual: December 1-3, 2021 via Zoom.

Our online session will invite you into a warm and welcoming virtual retreat home. We will connect meaningfully through a mix of modalities: individual reflection, small and large group sharing, dialogue walks, arts and yoga. Participants will receive a mailing with all handouts and materials needed.  Plenty of opportunities to rest your eyes and body from the screen will be offered both in session and between. Please reserve Dec 1 and Dec 2 from 9 am – 4 pm and Dec 3 from 9am – Noon (final schedule still in development).   Participants will be asked to commit to being fully present throughout the online experience preferably on a tablet or desktop/laptop computer with a camera and reliable internet connection. Online Sessions will not be recorded.  Scholarships will be available to support full participation, based upon request by the applicant.

The program begins at 4 pm on Friday, December 10th and concludes on Sunday, December 12th at 3:30 pm (final schedule still in development).  All meals and snacks will be provided and dietary restrictions can be accommodated.

In both the online and in-person sessions, participants will be invited into a supportive environment, where there is a sense of comfort, community and connection that fosters authentic dialog and self-reflection. Potential participants are asked to consider the following commitments:

  • Participants are asked to be available to attend and engaged in all three days of the in-person retreat and during each of the sessions of the online program.  Attendees should come prepared to be fully present to take full advantage of this opportunity.
  • In-person participants are expected to follow the required health and safety protocols throughout the retreat

COVID-19/Delta Safety Considerations:  All in-person participants will be required to upload proof of completion of a COVID vaccination.  Masks will be required indoors at the retreat facility in accordance to MA health requirements.  Accommodations will include single rooms with access to shared bathroom facilities.

Join the Be Well Farming E-mail List

This e-mail list is a forum for active discussion on issues of health and well-being and fostering community connections for farmers. This listserve is hosted by Tufts University.


  1. Choose the email address with which you want to subscribe to the list.
  2. Send a message to from the address you want to subscribe to the list.
  3. In the subject line of your message, type in: subscribe bewellfarming yourFirstName  yourLastName. For example, subscribe bewellfarming Jane Doe
  4. Leave the message body blank.  List subscription is subject to approval by the list owner. You will receive a message telling you whether your request was accepted or not..

This material is based upon work supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, through the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program under subaward number LNE 19-377-33243.

News and Updates

Be Well Farming: A Retreat Experience for Farmers

By Violet Stone | October 8, 2021

How do we feed and care for ourselves while we feed others? What types of practices and connections support us to be our best selves in the challenging work of…

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Be Well July Letter: The Role of Listening Communication on the Farm

By Violet Stone | July 9, 2021

Dear farming and earth-tending friends, We are thinking of you during these hot and humid July days.  Hope you are finding some moments for rest, especially in the cool evening…

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June Letter: Taking Care of Our Bodies

By Violet Stone | June 9, 2021

Dear farming and earth-tending friends, It occurred to us that we didn’t properly introduce our monthly letter yet!  If you opened our email last month, you might have wondered what…

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About Violet Stone

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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.

Read Articles by Violet Stone


Anu was appointed director the Cornell Small Farms Program in 2004. At the same time, she opened a U-pick strawberry farm in Freeville, NY. The experience of operating a small farm changed her entire approach to research and extension, and deepened her commitment to NY farms and local food systems.

Read Articles by Anu Rangarajan