Reconnecting with Purpose

Project Leads: Violet Stone


As farm and food system educators or change makers, we face enormous challenges to our efforts to support improved livelihoods of those we serve.  Although we may work hard toward positive change and genuine service, our goals can become daunting. There are times we find our energy, commitment and spirit depleted.

Are you seeking a space to step away from day-to-day work to pause, reflect, search and connect with a broad community of others working in the farm and food system?  We are pleased to offer a third year Cohort opportunity for "Reconnecting with Purpose – A Renewal Experience for NY Farm and Food System Educators and Change Makers".

Over this 5 month journey, facilitators foster a welcoming and trustworthy space for participants to explore challenges, to "live their questions", and to uncover a sense of clarity and direction in their work and lives.

See below for program details, FAQs, testimonials, project video and program facilitators.

Announcement as of September 30th, 2023. We are pleased to announce that the "Reconnecting with Purpose" project will flow into a bigger and broader community called "Growing Together".  This expanded community includes alumni and kin from years of our Retreats working in partnerships to offer expanded programs.  Head over to our new web page to learn more:

If you could describe the program impact in one word, what would it be?

Emboldening Grounded Grace Freeing Loved Open-hearted Supported Growth Supported Successful Mindfulness Deep connection Boundless enthusiasm Understanding Self-care Joy Power Rediscovery Perspective strengthened Purpose Acceptance Patience Renewed Connection Motivated Grateful Passion Solidarity Deepened Impactful Reinvigorated Strengthened Purpose Valuable Acceptance Inspirational renewed

Reconnecting with Purpose Program Facilitators

VioletViolet Stone is the Reconnecting with Purpose Program Coordinator and the NY State NESARE Professional Development Coordinator.  Violet has a passion for creating welcoming spaces that invite authentic reflection and warm connection.  Her first encounter with work of the Center for Courage & Renewal in 2018 was transformative in giving her the courage to co-create a development opportunity that invited and honored the whole self.  She co-facilitates this project with Anu and Jamillah with gratitude and humility. She has been working in the field of sustainable and regenerative agriculture for over 20 years and has led projects for the Cornell Small Farms Program since 2007.


Anu Rangarajan is a co-facilitator and program team member.  She is the Director of the Cornell Small Farms Program and the Equitable Farm Futures Initiative.  Anu also co-leads the Be Well Farming project aimed at creating unique spaces for connection among farmers.  She has worked for 30+ years in sustainable agriculture, and has a newly discovered talent- a special gift for reciting poetry!


Jamillah El Bey (Roo) is a co-facilitator, program team member and alumni. She is also a gardener, earth worker, integrated healer and wellness educator. From the moment Jamillah joined the program in 2020, she has brought boundless enthusiasm and deep wisdom to our community spaces.  Always inspired by natures gifts and wonders, Jamillah continues to search for the best version of herself. This constant reflection is what lights the path to her life’s mission to “uplift fallen humanity”.  She is always seeking ways to be of service to the communities, families and individuals that are in need.  Her hobbies include and are not limited to woodworking, toy making, quilting, art of all kinds. She also has a pretty awesome library that includes books that span various topics.

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Marcia Eames-Sheavly served as the co-founder and co-designer of Reconnecting with Purpose.  Without Marcia's generous enthusiasm and commitment, this program would not exist today.  She co-facilitated the program up until her retirement from Cornell and remains a friend and mentor to the program.

Sponsored by Northeast SARE

This project 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 SNE20-010-NY

News and Updates

You’re Invited: Reconnecting with Purpose

By Violet Stone | August 10, 2020

As 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…

Read More

See the full archive from Reconnecting with Purpose

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


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