Kristin Kirkpatrick: February message


Hope. Exhaustion. Challenge. (Re)commitment. Acceleration. Fortitude.

When I speak with you, this is what I hear in your stories and your words. 2021 has those of us who are leading culture change within our organizations and this industry looking at the agenda for the year with awe. When I hear each of you — our non-profit leaders, our university faculty, our agribusiness and governmental partners — talk about your initiatives for this year, there is no end to our ambition. It is the necessary and important work needed to power us towards a more equitable future, provide space for continued healing, and maybe even sow the seeds of unity across a divided nation.

As we come together to create a more skilled, diverse, and inclusive food and agriculture sector, the now-infamous words of Amanda Gorman are worth repeating in print here:

We are striving to forge a union with purpose,
to compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters and
conditions of man.
And so we lift our gazes not to what stands between us,
but what stands before us.
We close the divide because we know, to put our future first,
we must first put our differences aside.
We lay down our arms
so we can reach out our arms
to one another.
We seek harm to none and harmony for all.
Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true,
that even as we grieved, we grew,
that even as we hurt, we hoped,
that even as we tired, we tried,
that we’ll forever be tied together, victorious.

Ever onward,



This message was included in Together We Grow’s February newsletter. Subscribe to the monthly newsletter.

Kristin Kirkpatrick, Executive Director, Together We Grow

Kristin Kirkpatrick is the Executive Director for Together We Grow and the Center for an Enhanced Workforce in Agribusiness, located at Colorado State University. In this role, Kristin works alongside a consortium of many of the world’s largest agribusiness interests, including members of industry, non-governmental organizations, higher education, and government institutions. Together We Grow is focused on building a skilled, diverse, and inclusive agricultural workforce that can power the innovation needed to feed the future.   

Kristin has always had a passion for systems change that creates more equitable opportunities and has done this work through the lenses of public health, policy advocacy, and community development. Most recently, she helped lead Kimbal Musk’s national nonprofit Big Green, which integrates food literacy education into school curriculums across the country.

Kristin has been an instructor with the Colorado School of Public Health at CSU and served as Chief of Wellness Planning for Bellisimo Development Inc., helping lead the master planning, design, and actualization of the award-winning Bucking Horse and landmark Jessup Farm projects in Fort Collins, Colo. She earned a bachelor’s degree in health and exercise science from CSU and a master’s degree in urban and regional planning from the University of Colorado.