Kristin Kirkpatrick: June message

Moments of transition are always a time for reflection. And so, I find myself waxing nostalgic as I pass the baton to our new executive director (see more details on our fantastic hire below).

It has been an honor to serve at the helm of Together We Grow these past three years. So much has shifted in this short time. As our small team and our board have been working hard to build this organization out of the ground brick by brick, the world has experienced war, famine, a pandemic, and a historic uprising to demand more equitable outcomes in our social contract with one another. We’ve reimagined what resilient food systems look like. We’ve radically altered the way we think about, and engage, in work.

For Together We Grow, the reason for our being remains a long game. We’ve made progress, but there is so much more work to do. The actual work of innovating to progress more global food security and climate resiliency. The cultural work of creating organizations, education systems, and workplaces where we are harnessing the potential of all our students and employees. The systems change work of creating more equitable outcomes and economic gains for more people.

We’ve often used 2050 as our benchmark. What might the world look like then? It’s certainly easy to think about a long list of threats and challenges from the technical to the socio-political. But the list of potential and opportunity is equally as long. How good could it get? How much progress can we make? By working together, what could we create?

I’m not the only one in my household experiencing transition. My oldest child is graduating from elementary school as I write this. He’ll be roughly my age in 2050. As I watched him and his fellow classmates transition out of one chapter of life into a new one, I couldn’t help but reflect. On the joy of the past. On the hope of the future. On their unlimited potential.

What world are we creating for these young people? For ourselves? I can’t wait to see. Thank you for letting me be a part of the starting chapters of this amazing organization. I’m eager to see how the story unfolds.

With gratitude, always,

Kristin Kirkpatrick
Executive Director, Together We Grow

This message was included in Together We Grow’s June 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.