Kristin Kirkpatrick: May message

Where I live, in Colorado, the trees have begun to bloom, the grass has finally greened, and after a season of storms and confinement, it does feel that the world is opening, if even a little bit, sowing seeds of hope.

As we look to summer, I hear the sunshine in your voices as you share not only the work that you are proud to have accomplished these past dark months, but also your plans to disconnect and step away from your obligations if even for a moment. I know for many of us, we are entering this new season running on fumes. I hear your words of exhaustion, both because the work you have undertaken this past year has required herculean innovation as we’ve retooled nearly every aspect of how we approach our work, and also because the emotional labor of our efforts is heavy.

Our members are people who hold space — for your employees, your students, and your community. You are the safe space where people come to grieve. To process. To share in the unending work of building a better workplace, educational experience, and community.

I sit in the fortunate place of hearing your many successes and struggles this past year, and I am certainly inspired by the collective impact this work is making on our organizations and on our industry as a whole. I hope that as you find time in these coming months to take a breath, that part of what you reflect upon is a sense of accomplishment. A sense that things are changing. Our organizations are changing. We are changing. Because of you.

With gratitude,



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