Kristin Kirkpatrick: November message

We’re entering the season of gratitude. That time of year when we create pause in the bustle and arrange spaces and tables to celebrate the people in our lives. We cross distances, both physical and perceived, to share something together that we hope will be meaningful.

I hope for each of you who reads this note, that this year finds you with more opportunity to be with the people you love. That you are able to celebrate those that might be missing from your table this year, and welcome the faces that may be new. Perhaps, in this season, it is hard to find gratitude as the difficulty of the recent past continues to wear on. As we feel weighted by the reality of the world around us. Perhaps we feel acutely aware of our blessings large and small – the important impact of our work, the support you have provided your teammates, for the simple fact of being alive.

I’m lucky to have four generations of my family in my town – my children have three great grandmothers within miles – plus a big extended family spread across the country, many of whom plan to return to Colorado for the holidays. We’ve had losses. Births. Marriages. Death. Reimagining of lives. And digging in to meaningful careers.

This season still feels uncertain. But, I know that I’ll continue to try to find moments of gratitude. It’s a practice I attempt every day. I’m almost always grateful for nature – the sunshine and blue skies of Colorado are hard to beat. My kids are still young enough to be snuggly and full of silliness and giggles, and those things make my list almost every day too.

And so do you. I am so inspired by our members and partners. Those of you who are going above and beyond to make the world better for your students and coworkers. Those of you who have taken on new efforts to make the world more just. Those of you who are reimagining how the world could operate and continuing to push our organizations to do better. Those of you who pick up the phone to check in on those who might be having a hard day (Philomena – I’m thanking you personally here).

In this season of gratitude, I am deeply grateful for you. And I hope in whatever way you gather, you are able to spend time with those who mean the most to you.



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