Lauren Baer: January update

Happy New Year! It’s hard to believe that it is 2023 — and yet I have had no trouble writing the correct date on documents since approximately Jan. 3 (possibly the earliest date I have achieved this in my lifetime).

I’ll be honest, I am very excited about this year for Together We Grow. We had a strong 2022 (check out the update below on the 2022 annual report), but I think the best is yet to come for this organization. Not only do we have a fantastic annual conference planned in April in partnership with MANRRS in Atlanta, Ga. (have you registered yet?!), but we also have some very important work coming up related to the strategic plan for TWG. This organization has a lofty and critical mission that can only be improved by a strategic plan that affords TWG the opportunity to establish clear goals and objectives and measure our impact over time. As a result, the TWG board of directors has nominated and established a strategic planning committee to pursue this effort over the first six months of 2023. This group of leaders comes from a variety of organizations, roles, and diverse backgrounds and perspectives, and I can’t wait to see what we achieve in the coming months as a committee.

Throughout this effort, we need you! We will be determining ways to engage with you and get your input and perspective through various channels, such as conversations, surveys, and via the Connect Conference and 2023 Annual Meeting. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to be a part of influencing our future and direction as an organization — we are better together. Let’s do this!

Lauren Baer
Executive Director, Together We Grow

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