A Path to Farm Community 

November 8, 2023
a group photo of about 25 adults
The 2022-23 cohort of the Reconnecting with Purpose program

Farmers, like all of us, need time and strength to focus on relationships, health, healing and a sense of belonging, yet many agriculture service providers are unable to give wellness the attention it needs. A recent Cornell Small Farms project, Reconnecting with Purpose, aimed to provide farmers with additional support to cope with the hard work, unpredictability and economic stresses of modern day agriculture.

With support from Northeast SARE, a mixed group of 25 educators, farmers and activists gathered in retreat to name barriers and burdens, reclaim their strengths, and listen to and support one another. Drawing from the principles of the Center for Courage and Renewal, facilitators listened attentively and asked honest questions to create a safe space for participants to speak their truths.

Participant and Deep Roots Project founder Mara Marie said, "I'm passionate about the work I do and the folks I get to work with, but this program has supported my journey in taking a look at myself outside of productivity and external expectations."

Although the Reconnecting with Purpose project has drawn to a close, it will flow into a new three-year program called "Growing Benevolent Agricultural Communities.” The Cornell Small Farms Program expects to offer many additional programs through the new project. Want more information? Learn more about Reconnecting with Purpose at https://smallfarms.cornell.edu/projects/reconnecting-with-purpose/.

View Related SARE Grant:

Topics: Analysis of Personal/Family Life, Quality of Life, Social Networks, Social Psychological Indicators, Sustainable Communities
Related Locations: New York, North Central, Northeast, South, West