As The Land Connection’s programs, farmer network, and staff continue to grow, I have to remind myself of how far we have come as an organization, and of how many people have been part of our growth. Thanksgiving week offered me that opportunity.
I would love to say it was because I took the time to sit back and reflect on the last year, that I intentionally quieted my mind and wrote down my thoughts. But really what happened was that I left my phone in a restaurant on a road trip, and stayed in a family cottage with very limited internet. The result of being forcibly unplugged, however, did bring me to a similar place that a mindful meditation might have.In the last year alone we said goodby to long-time staff members, hired three new staff to build our team of five, moved to a new office space, completed our second year of the Champaign Farmers’ Market, worked with new incubator farmers, matched new farmers with mentors, entered new community partnerships, and firmly planted ourselves in the organic grain transition conversation in central Illinois. And we have even bigger plans for 2017.
So thank you. All of you who have participated in our programs, as mentors, as market vendors, as market shoppers, as friends, and as donors. Building a sustainable food movement depends on all of you. And as we enter an uncertain time, we need you even more. I look forward to working with all of you in 2017.