Blog posts, videos, curriculum guides, technical guides, webinars, podcasts, calculators and more

Conversation Guide



Activating Where You Are: Community Engagement in Rural Spaces


Marianna Zavala – TomKat Ranch

Shalini Karra – Brown’s Ranch

Ben Gotschall – Holt Creek Jerseys, Wolfe’s Neck Center for Agriculture and the Environment

Kate Clyatt – Mannix Brothers Ranch, Blackfoot Challenge

Alex Michel – TomKat Ranch

Distance may make the heart grow fonder, but it makes community engagement rather difficult. With us all in a world where being socially distanced is now the norm, how can we create the world that we wish to see and live in, while also acknowledging areas for growth and clarity? 

This session will explore different ways to be an engaged citizen in a rural community. Panelists will present and discuss their own methods for building community and addressing pressing local and national issues in order to produce positive social-environmental change while living in rural places. This is an exploration of ways to build the future you want to see from the place you choose to live and work.

BIPOC- Black, Indigenous, and People of Color

Decolonization- The undoing of colonialism by challenging how systems are, knowingly and/or unknowingly, complicit in the oppression of indigenous people.

Indigenization- The action of bringing something, in this case, agriculture, under the control, dominance, or influence of the people native to an area. 

Saviorism- the worldview in which a person, usually white, provides help to non-white people in a self-serving manner. (Also, defined as a perpetuated world view that non-white people need saving by “more civilized” white people.)


  • How are we creating welcoming and inclusive spaces for marginalized communities? 
    • What are measures of success?
  • Is my/our approach to community engagement complex or complicated?
    • What is the difference?
  • In what ways are we honoring stewardship vs ownership of the land?
    • What does this mean for how we engage with others in our community?
  • What supports are needed to grow current community engagement efforts?


  • How does my work connect with this?
  • How could my work connect more deeply into this space?
  • Are there concepts/ideologies from this plenary that I should shape my work going forward?
  • Conversely, are there concepts/ideologies in the way that I currently work that need to let go of?  What will it take to do so?

Organizations/Projects to Check Out:

Youth United for Climate Crisis Action (YUCCA) from Earth Care, Santa Fe, NM

Showing Up for Racial Justice

Rocky Mountain Farmers’ Union

New Mexico Acequia Association

Tewa Women United

Find a Mutual Aid Network near you

Castanea Fellowship

Rural Voices for Conservation Coalition


Additional reading:


Emergent Strategy by Adrienne Maree Brown

Freedom Farmers: Agricultural Resistance and the Black Freedom Movement – Monica M. White

The New Food Activism: Opposition, Cooperation, and Collective Action – Alison Hope Alkon & Julie Guthman: 

Collective Courage: A History of African American Cooperative Economic Thought and Practice by  Jessica Gordon Nembhard

The Color of Food: Stories of Race, Resilience, and Farming by Natasha Bowens

Farming While Black – Leah Penniman



Want to be part of the next wave of activism? Move to rural America

George Floyd’s death awakens activism in rural, white America

“A pig and a garden”: Fannie Lou Hamer and the Freedom Farms Cooperative 

Womanism and Agroecology: An Intersectional Praxis Seed Keeping as Acts of Political Warfare 

What Does Activism Look Like in Rural America?

10 Native Activism Organizations to Show Your Support This Thanksgiving


Other Media:

To See Eachother – A People’s Action Podcast

Rural Roots Rising – Oregon based podcast

Activism Beyond the City: Women, Rural Communities, and the Struggle for Black Freedom – podcast episode with Katherine Mellen Charron on Discovery and Inspiration podcast

Land politics, agrarian movements and scholar-activism – Video

Training the Next Generation of New Agrarians – Regenerate 2018


Funding Sources:

USDA Rural Development Programs

Arch Community Fund

Rural Democracy Initiative Grants

More Conversation Guides

2020 Regenerate Plenary 5 Conversation Guide

2020 Regenerate Plenary 5 Conversation Guide

Conversation Guide    Creative Marketing for Expanding Regenerative Agriculture Sales   Gillian Sanbrook - Bibbaringa Kathryn Bedell - Roan Creek Ranch Marshall Johnson - National Audubon Society, Conservation Ranching Program at NAS Katie Miller - SOCO...

2020 Regenerate Plenary 4 Conversation Guide

2020 Regenerate Plenary 4 Conversation Guide

Conversation Guide    Decolonization and Indigenization: A Panel with the Gather Film Team   More info on the Gather film A-dae Romero-Briones - Cochiti/Kiowa, First Nations Development Institute                Elsie Dubrey - Oohenunpa, Nueta, and Hidatsa,...

2020 Regenerate Plenary 3 Conversation Guide

2020 Regenerate Plenary 3 Conversation Guide

Conversation Guide    Collaborative Land Restoration for Resilience  Rodrigo Sierra-Corona - Santa Lucia Conservancy Valerie Small - Trees, Water, & People, Colorado State University Department of Agricultural Biology Aubrey Streit Krug - The Land...

2020 Regenerate Plenary 2 Conversation Guide

2020 Regenerate Plenary 2 Conversation Guide

Conversation GuideCommunity Resilience in Agriculture During Uncertain Times A-dae Romero-Briones - Cochiti/Kiowa, First Nations Development Institute, Gather film Zach Ducheneaux - Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, Intertribal Agriculture Council Roberto Meza - East Denver...

2020 Regenerate Plenary 1 Conversation Guide

2020 Regenerate Plenary 1 Conversation Guide

Conversation GuideRegenerative Agriculture in the Face of Climate Change LaKisha Odom - Foundation for Food and AgricultureBryan VanStippen - National Indian Carbon CoalitionChris Mehus - Western Sustainability ExchangeLoren Poncia - Stemple Creek Ranch  As...