Farmlink Friendships

From left to right: Faith Goetzke, Alex Partridge, Lindsay Carlin, Kyla Goux, Sarah Friedman, Alex Huynh, and Julianna Deibel meet in Minneapolis, MN

By Annabelle Stoker

July 29th, 2021

For many of us on the internal team, The Farmlink Project has become much more than a job or a volunteer opportunity: it is the root of some of our most meaningful friendships. During a year of isolation, the Farmlink Project community filled so much of what we felt was missing from our lives; now, it’s something I can’t imagine my life without. This sentiment holds true throughout the organization.

Audrey Slatkin, Sustainability Team Lead, describes how “each new Farmlink friend [she’s] made has been so intelligent yet personable, so driven but still so warm and generous with their time.” Audrey went on to say how Farmlinkers are “so different yet so similar, not only in the values we hold true, but in this magical shared energy we all seem to radiate.”

This “magical shared energy” was even more apparent than usual when, at the opening of our first in-person office this month in Los Angeles, Farmlinkers who had spent hour upon hour on Zoom together got to meet off-screen for the first time. Each time the office door swung open, newcomers were swarmed and greeted with welcome hugs. We oohed and ahhed over the view of Downtown Los Angeles from our 32nd-floor office and chatted about the dreams we have for the future of The Farmlink Project—


View from the Farmlink Project office

The office is not yet fully furnished, so while some sat on the few available couches, other team members made themselves comfortable on the floor. Keyboards were clicking, Slack notifications chiming, and Zoom calls beginning. I found myself looking up from my work more often than I usually would simply because watching other people work was so exciting. Almost immediately, members from different teams started new cross-organization projects. In one afternoon, Quinn Ramberg took on the tasks of designing a few new Google Advertisements for the Analytics Team and building a new section of our website for the Sustainability Team. Caroline Ricksen, a Farmlink Project alumna, brought donuts in for everyone.

From left to right: James Kanoff, Mia Foster, Caroline Ricksen, Margot Hoffman, Jordan Hartzell, and Jack Rehnborg

These reunions aren’t just taking place on Farmlink turf, though; throughout the year, regional meetups have taken place all across the country. Lindsay Carlin, a Hunger and Outreach Team (HOT) Lead, has met up with Farmlinkers in Seattle, New York City, and Minneapolis, and is working on planning a Chicago get-together soon. She says that “it’s been absolutely surreal to meet everyone in three dimensions, and each time I do, I feel a renewed sense of gratitude to be part of a team of such kind, interesting, and spirited people who are as invested in the community as they are in the day-to-day work. It feels like catching up with old friends because of the amount of time we've spent ‘together’ and the shared experiences we have as a result.”

Olivia Groell, Impact Team Co-Lead, has also met a few Farmlinkers in person over the past year. “It has felt so positive to meet up with my Farmlink family in person, because I really feel like everyone genuinely wants to connect and become lifelong friends. I feel supported, cared for, and excited to continue building relationships whenever I meet up with Farmlinkers in real life.”

Left image: Olivia Groell, left, meeting up for the first time with her Impact Team Co-Lead and friend Rebecca Isaacson, right, in Boston, MA

Right image: Lindsay Carlin, Olivia Groell, Lauren Yun, and Sophia Adelle meeting in Central Park, NYC