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MJ Pickett

Coldharbour Chair, MEM Lecturer and Graduate Mentor


M.E.M., Western Colorado University, Sustainable and Resiliet Communities, 2017
B.S., University of Vermont, Natural Resource Planning, 2010


MJ Pickett is a farmer and educator who works with her husband and daughter to grow pasture raised hogs and mixed vegetables in Gunnison, Colorado. She believes that food brings people together across cultures, knowledge, skills, and status. MJ has helped to co-found her local producers’ guild, works as the Colorado Hub Leader for the Savory Institute, and is the Executive Director of Coldharbour Institute in Gunnison. She is a 2019 awarded Breakthrough Leader in Sustainable Food Systems, 2020-2021 Rocky Mountain Farmers Union Fellow, and holds her Masters degree in Environmental Management with a focus on local and regional food systems from Western Colorado University.

What most excites you about your field?

It has been a lifelong journey to find myself, my passions, and my strengths as a leader. I have found that there is strength in empathy, compassion, and understanding. I have found that holding yourself and others to a high standard does not mean a compromise in other areas of life, and that integrity in what you do matters as much as what you say no to. It is these skills that I have cultivated and continue to improve that allow me to be the regenerative leader I am today. By realizing others’ strengths and allowing them to shine, allows the entire team/ organization/ business to reach it’s potential and go beyond what originally thought imaginable.

What is your favorite thing about the Gunnison Valley?

I love the community here in the Gunnison Valley. This community supports one another in times of hardship and celebration. It is such an honor to call Gunnison home.

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