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Dr. Ivette Ruiz

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Dr. Ivette Ruiz

Healing by Growing Farms

Dr. Ivette Ruiz, a dedicated Latinx farmer and advocate, is a beacon of resilience and transformation. For decades, she served her community through distinguished careers with FEMA, the National American Red Cross, and Yale; spearheading national disability inclusion efforts ensuring ADA best practices. However, a life-altering brain injury in 2020 forced her to confront a new reality.

Amidst the struggle to adapt, Dr. Ruiz found solace in the embrace of nature. Tending her land, planting trees, and nurturing life became her sanctuary. This profound experience sparked a transformative mission: to share the healing power of nature with others facing trauma.

In 2021, Dr. Ruiz founded Healing by Growing Farms (HBG), more than just a farm. It’s a haven where trauma survivors cultivate hope, self-reliance, and their connection with the land. Guided by the principle of “Sanando (Healing) Our Brain, Our Spirit and Our Soil,” HBG empowers individuals to thrive through accessible green spaces. Dr. Ruiz now devotes her life to HBG as a farmer, trainer, consultant, and coach.

Dr. Ruiz champions accessibility in the food system, advocating for a more inclusive space for all. Her voice resonates widely, making her a sought-after speaker, accessibility coach, and national presenter. She has presented and consulted with organizations like Agrability, USDA NRCS, UCONN and the National Young Farmers Network – Cultivemos, inspiring inclusivity within agriculture. Furthermore, Dr. Ruiz sits on the RAFI USA board, delivers keynote speeches, and guides others in creating welcoming accessible green spaces for marginalized communities. She even founded the first-ever Northeast Disability & Agriculture Conference, now in its second year (May 18, 2024). Dr. Ivette Ruiz’s journey exemplifies the human spirit’s ability to heal through nature and community. Her dedication to accessible agriculture leaves a lasting impact, one thriving garden at a time.