I'm Pete McLean and True North is my baby. It has been born from trial and error and error and error and...you get the picture. And now, here it is. A project committed to equipping and empowering individuals and teams to achieve the results they want while deepening the relationships they hold most dear.
I made my living for the past 8 years as a vegetable farmer and community educator. I moved to Amherst to work at Brookfield Farm. Did that for 3 years then Tobin Porter-Brown and I started Book & Plow Farm up the road at Amherst College. It was at Book & Plow where I started to feel the ache. It was a literal ache at first.
I broke my back. Broke it in January. Operated on it in June.
I sprang back to work after the surgery ache free. The ache, though, changed form and came back. Six months in a bed, depressed, sad, and scared led to a lot of questioning. Who am I? What do I have to offer if I’m not farming? If I have nothing to offer, will anyone love me? I’m a big, physical guy. I’ve been praised for it my whole life as an athlete and then as a farmer. My physicality was my identity. That identity was being called into question.
The years since my 2014 surgery have been a quest to answer those questions for myself. A quest to understand what I offer, where my value stems from, and what I am willing to risk to live the life I’ve been aching for. I joined the Mankind Project, a group that does incredible work in regards to emotional intelligence, integrity and accountability with men to reclaim what masculinity can look like, act like, talk like. I went to weekend workshops and trainings aimed at answering these questions for myself. I began to read anything I could get my hands on in regards to human development, human potential, and basic human goodness. I found teachers and mentors to guide me in my search.
I then began seeing overlaps between my quest and my work as Program Director at Book & Plow. I quickly realized that I spent much more of my time thinking about how to engage a 1700 person student body than how to grow a carrot. After 4 years, creating 16 different programs, and facilitating over 5000 student participants I realized I’m way more into growing people than I am food. In 2016, I launched a pilot program focused on coaching individuals through change, through understanding themselves more deeply, through career change, through whatever they brought with them into my office.
After having seen over 50 clients in the first 4 months, working with 2 different teams of over 20 and transitioning Book & Plow Farm to Amherst College, I am even more confident in my move further out towards that ache. That ache to move. That ache to step. That ache to make happen what I know is possible for myself.
- Mankind Project – Current Trainer and Facilitator
- The Event, a Breakthrough Training – 2 Time Attendee, 2014 and 2016
- New Warrior Training Adventure – Attendee 2015, Staff 2016
- B.A in Sociology from Messiah College
- Sorceress’s Apprenticeship
- Small Business Planning – MDAR