Collaborative design (co-design) is a design strategy for generating relevant and socially acceptable technologies, and is inherently political by nature of its inclusion of particular groups and interests. This paper explores how to ethically and responsibly prepare for, notice and overcome barriers to including agricultural workers in the co-design of new agricultural technologies. Drawing from feminist science and technology studies (STS), we offer response-able mattering as an analytic tool to explore how the COVID-19 pandemic caused and illuminated existing barriers to inclusion within an Aotearoa New Zealand-based co-design project. We argue that addressing barriers to inclusion requires prioritizing relationships and relationship building in technology design projects. This prioritization must account for a multiplicity of relationship building tempos (e.g., the time/pace necessary to ethically establish and maintain research relationships), temporal tensions (e.g., the pace of technology development versus the ability to meaningfully include collaborators), and un/intended relational cuts (e.g., boundaries or barriers affecting relationship building).