Practical Tips for Farm Resiliency – Who Does What on the Farm?
Who Does What on the Farm?
Small Bites are short, informational articles with practical ideas about stress reduction, improved communication, and family well-being. They are written by coaches from UMaine Extension’s Farm Coaching team. Farm Coaches are available at no cost to work remotely with farmers and farm families.
Some farms are led by one person. Some by partners who are also in an intimate relationship. Many farms are led by friends or community members. Some farms are run by family members from different generations and sometimes multiple family units. Leadership and decision making are sometimes collaborative, sometimes top-down, and sometimes completely unclear. Each constellation has its opportunities and most have challenges, too.
Talking about who does what on the farm and how you make decisions can help involve everyone and can create more clarity if there is confusion or lack of clarity. Organizational charting is a way to record and discuss the leadership “chain of command.” If you have an employee manual, putting an organizational chart in there can save a lot of confusion when someone is seeking the right person to ask a question of. It might read something like this:
At Julietta Farm, we strive for clear communication and efficiency. We offer this basic chart that shows our farm leadership team’s areas of responsibility. Please direct questions and seek further instruction from the person associated with the task you are working on.
Atina Diffley, of Organic Farming Works, has a very helpful resource called “Roles and Responsibilities: Who is Responsible for What.” Want to walk through it with a farm coach? We are happy to have a conversation with the leader(s) of the farm and facilitate a conversation to clarify roles. Reach out to the Farm Coaches to set up a time to chat.