Small Bites – Welcome the New Year and Learn Something for You

Authored by Coach Polly Shyka

Small Bites are short, informational articles with practical ideas about stress reduction, improved communication, and farm 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 teams.

Learn Something for You

As the New Year approaches, put yourself into winter planning! As you tee up your spreadsheets and seed catalogs and dig into the predictable planning and analysis after the farm season, consider making a learning plan for yourself. Actually, two lists might be in order: one for farm-related learning and research, and another that feeds some of your interests other than farming.

The farm list should reflect some of your struggles in the last year. Pests, varieties, staffing issues. Or an area that you want to grow into. A lot of farmers in Maine are looking to learn more about decolonization and racial justice. You could start a book group over Zoom with some of your farmer colleagues, or sign up for a workshop. We are missing each other in so many ways.

Beware of the rabbit-hole effect that watching YouTube videos can lead to! Make a list. Make it reasonable with just 3 key ideas or interests you would like to explore and then tack it up for yourself. It is so fun to be a student.

With podcasts and web-based learning opportunities sprouting faster than galinsoga in May, there are so many free and low-priced webinars, live web events, and videos to take in. Throw in a book for good measure, of course, and have a great time getting smarter, kinder, more resilient. And Happy New Year~

Looking for new ideas for personal and professional development? The farm coaches can send you ideas based on your interests and goals.