Small Bites: Is Farm Coaching for Me?

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.

What happens in a Farm Coaching session?Extension expert with farmer in vegetable field. Photo by Edwin Remsberg

Farm Coaching is farmer-centric. Farm coaches follow the leads and needs of the farm team. The farm team’s goals and stuck spots rule the agenda. Coaches take notes, ask clarifying questions. Coaches work to help teams notice, articulate and investigate values, priorities, and patterns.

Here are a few things farm teams have done in the Farm Coaching program:

  • develop a labor tracking form to better account for crew hours
  • develop an agenda and activities for an all farm staff meeting to announce management changes
  • discuss roles and responsibilities of different leaders in the business
  • develop a communication plan that maps out daily, weekly, seasonal and annual meetings
  • engage in facilitated discussions with multiple generations of stakeholders
  • engage in facilitated conversations around long term goals and develop action plans to move toward them

Farm Coaching is a place where farm teams can come together to learn something new and gain new skills and tools to go forward together. Farm Coaching helps teams grow stronger and smarter and kinder, together.

Call the farm coaches to see what can work for you.