Improving Communication

A workshop and farm coaching opportunity for better farm relationships and farm profitability

Maine dairy farmDo you find yourself wondering “what should I say?” or asking “what did I say?” Do you ever feel tongue-tied talking with customers or concerned about their reaction? Are you worried about discussing problems with your partner? Is it hard to find the time to have productive meetings?

Effective communication is essential and cost effective for your farm operation. In this 3-hour interactive workshop, Improving Communication, participants will address real farm situations to learn about communication styles, ways to have better conversations, and have a chance to practice new skills. Each participant will identify unique needs and create a plan to address them.

On-farm communication is critical for farm viability, and is one of the most common sources of conflict and frustration for farmers, family members, employees, and customers.

If you:

  • Are part of a farm family or farm team
  • See the benefit of improved communication skills
  • Would like to have conversations that aren’t so awkward
  • Are ready to tackle difficult conversations
  • Find the stress of farm life difficult to express to others

Your participation in Improving Communication will give you tools to adapt to different communication styles, structure dialogue between generations, identify obstacles to shifting management roles, improve internal and external communication, build your relationship capital to improve farm operations, have information-sharing conversations, and create positive, rewarding personal and professional relationships.

You will leave the workshop with at least one goal and steps to reach it.

Farm Coaching

Improving Communication lays the groundwork for an additional opportunity for farm coaching. All workshop attendees are eligible to apply for up to four, 2-hour coaching sessions at no cost. The farm coaching sessions will focus on farm decision-making, goal setting, or communication.

Workshop Details

February 5, 2019, 9am-12pm
Location: online (reliable internet and personal computer required)

Cost for each workshop: $10/person for online session

Registration is Closed

About the Presenters

Leslie Forstadt is the Human Development Specialist with UMaine Cooperative Extension. Part of her focus is on individual farmer well-being and the benefits of the often-overlooked areas of communication and relationship building. She can be reached at

Karen Groat is the director of Family and Community Mediation and has been working extensively with mediators, families, communities and organizations since 2001 specializing in complex family matters, multi-party disputes and work place conflict in more than 3500 mediations. She can be reached at 

For More Information

For more information about the workshops or coaching or to register for a workshop, contact Angela Martin, Administrative Specialist, UMaine Extension at or 207.581.3739 or 800.287.1458 (Maine only).

If you need a reasonable accommodation, please contact Angela Martin at or 207.581.3719 within two weeks of the event. If requests are received after that time, we may not have sufficient time to make necessary arrangements.