Workshop: Improving Communication

Farm barnA New Year’s goal, or resolution: Improve on-farm communication with UMaine Extension – for farmers and farm teams

Do 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? More information and registration are available online.

Effective interpersonal 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.

Jan. 8, 10 a.m.–1 p.m., at University of Maine Cooperative Extension Hancock County office, 63 Boggy Brook Road, Ellsworth; Feb. 5, 9 a.m.–noon, online only

UMaine Extension human development specialist Leslie Forstadt, and family and community mediation director Karen Groat will lead the workshops. Each participant will identify unique needs and create a plan to address them. All workshop attendees also are eligible to apply for up to four coaching sessions at no cost. The farm coaching sessions will focus on farm decision-making, goal setting or communication.

COST: $15/person or $25/couple, and includes workbook and refreshments for Ellsworth training; $10/person for online session. Register online.

For more information or to request a reasonable accommodation, contact Angela Martin, 207.581.3739; More information also is online. The workshops and coaching are made possible by a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture Northeast Extension Risk Management Education.