About the Team

If you are interested in farm coaching, mediation, training for service providers, or would like more information about the Toolkit for working with farmers or the Guide to Farm Coaching, please contact leslie.forstadt@maine.edu.

Meet the team!

Abby Sadauckas with her dog, sheep, and goats Abby Sadauckas, MFA, is a farmer and agricultural service provider. Abby operates Apple Creek Farm, an organic livestock operation in Bowdoinham with her fiance Jake. Her farm roles include marketing & communication, financial management and daily operations.
In addition to working as a farm coach, Abby is the Maine Field Agent for Land For Good, the president of Brunswick Farmers Market Association, and serves on the steering committee of Slow Money Maine.

Karen Groat Karen Groat has worked extensively with the Maine Association of Mediators and the Maine Agricultural Mediation Program. She brings experience managing programming for multiple non-profits as well as mediation experience having worked with mediators, families, communities and outside organizations for over 18 years, specializing in complex family conflict and systems in more than 3500 mediations. She is an experienced Transformative Mediation trainer and communication coach, she provides private, business and court-related mediation and training and is on the Maine Association of Mediators Board of Governors.

Leslie ForstadtLeslie Forstadt, PhD, Extension Professor, Human Development Specialist, conducts educational programs and research about farm/family balance, communication skills, and stress and resilience. She is Director of the Maine Agricultural Mediation Program and a member of the farm coaching team. She is one of the authors of the Toolkit for Agricultural Service Providers and the Guide to Farm Communication Coaching.

Polly Shyka Polly Shyka co-owns and operates Villageside Farm in Freedom, Maine. She values open and clear communication and loves working with other farm owners and farm workers to practice these skills. Polly is also studying to become an Interfaith Chaplain.


Tori JacksonTori Lee Jackson, MS-Plant, Soil and Environmental Science, Associate Professor, Extension Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources, specializes in beginning farmer education and farm business management. She provides one-on-one consulting with beginning farmers in the early stages, and continues relationships with them as their businesses evolve and change, providing feedback and insight about business planning, technicalities of growing, and expanding production practices.

This material is based upon work supported by USDA/NIFA under Award Number 2018-70027-28588.

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