Upcoming Training

Financial health is personal!

In farming, we often talk business. Business finances, business planning, and goal setting for business are placed front and center. But what about the personal side? Have we thought about how we get paid, how to save for vacation, and where financial planning for the future fits into the business?  Sometimes it feels taboo. For many of us, our beliefs about money were learned at an early age and it’s not always the easiest to talk about.

Land & Water Lunchbox Series

Topic: Parenting Kids Young and Old

When: March 28 11a-12p


What: How are you doing parenting and farming at the same time? This drop-in session will be an informal opportunity to meet with other producers to talk about parenting children of any age while tending to the job of farming the land or sea.

This is an opportunity to share what’s on your mind about the stresses of farming and parenting. It’s a safe space, facilitated by 2-3 members of the UMaine Farm Coaching team. Participants do not need to be on camera and can choose to be anonymous. These sessions will not be recorded. The session will last one hour and participants may be invited into breakout rooms if affinity groups emerge, based on what the group needs.

Registrants will be limited to a maximum of 20 people. This event is free of charge and the Zoom link will be emailed to registrants. Register today!

Communicating about Personal Money Values

February 28, 2024 (1-3pm) ONLINE

In this workshop for experienced (5 years+) farmers, you’ll hear directly from farmers who have thought about the non-business side of money. You’ll think about your own priorities and have a chance to talk with others about how you’d like to move forward with your personal time and value in mind just as much as your business value. You’ll learn about the option of farm coaching for continued support in your planning.

The workshop will be led by Abby Sadauckas, farm coach, and farmer from Apple Creek Farm, and Sylvie Boisvert, farm coach and business advisor, Leslie Forstadt, farm coach, Polly Shyka, farm coach and farmer from Villageside Farm, and Karen Groat, farm coach.

Who: for farmers with at least 5 years experience

What: one time, 2-hour workshop

Where: the Zoom link will be sent to you when you register

When: February 28, 2024 (1-3pm) online.

For More Information – call 207-581-3487 or email leslie.forstadt@maine.edu.

This material is based upon work supported by USDA/NIFA under Award Number 2021‐70027‐34693

Northeast Extension Risk Management Education logo   USDA logo

40-hour Mediation

January, 2024 – MAMP invites farmers/fishers/ag community members and a service providers interested in becoming mediators, looking to enhance conflict resolution/management skills or learn how to assist others in resolving their conflict-related issues to apply for our upcoming training. We’re offering a 5-day hands-on, highly interactive practical training in Bangor, Maine (see link for details). This training is designed as a “low barrier” offering with a focus on welcoming a diverse class of trainees – including but not limited to those in traditionally underserved communities such as BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, refugee/ asylum seekers as well as bi-lingual language speakers.

This comprehensive training will include: demonstrations, discussions, exercises, videos, and role-play practice with mediation scenarios, in addition to mini-lectures. The sessions will focus on both the facilitative and transformative orientation models. Co-Instructors, Karen Groat & Leah Boyd will lead the training sessions and guest mediator coaches will provide additional support, guidance, and experience to participants.

More information here

Other trainings for the farming community

Supporting relationships for farm success includes the relationships between service providers and farmers.

We offer professional development trainings for service providers to better understand communication skills and to support a farmer through conversation and helpful referrals. Service providers are encouraged to think of themselves as “guides” rather than “experts.”

Training topics:

  • How to Develop a Farm Coaching Program. Incorporates the recently published Guide for Farm Coaching covers the approach, curriculum, and methods for a four-session coaching program with farms and farm families.
  • Honing the Skills to Communicate Well. For providers in your work with farmers and others. Features the Communication Toolkit for Agricultural Service Providers
  • Network Formation to Serve Farmers. For groups interested in working together better with increased collaboration, streamlined communication, and a common vision for outreach and service to farmers.
  • Mediation. In partnership with the Maine Agricultural Mediation Program, 40-hour trainings and 16-hour trainings specific to agricultural mediation are offered.

Useful Links:

For more information about a training,  please contact leslie.forstadt@maine.edu

The Roots of this Work

Farmers call upon agricultural service providers for their technical acumen. In a one-on-one consultation, providers offer expertise related to production skills, business planning, soil health, land acquisition, financing, and more. But other areas like communication and interpersonal relationships are rarely addressed. Although it may not be expected that providers can address these areas, they often come up in consultations.

There is also a lack of understanding of the specific needs of beginning farmers at different stages of the “beginning,” defined by the USDA as the first ten years. This work goes beyond topics like production, marketing, financing, and land access to include interpersonal skills acquisition.

This material is based upon work supported by USDA/NIFA under Award Number 2021‐70027‐34693

Northeast Extension Risk Management Education logo   USDA logo