GenerationNext Training Series in Maine

Late Winter 2022: GenerationNext Program for the Next Generation of Agricultural, Fishing, and Forestry Managers
A Special Session for Maine Producers

This course has been filled and registration is closed for this season. Please check back in the fall of 2022, we will be holding this course again. 

UMaine Extension is working with Farm Credit East to hold a Maine-based GenerationNext Farmer Training Program. We want YOU to sign up. Are you a young Maine farmer who will be the next generation operator of a family business? Or, are you starting your own farm business in Maine? This program is for you! There is financial assistance available!

Online, Each Friday 10:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m.: March 11- April 22, 2022 (7 sessions)

Workshop dates have passed —Registration Now Closed.

Sessions will be recorded so those who miss one can view them later. (Program Agenda below).

GenerationNext is a comprehensive ag business training program designed for people who may be part of the “next generation” of leaders taking management responsibility in an agricultural business, or entrepreneurs starting and growing businesses of their own. Either way, the course is designed to broaden your management expertise by covering areas such as:

  • Leadership and Management
  • Financial Management and Budgeting
  • Marketing
  • Risk Management
  • Strategic Planning and Farm Transfer

The program can help you:

  • Identify areas for personal growth and development
  • Acquire tools to help manage an agricultural business
  • Network with other young industry leaders


The main instructor will be Chris Laughton, Director of Knowledge Exchange from Farm Credit East. Chris will be supported by guest instructors in some sessions.


Tuition is $199 per attendee for the entire series, including course materials. However, we have full financial assistance available for Maine Farmers through UMaine Extension’s Equipping New Farmers with Practical Skills and Knowledge project. To qualify for financial assistance, you need to be a farmer in Maine and have 0-10 years of experience in farming and participate in the whole workshop. How do you get financial assistance? If you pay by credit card, your card will be charged, then fully refunded after you participate in the program. If you pay by check, the check will be held. At the end of the workshop, if you have participated, your check will be voided.

Each participant will receive a reference portfolio containing materials to follow along with the instructors as well as a certificate of completion at the end of the course.

Program Agenda:

Topics are subject to change based on the interests of the class, as well as the time available.

Session 1: Leadership and Management

Date: Friday March 11, 2022, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Participant Introductions: Name/Industry/Experience

Presentation Topics:

  • Leadership and being a better boss
  • Org charts
  • Behavior and leadership styles
  • Situational leadership
  • Self-Assessment exercise
  • Communications and meetings
  • Bring out the best in your workers
  • Hiring: Recruiting, job descriptions, interviewing
  • Onboarding
  • Coaching and mentoring
  • Rewarding and compensation
  • Retention
  • Termination
  • Protocols

Session 2: Financial Management I

Date: Friday, March 18, 2022, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Presentation Topics:

  • Why are numbers important?
  • The Balance Sheet
  • The Income Statement / P&L

Session 3: Financial Management II

Date: Friday March 25, 2022, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Presentation Topics:

  • Budgets
  • Benchmarking
  • Partial budgeting
  • Capital Investment

Session 4: Production Economics

Date: Friday April 1, 2022, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Presentation Topics:

  • Efficiency measurement and management
  • Enterprise analysis
  • Profit and cost centers
  • Business proposal case study

Session 5: Marketing

Date: Friday April 8, 2022, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Presentation Topics:

  • Marketing for commodities
  • Marketing for consumer or B2B sales
  • Competition
  • Pricing
  • Advertising and promotion
  • Target marketing and demographics
  • Customer service

Session 6: Risk Management

Date: Friday April 15, 2022, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Presentation Topics:

  • Identifying and evaluating risks
  • Risk management tools
  • Evaluate results and review strategies
  • Personal risk management
  • Dealing with change
  • Innovation
  • Conflict resolution

Session 7: Farm Transfer/Estate Planning and Wrap-up

Date: Friday April 22, 2022, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Presentation Topics:

  • Farm transfer and estate planning/entity formation
  • Management transfer
  • Retirement planning
  • Wrap-up and review of key topics
  • Final group discussions


Please contact Chris Howard at Highmoor Farm, email: or phone: 207.944.6391

Funding for this workshop is provided by the UMaine Extension’s Equipping New Farmers with Practical Skills and Knowledge Project: USDA NIFA Grant #2021-70033-35716.

If you are a person with a disability and need an accommodation to participate in this program, please contact Chris Howard at to discuss your needs. Receiving requests for accommodations at least seven days before the program provides a reasonable amount of time to meet the request, however, all requests will be considered.