“Reading and Greeting”

“Tomorrow will be another day,” said the farmer as he reflected on a very wet seeding season. I admired his tenacity, hope and sense of optimism as we closed off our conversation. “Our lives are shaped by the people we meet and the books we read” someone once said.

What are you reading this summer, and whom do you plan to greet with your friendship?

I’ve got a few ideas for you. Authors trade books with authors, so this column is a fulfillment of promises made to share good books with people who want to be life-long learners who make positive choices to move ahead, even in cool, wet climates!

School has just wrapped up for summer, but you may have some simmering notions about what you will do differently next year to encourage better relationships between students and their teachers. Nellie Jacobs, a former teacher, and mother of four has written “Grading the Teacher” to give practical tools for evaluation of the teacher, and ways to have great feedback. Her book is available at

“How can we recognize good teaching and positive classroom experiences? What should we be looking for and what questions should we ask of our children, their teachers and administrators? What are our responsibilities to our children’s education, and what must children do or learn to do to ensure that their experiences are good? And, most importantly, what can we as parents do if we suspect there is a problem with the teaching that our child is receiving?”

Teachers may want to review this book as a part of their professional growth. I’d like to give all teachers a high grade for their dedication and commitment to helping students grow and learn. Give teachers your support this summer when you greet them in your community.

“How can we have fun and not spend much money ?”

Prairie Pathfinders Inc. is a non-profit organization founded by four women who have walking and hiking in Manitoba as their main goal. Walking down my lane gets boring, but now I have two great books “Manitoba Walks” and “Manitoba Picnic Perfect” from

From easy family hikes to challenging treks on rugged terrain, “Manitoba Walks” is your detailed guide to exploring the history and natural beauty of Manitoba. It features fifty of the best day hikes; full-color illustrations and fully detailed maps.

But you live in Saskatchewan! Great, celebrate the centennial by seeing some new sights with Robin and Arlene Karpan’s guide books that are available at “In 2001, during the drought years, there seemed to be a lot of doom and gloom,” said Robin Karpan, so they were inspired to create something light called “Western Canadian Farm Trivia Challenge” which is a fun collection of farm stuff for entertainment on long car trips, or your next meeting. By the way, the wettest year on the Canadian prairies in the last 56 years was 1951. It was also the coolest year that same year.

Many farm parents use the summer months to encourage their children to find meaningful work. Choices that we make to design our lives need to be intentional and well-thought-out. “Meaningful Work…the Entrepreneurial way” by Judee Regan ( is a very helpful guide to career and personal life management. Judee’s website has some pretty cool ways to help assess whether you are stuck with your work choices, and how to move forward. Through her Circle of Choice process, Judee helps people become aware of their current reality, their dreams of where they want to be, and the choices to have movement and action, not just wishful thinking.

I’ve met many farm parents this past year who are looking for tools to help their families make meaningful life decisions. I highly recommend “Meaningful Work” as a good start to “approaching how you want to live your life”.

Grainews’ theme this month is “pre-harvest planning”. You’ll spend hours getting the swather and combine ready to insure the machines hum along for harvest. How much time can you intentionally carve out this month to absorb new ideas and fine-tune your life and friendships? Enjoy reading to help you see “tomorrow as another day” in a positive way. Greet your friends, and spend time with them this month having fun and fellowship before the stress of harvest hits. See you reading at the beach!

Elaine Froese’s new book “Planting the Seed of Hope” is a collection of her last 10 years of Grainews columns. Elaine is a certified farm family coach and professional speaker who farms near Boissevain, Manitoba.

Fixing Your Time Stress Mess

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Workaholics will discover helpful strategies for managing their time stress. Gain understanding for the tensions of your age and stage on the farm. Learn why some problems are not solvable, but just need to be managed as polarities. Self-renewing people are joyful and productive producers.


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Annessa Good, FCC Transition Specialist, Alberta
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Ashley Hoppe, Farm Partner
“The Strong Farms, Strong Families session gave farm families an opportunity to meet face to face with Elaine Froese... hear her own story, experiences and skill set. From this information packed session and related materials, families could identify areas of success in their journey and other places they need assistance. The greatest take away was that participants could see that Elaine Froese is someone they can trust with the things that they hold most precious.... their family and their farm.”
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Don Forbes, Forbes Wealthy Management
“I just have to say… that your work is amazing and I have never forgotten your teachings from our session in Williams Lake at TRU. It is super important work. I know so many people going through the trauma of succession. I hate to use that word, but I was an “out-law” and know it can get terrible. I continue to forward your emails on to others. Keep doing what you do! You are amazing. You kind of walk into the fire regularly… and with a smile. Proud to have met you.”
Megan, BC Rancher
“As my husband and I eagerly started the course we were optimistic and excited to be taking this next step in our Farm Transition. We were starting to question ourselves and whether or not we were just being selfish and greedy, and if this Farm Transition was still an option for us. We barely got through the first Module and were already having such a huge relief. As we moved through the modulus there were so many times that we just sat back with our hands in the air and thought YES. My husband and I would smile with relief because all of the concerns that we have been struggling with were relevant and came up in the modules. We really enjoyed the course and are excited to move on to the next stages to find our farm resolution.”
Shannon Gilchrist, “Get Farm Transition Unstuck” online course participant
“My hubby farms with 2 brothers and parents, and it’s become a really toxic place. No communication, no respect, etc. Twelve months ago, my husband’s brothers told him they don’t want to work with him anymore and offered him a pay out. His parents did nothing to stop it! He had no choice but to leave. Three months later, we moved off the farm and into town. He has been offered heaps of jobs and is now truck driving and carting hay and grain. We have tried communicating with his parents about what happened but they are not interested. So basically my hubby has lost his family. Very sad but we as husband and wife are overall in a good place and moving on to create our own life. Please continue on with all your wonderful work in helping families on the farm. I continue to tell any farmers I know about you, that they must ‘google’ you, and read your books.”
Donna, Farmer, Australia

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