Blogs

“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 www.gradingtheteacher.com

“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 www.prairiepathfinders.mb.ca

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 www.parklandpublishing.com. “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 (www.worldofwork.com) 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!
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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

60 minutes

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.

$15

Rave reviews

“A joy to work with, heard loud and clear. When the farmers laughed or asked a great question, I knew they were listening and really wanted to learn from her. Her tips were easy to understand. It was just about understanding that conflict happens, and to have the confidence in yourself to ask for what you want. In the glowing review from farmers after her presentation, I knew they had heard that loud and clear.”
Maddy Berner, Event Planner & Communications Coordinator, National Milk Producers Federation National Milk Producers Federation
“I wanted to say a HUGE thank you for your virtual kitchen table chat with Arlan Academy. My wife and I signed up as it was exceptionally relevant to our current journey with potentially transitioning to her parents’ farm. The session was able to cover so many aspects of these crucial conversations and hearing you speak to both sides of the conversation was eye opening for my own perspective on this topic. It seemed to be very well attended and sounded like there were many other people who would echo my thoughts and feelings on it.”
N. Oakley, Farmer, Ontario
“Elaine helped me allocate $1 Million of assets the night I listened to her. Elaine’s presentation brings value to the use of my services in my office.”
Don Forbes, Forbes Wealth Management
“I recently joined in and listened to your Healthy Farmer Agriwebinar for FMC. I truly enjoyed hearing your perspective and even went and grabbed my Mom, away from her work, to come and listen in on some of your main points as well! One area that really stood out for me, both personally with our own succession plans and with our clients, was your discussion involving "Instant Influence" and how ready are you to change? I loved this concept!”
Annessa Good, FCC Transition Specialist, Alberta
“Elaine Froese truly is the Farm Whisperer. With her big heart and stern resolve, she guides families through uncharted waters and helps them arrive safely at their desired destination. She has been there, done that, and has helped hundreds of families come out on the other side. With your family and your farm legacy on the line, you owe it to yourself to start this conversation. You do not need to do it alone. Let Elaine Froese guide you through. Your legacy is being written day by day. How will you be remembered?”
Tracy Brunet, Host of The Impact Farming Show & CEO of Farm Marketer
“You speak like you’ve been sitting at our kitchen table! You know our family issues well. I am feeling more comfortable understanding what we now need to do. Elaine Froese is real.”
Audience Member,
“I attended the meeting you spoke at in Stratford Ontario recently. We held an emergency family/farm meeting today because of issues that I had enough of. We used a 'talking stick' like you recommended and wrote a chart of rules. The rest of the family thought the idea that we needed a meeting was worth rolling their eyes over, until we got started. The younger ones were quick to clue in that they now have an opportunity to be bluntly honest. The older ones took a bit longer to believe they could truly say what they think. In the end, the meeting needed two sessions because there was so much to talk about… and so many things people didn't realize were a big deal to the others. Your lessons and encouragement have given us the tools we need to get to a better place in our relationships and our business. Truly thankful.”
Kim Martin, Dairy Farmer, Ontario
“Helped me develop my framework to start having constructive and meaningful conversations around the farm.”
Tennille Wakefield, Farm Partner
“Some great lessons, Elaine! You continue to do some remarkable and potentially life-changing work.”
James Mitchell, Principal, Conversations Consulting
“Our family had a good farm meeting yesterday afternoon. Your Fairness video was a great topic of discussion. One of the action items after the meeting was to have my two non-farming siblings watch the video before the next big meeting they are involved with on the farm. It will be a great conversation starter as we catch them up on our current plan. As they are younger, we also hope it will help them to ask new questions that may not have been on their mind.”
G.G., Farm Family Legacy Coach, Alberta
“Elaine gives me excellent tools that help me work with my clients!”
Laurianne Osmack, Financial Planner / Partner, Doell Osmak Wealth Management
“She has a sense of “knowing” quickly what is happening in the family dynamic. Her messages to her audiences drive home what needs to be done next to solve the complex issues of farm transition and conflict resolution.”
Audience Member,
“Eye-opening. Excited to open the door of communication with my spouse and farm family.”
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.”
Nancy Atkinson, Nobleford Ag Society, Alberta
“Elaine’s real-life scenarios help her audiences know they are not alone, knowing there are creative solutions to help them get the life on the farm they have always wanted.”
Audience Member,
“A long time female client who had refined the art of procrastination was so moved by the end of your presentation that she accepted your permission to “drop the bananas.” She contacted me soon after for an appointment to do some planning which included the selling of the family “Century Farm.” A very, very emotional decision on her part that was not likely to have occurred without your presentation.”
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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