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Eight short years ago I curtailed my social life and hit the books to study conflict resolution and become a certified coach. I focused on caring for my farm family, read tons of great books, travelled to Winnipeg and Santa Barbara California to be a part of two really great learning communities. I am glad I made the choice, and I am thankful that  the investment of time, money and energy has paid off.

Women who thrive are life-long learners. They never tire of trying out new things or finding creative ways to solve lingering hassles. They enjoy talking through their problems with trusted friends in the sacred space of a “visit, online chat, or phone call.” They are risk takers and “inner-directed”.

Sometimes when the cashier at Co-op is piling my groceries she asks , “Where have you been lately ? I haven’t seen you for awhile. “ I  tell her of my travels to speak to a group in BC or tape the AgVision TV show in London, Ontario. The non-farmers in the store stop me to share their feedback on seeing me on CTV. These travels and opportunities have blossomed since I  took my certification for coaching and conflict resolution. I was given the chance to do television after writing a book, and doing a decade of 18 annual columns for a prairie farm paper. Words are powerful, with lasting impact, and I am thankful for my high school taskmaster English teacher  and the encouragement of my chemistry teacher, Gopalkrisha (Gopie) .

“Elaine has a very good head for a girl, she should be able to enter the man’s world in any field, and stay at the top.” Gopie, (l974, Springfield High School report card.)

WOW. Some of you born after 1978 are offended by his comment “for a girl”, but don’t hang on that thought. Think about how smart you are as a woman, and the many resources you have at your disposal to continue being a life-long learner.

What are you getting ready for?

Getting ready is a definable stage of the cycle of renewal that I understand well as a coach. This is the phase my divorced single-parent cousin finds herself in as she is 56, broke, and wanting more education with a MBA to earn a decent salary.

This is also the stage our 25 year old daughter finds herself in as she approaches university graduation with an arts degree in communication. She is a sponge for ideas that are marketable. We are keen to close down the Bank of Mom and Dad.

You’ve likely been  getting ready to plan which seeds you are going to plant in your garden. Stephen Covey says “Without the gardener, there is no garden.” The tulips and daffodils are not going to magically pop up without prior planting by a thoughtful and disciplined gardener. Someone has to get the garden ready.

What thought have you given to your next chapter or season in your life?

Today I spoke with a frustrated farm woman who first met me five years ago. She is sad that her getting ready to move has been squelched by a spouse who can’t let go of an old chapter of life on the home yard. She needs hope that things can change.

I am a perpetual optimist who believes that all things are possible when you have resources like time, money, prayer and people to make change happen. I am the eldest child of a beef producer family of five children who was always told “ I could do anything.” I was given the opportunity for dance lessons, piano, soccer, volleyball, travel, and art classes all through my teens, and every summer I had camp or worked at a camp. Growing up 15 minutes from Winnipeg’s Concert Hall  was great, a country girl living very close to the culture of the big city.

I started speaking on a  4-H platform when I was nine, and was paid to speak at age 22.

The walls of my home office, the one I spend over 30 hours a week in encouraging farm families through voice, word, and video are lined with many books and professional development CDs. When  my husband Wes drives us home from Winnipeg, I can be caught using my laptop screen to light the darkness so that I can keep reading books like Gladwell’s “The Outliers”. I love to journal and paint watercolour cards of encouragement.

Folks who succeed are typically those who lose all track of time when they are doing what they are called to do, and what they are wired for.  This is called “FLOW”. For me, that would be writing, coaching, and presenting.  (Not weeding.)

I  once bought “ Now, Discover your Strengths” and did the 25 minute online assessment. My strengths are communication, positivity, life-long learning, empathy and WOO.  WOO is winning others over. When Wes read the report he quipped “no surprises there !”

So whether you are 22, 42,62 or 82  I encourage you to find meaning and purpose in your many roles as friend, sister, wife, mom, farmer, etc. We have the internet  to research any subject we want to explore. We have inter-library loan to borrow books that open a whole new world of possibility . (Read the Art of Possibility by Zander and Zander). We have choices as to how we will spend our time creating new ideas, projects, and relationships in our book clubs, churches, mastermind groups, mentor programs, schools, and volunteer associations.

My life is very full. I choose what  role priorities need to rise to the top in my personal self care (good sleep, good food choices, fun exercise), my marriage, my family, my work, our farm and our community. Make  a list of these six roles, and write down what you want to focus on for the next 3 months.

What things are no longer serving you well that you might want to let go of? I let go of two thirds of my garden and grassed it in. It’s a bit lumpy as the neighbour’s cows invaded it, but the grass still looks better than  unsightly pigweed .

You might need to let go of what other women think of your dreams and plans. I am saddened by stories of envy or jealousy when I hear “ I wish my life was like yours”.

These observers have no idea of the hours, hassles and hard things that need to  be managed  as you work towards your meaningful life.

The art of possibility is giving yourself an “A” to live the life you choose as excellent. You can “lead from any chair” regardless of your economic status or life history.

Get ready for a new chapter in your life by learning about new opportunities, meeting new creative folks, and listening to the encouragement of those who really understand how you are wired.

I’d love to hear your story. Send me a photo of you having fun in your new chapter.

Every woman has an amazing story. Start the next chapter now.

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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+1-204-534-7466 | elaine(at)elainefroese.com

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