At this point in the winter you are likely dusting off the gardening magazines, and trying to fine some warm sunbeams of light to soak up the warmth and hope of spring coming. This spring, at the end of April on the 28th and 29th in Calgary there will be a Women in Agriculture Conference, “Advancing Women : Life Skills for Leadership:” the first of its kind in Canada.
Iris Meck of Meck Communications in Calgary is the catalyst for this event, and her hope is to have more opportunities in the future to empower farm women.
Go to the website www.advancingwomen.ca to download the agenda, and see the myriad of talented women who want to encourage all of us in agriculture to be successful leaders , great networkers, and energized to fulfill the multiple roles we women in agriculture fulfill.
“Running on Full: Strategies for managing the demands of multiple roles.” by Dr Karen MacNeill is the session that I am not going to miss.
Women wear many hats and work hard to manage the multiple roles of leader,
employee, volunteer, parent, partner, and friend/family member. If not
strategically managed, this juggling act can “drain the tank” and lead to health and wellness issues.
Learn how to recognize the warning signs and develop tools to restore energy in order to manage the demands of multiple roles.
As a life coach, and farm family facilitator, I see many situations where young farm women are frustrated around finding out what roles work for them, and the jobs that are aligned to their skill sets and passion. If you would like a role “storyboard” for your life, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and put “roles sheet” in the subject line. This can be your game plan for your roles of self, couple, family, farm, friends and community for the next three months.
I challenged Iris Meck about the timing of the conference in late April and she replied that the meeting is planned after “ag show season” and before seeding. Meck is also cognizant of the considerable interest from young women entering the working world who are looking forward to a great career path. So at the end of April after university classes are over, there is a student rate to assist the young agriculture women to attend this empowering event.
There are many seasons in agriculture that we all need to learn to manage. Putting your goals as a woman first, may not be your first habit, but maybe this is the time in your life to put what you absolutely NEED first, and then the farm roles will be energized when you are !
In early April I will be attending the Hudson Institute of Santa Barbara California annual convention to upgrade my skills in conflict dynamics resolution. I have spent the last 10 months researching and writing our new book “Farming’s In-law Factor” which is a dialogue around how to have more harmony and less conflict on family farms. Much conflict can be managed or averted when each person feels that their needs and wants are being addressed in a fair fashion.
The Advancing Women conference addresses goal setting, financial savvy, leadership, and mentorship tasks for women who want to have a stronger voice in agriculture, in their homes, farm businesses and communities. If you are in your twenties you need to come to gain a voice for your independence. If you are in your thirties, bring the baby with you, and learn how other younger moms put some things on hold, and embrace other tasks in order to master success. If you are in your forties, think about the lack of power and control you may be sensing, and ask “Why am I allowing this to happen to me ? ” For those of us in the 50 something category, we are looking to simplify our lives, and have quality experiences. Many of us have been community leaders for a long time, and seek out younger women to mentor into powerful leadership roles. Those of you in the sixty plus category have elder wisdom that you need to teach the younger women with your dialogue in Calgary.
My biggest concern for the future of agriculture families is the ability to embrace the unique skill sets and passions of both genders, so that everyone on the farm team is respected and fully heard. As a farm family coach I meet many young women who are highly educated and returning to the farm of their origin, or marrying into a new farm business. It saddens me to see their leadership skills and passions “squished” by old ways of thinking.
It is time for us all to have a learner mindset and to throw away the judger mindset of “ a woman cannot do that job !”
Grainews is one of the sponsors to the Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference, so please take time now to check out the website at www.advancingwomen.ca
I look forward to having tea with you in Calgary at the end of April, and hearing your story. Iris Meck is counting on you to engage with the terrific line-up of speakers she has compiled, and to hear about your success as a woman in agriculture. Sign up today !
Elaine Froese, CAFA, CHICoach is a catalyst for courageous conversations and a thought leader in agriculture. She coaches, writes, mediates, facilitates from the farm in southwestern Manitoba near Boissevain. She is the award winning author of “Planting the Seed of Hope” and “Do the Tough Things Right…how to prevent communication disasters in family business.” Go to www.elainefroese.com/contact to share your story.
Call 1-866-848-8311 to book her to speak and empower your next ag. event.