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10 Things Farm Moms Really WantIt would be fun for you to be a fly on the wall of my office when the calls from farm moms come in. They range in age from 33 to 93, and their heartfelt cries ring in my ears as I write this. Regardless of your age or stage as a farm mom, I bet there are some heart tugs that you would like to be able to express to your farm team and family. Here are ten things the farm mom in your life really wants but won’t say.

1. A Voice for Change

As the sons and daughters grow into capable farming adults the Mom sometimes feels left out. Her role as nurturer and launcher has shifted. She may also be actively involved in the farm labor and management. But somehow she feels her voice is not heard. Farm life gets chaotic, and she wonders if her work counts anymore. She sometimes feels that she doesn’t have a voice in the legacy decision making for the future vision of the farm. Are you going to have a family business meeting at the end of seeding to talk about the future vision of the farm now that the kids are back home farming?

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2. Better Communication

The day-to-day affairs of running a farm are complex, but the wheels all turn more smoothly when people communicate directly to each other with clear, concise instructions and respect for the listener. Moms are often the sounding boards for spouses, children, and in-laws. Use a learner mindset when you talk to seek understanding of the other person’s perspective. Explain your intent, and why certain decisions are important. Be respectful of each other as you speak, and look each other in the eye.

3. Less Refereeing and More Resolution of Fights

Most farm moms would love to give up their referee sweaters for life. It’s time for the conflict triangles on your farm to get flattened. That means adult founders speak directly to successors, and don’t loop Mom into picking sides. You get the behavior you accept. If you want folks to be more direct with each other and resolve their tensions, don’t keep being the “person in the middle.” See conflict resolution as a realistic, doable goal.

4. Love and Affirmation

Moms have big hearts for all their children, regardless of some of the goofy choices the kids make in life. When have you told your Mom that you love her? How have you showed her with your actions? Have you spent quality time with her? Do you pick out special gifts for her? Do you hug her? These are the various love languages according to Dr. Gary Chapman that we all need to be smarter about embracing for stronger families.

 

5. Good Mental Health for All the Family

Moms are willing to take family members to the doctor for mental health assessments, but those family members have to be okay with doing the work of being mentally well. Do you want to be well? Depression, anxiety, unresolved anger, and early signs of dementia are on our farms. Let’s talk about our concerns for mental wellness, and let’s get treatment if it is needed. Mom can bring you chicken soup, but you need to take your medications.

6. Fun with Friends and Family

Give Mom permission to leave the farm for more than 24 hours. She likely has girlfriends, far away from family and sights over the sea to explore. Has she been holding back because Dad is always working and won’t leave the farm?  I once took my elderly cousin, the family historian, to Ireland for 15 days to find living relatives and explore our ancestry. The farm did not fall apart, and the gift of the experience keeps on giving through stronger family bonds. What does your mom consider a fun time?

7. Security for Her Financial Future

I recently had a 93-year-old ranch woman in my seminar who was pleased that her financial affairs were all in order. She was well taken care of financially and legally with her power of attorney and updated will. Does your mom have her name on farm assets? Can she say that she “has a purse of her own” to spend or gift money as she wishes? I am shocked in 2017 to still meet women who don’t own anything on their farms. Every person deserves to have a personal wealth bubble to secure their future well being as they age, and this goes beyond the meager pensions from CPP and OAS.

8. Help with the Heavy Lifting

Sometimes silence in families or shunning feels like heavy lifting, but what I am talking about here is the physical tasks of maintaining a farm yard in decent shape. I also need an operator with strong arms and back to help clear trees, down the raspberry patches and control lilacs. The farm’s demands never stop, but your mom knows that beauty creates energy. Help her create more beauty in the landscape around her home or make it easier for her to maintain.

9. Her Own Tools

Farm moms love it when they don’t have to walk miles to find tools for their jobs. I asked for a wheelbarrow, and a chain saw for Mother’s Day gifts because I need decent tools to work with that were close at hand. Check with your Mom first if she is the type that would appreciate a new rake, spade, or screw driver!

10. To Know You Are There For Her

Today I witnessed a faithful son taking his aging mom her mail. He moved her to his town so that he could check in on her on a regular basis. Many of her friends have passed, but her family is there for her. Moms love to be rich in relationships, young and older women friends are important. What very practical things are you doing to enhance your mom’s emotional support group beyond your family? Does your mother know that no matter what is happening on the farm that she can count on you to be there for her?

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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