Passing on the coaching torch…
In 2003 I graduated as a certified Hudson Institute Coach in Santa Barbara California, and also completed a conflict resolution and mediation certificate from Mediation Services in Winnipeg. Many multi-skilled young college graduates and other seasoned professionals are curious about my work as a farm family coach.
Today I am building a team of committed empathetic folks who share my mission to help farm families in transition get unstuck. Back in 2003 you would have labelled me a “trailblazer” when farm folks did not think finding harmony in understanding was marketable. It is now.
My current team of 8 amazing coaches have been training with me as I share my roadmap for coaching families. Our vision is helping families to build more effective communication. Our goal is to have coaches able to serve across North America who desire to help farm families transition well. We do this virtually on zoom.
As I am ageing in place on our seed farm in southwestern Manitoba, our coaching team is part of my 4th succession plan.
In 1992 my husband Wes and I bought the farm from his parents, who had bought the farm from his maternal grandfather in 1945. In July of 1998, I had crucial conversations with my farming parents, and then buried my mom too young at age 65, only 6 weeks after that family meeting with the accountants in July. In 2019 we started transitioning one of our businesses to our successor son and his wife, and are now in a joint venture with his corporation.
Like many of you, I am a farm partner, farm advisor, parent, and grandparent. I have many roles on our farm and want to transition all of those roles well.
Meet my team and choose the coach that best fits your needs as you consider their stories. We are happy to have a free discovery call with you to identify your main desire for coaching to ensure a great connection for coaching.
I would love to introduce you to my coaching team:
Jenna Zurba is a farm family coach and palliative care nurse from Dauphin, Manitoba. Her lifelong desire to help others, led her to obtain a bachelor’s degree in nursing in 2009 as well as a Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) Certificate in Canadian Hospice and Palliative Care Nursing (CHPCN)C.
As a palliative care nurse, Jenna has gained a broad understanding of how grief is experienced in all aspects of life from the loss of a loved one to the loss of a life career and everything in between. She has learnt that conflict and grief often go hand-in-hand and she is a strong believer that with proper communication and support, there is a way to find resolution to the conflict and a way through the grief.
Combined with nursing, Jenna’s own experiences with family farming has led to a desire to help individuals, couples and families navigate through the times of conflict, hopelessness and uncertainty that comes with farming succession. To facilitate serving in the role of a farm family coach, Jenna chose to further her education and obtain her conflict resolution and mediation certificates through Winnipeg Mediation Services.
As a farm family coach, Jenna hopes to offer support and guidance that creates resolution and leads to the “turning point” that allows positive change. She looks forward to the experiences that she will have as a farm family coach and is excited to meet the people and families that she will have the privilege of working with along the way.
Kalynn Spain is a bridge builder in the agricultural community in Manitoba. She is passionate about empowering young farmers and creating strong rural communities.
Kalynn is a Certified Leadership Coach and is in the process of accumulating coaching hours to earn an international accreditation. She has a 4-year Bachelor’s degree in Conflict Resolution Studies and brings over five years of training and volunteer experience as a Victim-Offender mediator. Kalynn has spent her entire career in various areas of the agri-food industry, from food security to association management to farm inspection, working with organizations such as Canadian Foodgrains Bank, St. Norbert Farmers Market and Keystone Agricultural Producers. She currently works with students enrolled in agricultural degree and diploma programs with the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences at the University of Manitoba.
Originally from Winnipeg, Kalynn now lives on a ten-acre property near Carman with her partner and their one-year-old daughter. They are currently navigating the challenging yet hopeful process of farm succession planning with his parents, who live and farm grain and cattle west of Arborg.
Crisol Gonzalez is a Transformation Practitioner and wife of a Dairy Farmer in Chihuahua, Mexico. She strives to facilitate life-changing conversations that serve as inspiration to embrace the next steps for a farm family business. Her life experiences interacting with diverse cultures gives her the ability to understand and work with the challenges that diversity of age, culture, and language bring to any farm or ranch.
As a dairy farmer herself, Crisol understands the challenges that families face when balancing seemingly never ending work while nurturing family and business relationships.
Being a former contractual lawyer, Crisol had a desire to learn how farm family transition strategies could help a new generation of farmers reach the next level of success and fulfillment while being sensitive to the fear of losing an entire generations (or multiple generations) work due to a lack of understanding and effective communication. Crisol offers a safe space for families to disentangle and weave new bonds of respect, understanding, and clarity for both their present and their future.
Crisol is passionate about life and enjoys free time on her front porch, sharing delicious food, laughs, and life stories with the people and four-legged family she loves.
Kent Gulash brings a passion for agriculture, leadership, coaching and people to Farm Family Succession. His career has been entirely in the agriculture industry in roles of Territory Manager and District Sales Leader, with added experience in marketing as well as learning and development. Kent’s innate ability to encourage people to say what they are thinking and commit to actions for change has led to his drive to be a Farm Family Succession Coach.
Through his time in the ag input sector, Kent has had the opportunity to work closely with many farm operations in production, planning, and agronomy. These interactions have allowed him to experience the diversities of the people involved in farm businesses and the challenge of wearing all the hats of their organizations. Through the development of long lasting and trusting relationships, he has earned the privilege of sitting with many growers at their kitchen “boardroom” table.
Kent obtained his Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from the University of Saskatchewan. He has also completed graduate studies at Royal Roads University and is a Certified Executive Coach (CEC). Kent and his wife reside in Saskatoon, enjoying the diversity of the bridge city. They balance city life with time at the lake and the adventures of fishing in the spring, summer and fall.
Blythe Mackie joins our team from South Western Ontario, where she works with Holstein Canada. Traveling province wide, she interacts with producers to build and maintain relationships primarily in the Dairy Industry. Through her work Blythe has gained valuable experience and a deeper understanding of farm family dynamics.
Blythe has a very relationship-based approach to coaching. She takes the time to understand each person involved in the family business, including their wants, needs, and goals. She then brings all of these factors together to guide the family in the right direction.
With ten plus years of experience working in different areas of agriculture, Blythe brings a unique outlook to the team. She understands how important moving forward is and she is passionate about empowering the next generation to seek change and growth in an industry that is so rapidly evolving.
Blythe looks forward to expanding her coaching knowledge and working with farm families through their transition process. She believes that by being progressive in our operations, we can build a better business for the next generation, continuing the farm legacy and remembering the farm and family roots.
A sixth generation ag woman, raised on mixed farming and now managing her own operation, Dani Ringrose-Hobbs has the entrepreneurial appreciation of ranching, grain, and forage production. She brings with her first hand experience of addiction in one’s family of origin and the effects this has on succession and familial wellness. This provides her with a real life outlook on the head, heart and gut challenges of succession and a desire to bring light to planning and communication in your family and business.
Dani’s passions include uncovering unique solutions to suit unique needs, confronting conformity and making progress despite contextual challenges, embracing diversity and open-mindedness to forge the next generation’s success on and off the farm while guiding the elder generations’ reinventions with reverence, grace, and wonder. Dani carries a special interest in women’s equity in agriculture – honouring our foremother’s place in our growth and achievements.
Dani’s coaching experience includes fifteen years of professional roles facilitating the process of decision making and managing change in emotional situations and complex projects. She brings organization and clarity to trying situations and relationships, allowing the realization of deeper understanding and new opportunities through negotiating win-win and financially reasonable outcomes in family and business dynamics.
Lydia Carpenter farms cattle and hogs with her husband and young child in southwest Manitoba. She and her husband built their profitable farm business up from land leases, custom grazing, and direct marketing.
Lydia has a Master’s Degree in Natural Resources Management from the University of Manitoba with a research focus in rural livelihoods. She has been involved in farm policy and advocacy work over the years through various organizations and has travelled to Italy, Morocco, and Brazil to work with other young farmers.
Lydia has an interest in farm business management, farm policy, farm transition planning, cash flow, and financial planning and alternative lending options. She has hands-on experience with land leases, unconventional lending options, and business planning. She is most passionate about the human relationships needed to make farming and rural communities really work. Her passion for the people in agriculture has driven her pursuit of lifelong learning. She has taken a number of farm management and human resources courses and is currently pursuing additional training in mediation and conflict resolution.
Glenn Dogterom has a passion for working with farm families, their farm business and transitioning the family farm to the next generation. His career as a public accountant and financial planner was with a national public accounting firm. The focus of his practice was on the agricultural sector and assisting farm families in the transition process, which has led to working as a Farm Family Transition Coach.
As a professional accountant he has provided a variety of services to his clients including tax planning and preparation of both personal and corporate returns, financial statements, cash flows, analytical, transition planning and other. The nature of his work and clients has given him a greater understanding of a variety of farms and practices. Located in Lethbridge, the heart of irrigation country, he has seen firsthand the impact that water has played in the expansion, diversity, and value added to agriculture and support services.
Glenn obtained his Bachelor of Arts and Science from the University of Lethbridge, took the Commerce courses through the University of Calgary with a major in accounting, obtained his Certified Management Accounting designation. He then went on to complete the Certified Financial Planner program (retired) and is an acting member of the Canadian Association of Farm Advisors.
Finding Fairness in Farm Transition.
Finding harmony in understanding.
Passing down the farm with the reality of high land values is complicated but not impossible.
Do you want your farm business to remain intact for the next generation? Most do. Do you want the family to get along and come home for gatherings? Most do. What most farms don’t do is break down assumptions, have robust respectful family meetings, and discover the expectations of ALL family members for the succession or transition of the farm.
Elaine Froese is an expert in quickly mapping out the family dynamic and identifying the key challenges that need to be unpacked.
Discuss the UndiscussabullTM
In many farm kitchens there’s a bull in the middle of the room – what I’ve termed as the “Undiscussabull” – the thing no one is willing to talk about it. That stops now!
Most families know they need to talk about tough issues; they just don’t know HOW or where to get started.
If you’re stuck and wanting to bring your family to the table to start the conversation, find out about my unique process called “Discuss the UndiscussabullTM“.