Be Well Farming Adds Workshops on Fairness, Power and Communication

Our Be Well Farming project is pleased to announce two additional winter workshops for farmers or earth workers of all roles and backgrounds across the Northeast U.S.*.

These two remaining sessions focus on exploring fairness and equity on the farm and improving communication among all of the people (owners, managers, employees, interns, etc) in the farm ecosystem.  

The Be Well Farming project creates reflective spaces for farmers to connect meaningfully and explore strategies that can ameliorate challenges and bolster farmers’ quality of life. 

Exploring Fairness and Power on the Farm: A Conversation by Farmers, for Farmers

Monday, March 22, 2021, from 3 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Behind each farm business selling beautiful bunches of carrots at the farmers market or high-quality cuts of meat to neighbors is a dynamic enterprise driven by the thinking and decisions of real people and real circumstances.

It is not easy, nor quick work to establish effective decision making structures and assign roles and responsibilities to team members in ways that feel fair to the team. In this virtual session, several farmers including  Jody Bolluyt of Roxbury Farm (NY), Maggie Cheney of Rock Steady Farm (NY), and Calley Hastings of Fat Toad Farm (VT) will each describe their own journey toward creating fair systems on their farms. The workshop format will allow time for participants to reflect on their own experiences; to share ideas, questions, and concerns related to identifying power (im)balances; and opportunities to take steps towards fairness. Participants will be supported through self-reflection and development of appropriate strategies for change.

Facilitator: Calley Hastings, Fat Toad Farm

Intended Audience:  This workshop is intended broadly for anyone involved in commercial farming, including farmers, farmworkers, employees, interns, family members, and partners (with priority given to those in the Northeast U.S.*).

Registration: Please register online for this free virtual session in order to receive the Zoom link and program materials. Participants are encouraged to connect via videoconference if possible, though telephone connection will be available for those who lack the connectivity or technology to do so. Also, contact our program team if particular accommodations could support your full participation.

Peaceful Communication on the Farm: Listening Tools to Improve Understanding

Monday, March 29, 2021, from  3 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

In the profession of farming, we often focus on improving our skills to cultivate crops or tend animals.  But what about our skills cultivating and tending to farm relationships?  Whether it be interactions with customers, partners, interns, employees, family or friends, communication is the way we keep all of the farm operations running.  Yet, communication isn’t always easy.  Misunderstandings, tensions, even conflicts can arise and be hard to face in the moment. In this interactive virtual workshop, we’ll learn simple techniques to cultivate listening skills for both professional and personal growth. Listening is one of the core ways we build trust and show respect in our relationships. Join us to practice elements of listening with exercises for the head, heart and gut.

Facilitator: Claudia Ke​nny, NYS Agricultural Mediation Program, Little Seed Gardens

Intended Audience: This workshop is for anyone identifying as a farmer or earth worker in the Northeast U.S.*, urban and rural, including employees, interns, family members, and partners. 

Registration: Please register online for this free virtual session in order to receive the Zoom link and program materials. 

 *The Northeast SARE region includes Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, through the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program under subaward number LNE 19-377-33243.

Violet Stone

Violet's work focuses on creating retreats, workshops and programs for the agricultural community centered on themes of connection, wellness, purpose, integrity and courage. She sees this work as contributing to a more inclusive ‘culture’ of agriculture where all voices are warmly welcomed, honored and celebrated, including the voices of our ‘inner teachers’, sometimes referred to as 'spirit' or 'soul'. Violet serves as the NY SARE Coordinator and can help farmers and educators navigate NESARE grant opportunities.