Latest articles


Froese: After this harvest what are you getting ready for?

What do you really want to do? How will you spend your time?

A weather-worn farmer has recently transferred a major part of the farm business to his millennial successor. He asks his spouse, “What are we going to do for the next 20 years?” She reflects with a hint of surprise in her voice, “What do you really want?” The Wall Street Journal published how retirees are […] Read more


Froese: When brothers don’t see eye to eye

One of the bulls in the middle of the farmhouse that we need to chase after is the undiscussabull of “my brother would never agree to that.” These transition conversations are as fresh as a newly minted cow plop, and they stink, too. “Elaine, my dad is great to work with, but he won’t stand […] Read more



How to approach Father for more financial transparency

Find out what’s causing fear of transparency and learn how to talk openly about money

One of the key definitions for fairness I use is “Fairness is helping everyone be successful.” The “F” in FAIR, stands for financial transparency. What does this mean to young farmers hoping to take over the management of the farm? It means everything! Last night our family had an impromptu meal at the successor’s home. […] Read more


Calibrate yourself for seeding, create positive responses

Be aware of how you’re reacting to the farm team when under pressure

Getting machines ready for seeding launches farmers out of bed in anticipation of a new season. “How are you calibrating yourself for seeding stresses?” As we age, are we open to change behaviours and do a “reset of our default habits” to create a more positive culture on our farm team? Peter Drucker said “culture […] Read more



Dare to lead and love your farm family

If you can understand the farm team’s thoughts and emotions you’ll have greater success figuring out issues and creating solutions

I am a big fan of Brene Brown’s work and encourage you to check out her insights. Recently I surveyed her newest book Dare To Lead (Random House 2018). When I read books I write notes at the back and then translate ideas gleaned for working with farm family communication. Brown is working to create […] Read more


Four tongues on your farm

What you say can affect people more than anything else you do

When I ask a farm family what their main desire for coaching is, the typical reply is “Better communication.” Reading Proverbs daily gives me reminders that what we say probably affects more people than any other action we take. Proverbs describes four common speech patterns: 1. Controlled tongue. 2. Caring tongue. 3. Conniving tongue. 4. […] Read more



Surprise! I’m coming back to the farm

What do you do when an adult son or daughter who has been away for years decides to return and farm with you?

“Elaine, we are not sure what to do, our son who never had time for the farm has just informed us that he is planning to come back to farm with us. Problem is, his brother who has farmed with us for 11 years is not happy about this.” As a farm family coach I […] Read more


Stop bullying your parents!

As land values increase pressure may be put on to sell

There are some columns I wish I did not have to write. This is one of them. Through the past few years of land values jumping as much as 23 per cent in one year it is no surprise to farm families to see their balance sheets with larger numbers. It is shocking to those […] Read more



Dump your grain, not your pain

Stop dumping anger and start creating a healthy legacy

The email subject line read “UNBELIEVABLE” in all caps, and I knew it wasn’t going to be a happy farm transition story. Fourteen bullet points ensued with anger, poor decision-making, people not taking responsibility for their inaction. After ingesting a dump load of angst my reply simply was, “And what do you want me to […] Read more


Letting go of loneliness on the farm

If you are experiencing loneliness here’s some solutions to try

Her sniffles were clear on the phone line as she said, “He used to spend so much time with me on the weekends, but now that we are married he doesn’t even have time to go to church with me on Sunday morning. I am extremely lonely.” Another much older woman touched my arm to […] Read more