Fact Sheet

Stephanie Plaster
Agriculture Agent
University of Wisconsin Madison Division of Extension
Ozaukee and Washington Counties

Plaster, S.*1, , Kohlman, T.2,
1 Agriculture Agent, University of Wisconsin Madison Division of Extension, Port Washington, WI, 53074
2 Dairy & Livestock Agent, University of Wisconsin Madison Division of Extension, Fond du Lac, WI, 54935

I developed and presented “Motivating Farmers in a Time of Change” with another colleague, Tina Kohlman, at the 2019 National Farm Business Management Conference in Sheboygan, WI.  This two hour session was targeted towards early career professionals to help them gain confidence in listening and communication skills.  Ninety people participated in this interactive session which featured a mixture of lecture, videos, group discussion and activities which were designed to help agriculture professionals develop these skills to help their clients make decisions they feel comfortable with.  The “Listening for Strengths & Values” fact sheet was one of the activity handouts used to help the participants learn and practice the skill of providing affirmations.  Affirmations remind a person of their strengths and the resources they have available and help instill a belief that they can change.  Participants rated their knowledge before and after the session and indicated an increase in knowledge after participating in the session.  Comments received included “great delivery and examples of a tough topic!”, “very well structured program, appreciated the hands on and group activities you gave us”, “good ways to think about better ways to communicate”, and “handouts are very well done, enjoyed activities, love the short videos.”