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Minnesota Department of Agriculture helps ag professionals prepare for tough conversations; Summer workshops will teach conflict management skills

Stressful times in agriculture can trigger bad news and difficult conversations.

In response, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is offering Navigating Conflict & Tough Conversations in Agriculture, a workshop designed to help agriculture professionals navigate potentially contentious situations.

“Farmers are having a tough time right now,” Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen said. “There’s a lot on the line, and we recognize that lenders, agency staff, clergy, educators, veterinarians, agricultural advisors, and businesspeople can find themselves trying to help in situations where emotions run high.”

Workshop topics include reducing anxiety and fear about interpersonal conflict; understanding how self-awareness and group dynamics contribute to successful outcomes; exploring the connection between conflict and change; and precautions participants can take to keep themselves safe at work – both in and outside their office.

University of Minnesota Extension Educator Denise Stromme and local law enforcement will teach the workshop at six locations in June and July. All sessions run from 9 a.m. to  noon.

The workshop is free but space is limited. Register at www.navigating-conflict-in-ag.eventbrite.com or by calling 651-201-6012.

Upcoming workshops

  • June 18………Detroit Lakes, Minnesota Community & Technical College
  • June 19……….Thief River Falls, Northland Community & Technical College
  • June 20……….Duluth, Lake Superior College
  • July 8…………Marshall, Southwest Minnesota State University
  • July 9…………….Faribault, South Central College
  • July 10……………St. Cloud, Saint CloudTechnical & Community College