MDA launching Navigating Conflict & Tough Conversations in Agriculture sessions

Stressful times in agriculture can trigger difficult conversations that many of us dread – whether we’re delivering bad news, are on the receiving end of it, or are helping farmers or farm families make sense of it all. Fortunately, these situations don’t have to be uncomfortable or unproductive. 

In this series of five engaging 30-minute Zoom sessions, hosted by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, farmers will learn tips and strategies for having constructive interactions that can lead to better outcomes for everyone involved. Participants will also learn precautions to keep yourself safe in highly charged situations. These online sessions are an adaptation of a three-hour workshop MDA offered in 2019.

Whether the content is new to you or you simply want a refresher, farmers are encouraged to participate and share the opportunity with colleagues.


Lenders, mediators, farm advocates, agency staff, Farm Business Management and Extension educators, agricultural advisors and business people, farmers, veterinarians, clergy, social service providers and anyone else who interacts with farmers or agriculture.

DATES:  Monday, Sept. 14 – Friday, Sept. 18, 2020

TIME: 8:30-9:00 a.m. each day


COST:  None

REGISTRATION:  https://umn.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJMscuCqqTwuGNZC6lTDtFBPwujTamTV8go_


Monday – Bring your best self forward

Tuesday – Embrace conflict and change 

Wednesday – Name and frame the conversation 

Thursday – Listen for success

Friday – Be safe: de-escalation and personal safety


  • Reduce personal anxiety and fear about interpersonal conflict.
  • Explore the connection between conflict and change.
  • Understand how self-awareness and group dynamics contribute to successful outcomes.
  • Recognize the importance of using framing and reflecting techniques in discussion.
  • Learn precautions you can take to keep yourself safe at work – both in and outside your office.


Denise Stromme, M.A. is a University of Minnesota Extension educator in the Center for Community Vitality. She has more than 35 years of experience helping adults develop the skills, connections and confidence they need to realize their goals. Born and raised in Detroit Lakes, Denise has degrees in Education and Intercultural Management which have led her to live and work across the U.S. and abroad. A member of the Minnesota law enforcement community will teach Friday’s session on de-escalation and personal safety.

Individuals with a disability who need a reasonable accommodation to participate in this event please contact Stephen Moser at 651-201-6012 or through the Minnesota Relay Service at 711 as soon as possible.

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