Dairy Symposium, communication skills workshop in Woodstock next week

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A pair of events aimed at farmers will be taking place in Woodstock Wednesday, Feb 17 and Thursday, Feb. 18.
First on the calendar, presented by the Guelph-based Agri-food Management Institute, is a one-day communication skills workshop called “Taking the Challenge out of Conversation,” geared towards producers in the agri-food business, including employers, employees and their families. It is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 17 at the Quality Inn in Woodstock from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.
Since early last year, these workshops have been educating agri-food business owners and managers on how to: avoid uncomfortable or challenging discussions, spend less time fixing issues and misunderstandings, deal with performance issues more effectively, and how to effectively work in partnership with employees and family members.
According to a press release, the workshop is “designed to help managers, employees, spouses, and other family members learn how to communicate effectively on a daily basis, including tackling those difficult succession planning, and business management/operations conversations.”
The cost is $99 per person, plus tax. Registration is open until this evening. Register by calling 1-888-822-5479.
The following day at the Woodstock Fairgrounds (875 Nellis Street), the 33rd Annual Southwestern Ontario Dairy Symposium is set to take place. Presented by Dairy Farmers of Ontario, it opens Feb. 18 at 9:00 am and runs until 4:00 pm.
The symposium is a not-for-profit event developed for producers, by producers through milk committees covering a 14-county area of South Western Ontario. Last year saw a record attendance of over 800 people including the exhibitors. Over 130 agribusiness firms will be exhibiting.
The cost is $20.00 and includes admission to the speaking program, a “roving hot lunch” among the agribusiness exhibits, and a written copy of the day’s proceedings. Receipts are available at the door.
Speakers include Peter Johnson, an agronomist with RealAgriculture.com, who will share cropping tips for dairy farmers, dairy farmers Keith Groshek, from Wisconsin, and Martin Schouten, from Richmond, Ontario, who will talk on their success using robotics with their herds, Dutch dairy expert Dr. Jan Hulsen, who will share his insight into how Dutch farmers are adapting to reduced milk prices, and Michael Barrett, president and CEO of Gay Lea Foods, Ontario’s largest processing cooperative. He will provide an overview of current and future marketing issues, as well as his take on the best road forward.
For more information, visit DairySymposium.com.