Dairy Team Facilitators Invited to Continuing Education Workshop on April 15

The Workshop Is Approved for Three Hours of RACE Continuing Education Credits

The Center for Dairy Excellence is hosting a continuing education workshop for professionals who facilitate dairy team discussions. The event, titled “Bridging the Gap: Maximizing Team Dynamics,” will take place on Wednesday, April 15 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at AgChoice Farm Credit in Reedsville, Pa. Featuring three speakers with a wide range of expertise in the dairy industry and beyond, facilitators will learn how to guide their dairy clients through difficult discussions and challenging team dynamics.

“Learning how to successfully facilitate difficult discussions and help dairy teams resolve conflict is one of the most impactful skills a facilitator can master,” said Rob Goodling of the Penn State Extension Dairy Team. “As producers search for ways to manage change on their dairies, facilitators are a key resource in helping them set goals, communicate, and strengthen team dynamics.”

The day-long workshop has been approved for three hours of continuing education credit in jurisdictions that recognize American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB) Registry of Approved Continuing Education. During the event, facilitators will learn about the following topics:

  • Facilitation Basics: Learn about the rules of meeting, treating others with respect, avoiding disruptions, setting goals and objectives, handling information flow, and engaging producers to ensure openness, trust and honesty.
  • Change Management: Understand the different types of people who could be on teams, discuss the common resistance to make changes, and how to navigate team discussions around change.
  • Conflict Resolution and Difficult Team Dynamics: Master ways to facilitate discussions to help resolve conflicts and strengthen team dynamics.

Rob Goodling from the Penn State Extension Dairy Team will speak about facilitation basics, using his experience working with farms on data management and record keeping. Before joining Penn State Extension, Goodling worked for the Animal Improvement Programs Laboratory, an ARS-USDA office responsible for dairy cattle genetic evaluations and selection research.

Dr. Charles Gardner will help facilitators understand change management. Gardner currently works with the Center for Dairy Excellence to help producers transition assets and other aspects of herd management. Throughout his career, Gardner has served as director of the Agway TSPF Heifer Program and worked at Cargill Animal Nutrition to improve animal and financial performance.

Rob Skacel, a licensed psychologist with senior executive experience at True Edge Performance Solutions, will discuss conflict resolution and navigating difficult team dynamics. Skacel has held senior leadership positions in sizeable for-profit and non-profit organizations, where his responsibilities have focused on performance improvement and organizational development.

At the conclusion of the workshop, facilitators will have the opportunity to apply the skills they learned through an interactive exercise and case study.

Registration is $50 per person. To register for the workshop, visit centerfordairyexcellence.org/bridging-the-gap or call 717-346-0849.