UF/IFAS faculty to host webinar series for agriculture and natural resource professionals

By Jarred Shellhouse

A new webinar series, focused on professional development for agriculture and natural resources professionals during a global pandemic, is set to take place this summer.

Megan Stein, agricultural education and communication lecturer at the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, will lead the series.

“Our industry groups in agriculture and natural resources have adapted to a lot of change recently,” Stein said. “We are hoping to connect meaningful content about organizational change, resiliency and digital business meetings to help these groups continue to move forward.”

Starting June 18, the six-webinar series is set for every Thursday at 11 a.m. Eastern. The following topics will be presented:

  • June 18. Conducting Digital Business. Led by Anne Schwartz, leadership programs coordinator for the Wedgworth Leadership Institute for Agriculture and Natural Resources, this webinar will focus on technology, tools and tips to help transition formal business meetings into a digital space.
  • June 25. Leading Organizational Change. Conducted by Nicole Stedman, professor of agricultural leadership in the UF/IFAS department of agricultural education and communication, this webinar helps participants understand change concepts and learn to leverage them to create change from within the organization.
  • July 2. Developing Personal Resilience. Facilitated by Ed Osborne, professor of agricultural education in the UF/IFAS department of agricultural education and communication, this webinar will help participants identify elements of resilience and cultivate a growth mindset to develop levels of personal resilience.
  • July 9. Panel on Rural Mental Health. Through this webinar panel, participants will gain a better understanding of rural mental health disparities, strategies to recognize a person in crisis and resources to address mental health concerns. Heidi Radunovich, associate professor in the UF/IFAS department of family, youth, and community sciences; Angie Lindsey, assistant professor in the UF/IFAS department of family, youth, and community sciences; and Marshal Sewell, territory sales manager for Bayer, will lead the panel discussion.
  • July 16. Tolerating Ambiguity: Being Comfortable being Uncomfortable. Led by Cecilia Suarez, assistant professor of agricultural leadership and intercultural communication, this webinar will focus on how to lead despite ambiguity and leveraging personal attributes to increase effectiveness.
  • July 23. Navigating Generational Differences. Facilitated by Stein, this final session will help participants identify methods to better work with others between generations. Additionally, the session will explain some ways in which the pandemic has brought understanding in bridging the gap between generations’ preferred working styles.

“These topics were selected because they are important for ANR industry professionals, but are sometimes avoided in conversation,” said Stein. “We want our industry to feel more comfortable working in digital spaces, while acknowledging mental health disparities, and work with others to lead their organization into the ‘new normal.’”

All webinars will be delivered at no cost to participants using Zoom, a video conferencing software. Interested individuals should register online to receive the login information. For more information regarding this webinar series, contact Megan Stein at mstein17@ufl.edu.


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Posted: June 15, 2020

Category: Agriculture, Natural Resources, SFYL Hot Topic, UF/IFAS Extension
Tags: Agricultural Education And Communication, COVID19, Megan Stein, News

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