Policies and Handbooks

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The very thought of negotiating sounds intimidating, yet we are all experienced negotiators. Any time we come to an agreement on anything, we are negotiating. Some of it we may do somewhat subconsciously, such as deciding who says hello first, or holding a cattle gate open for another rider to pass through. Determining where to go out for dinner with your spouse, or asking your daughter for help in training a colt also involves negotiation. More traditional issues we associate with negotiation may include agreeing on (1) a pruning price with your vineyard crew, (2) how much you are going to pay to have your post-harvest cooling shed constructed, or (3) what you will get for your export cherries.

One thing that these examples have in common, is that they involve people. Many of us developed a love for agriculture based on our love for farm animals and plants. We may at first be surprised to see instead, what a large portion of our day involves interacting with people. Although negotiation can be downright hard at times, there are specific steps we can take to become more effective negotiators.

Gregorio Billikopf
University of California