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January 9, 2023
By Laura Wormuth

Annapolis, Md. -- Over 95 percent of Maryland farms are family-owned, according to the 2017 census, which means for most farms, your life partner is also your business partner. This can create a unique dynamic on a farm, where difficult questions and differing opinions can lead to disharmony within the family unit.

The University of Maryland Extension is offering a new weekend retreat designed to help couples navigate the conversations around strengthening personal relationships and owning a business. The two-day retreat focuses on developing habits within the relationship that improve the health of both your relationship and your business. 

“Couples benefit from establishing some regular habits that add meaning to their relationship, like date nights, or even simply kissing hello and goodbye,” said Alexander Chan, mental health and family relationship specialist with the University of Maryland Extension who is leading the Power Couples Weekend Retreat. “Not making intentional efforts to spend meaningful time together can lead to isolation from one another, which can be easy to miss with all of the distractions in our modern, busy lives.”

The couples retreat features several professional and personal development workshops during the weekend of February 4-5, 2023 at the Westin Annapolis. Workshops include relationship tools, using financial management and business planning tools, and discussing legal options for estate and succession planning to ensure the longevity of the business you’ve built. 

“We have a well-rounded team to address the various issues that business-owning couples will face, now or in the future,” said Paul Goeringer, legal specialist in the department of Agricultural & Resource Economics in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. “Legal issues and financial planning can lead to significant stress in a family, and we can provide the tools needed to maneuver through difficult conversations and decisions.”

Workshops will be taught by Chan, Goeringer, UME financial educator Jesse Ketterman, and licensed clinical social worker Beth Henson. The cost is $150 per couple and includes the overnight stay and three meals. Attendance is limited. Registration is available at

For questions or special accommodations, contact Ryan Salsman by January 20, 2023 at or 240-623-6731.

Power Couples Retreat Agenda

Saturday, February 4
11:00 AM – Registration
12:00 PM – Lunch & Welcome
1:00 PM – Health, love maps, and couples’ shared identity
4:00 PM – Break & Refreshments
4:30 PM – Legal Tools
6:30 PM – Dinner on your own

Sunday, February 5
8:00 AM – Breakfast
9:00 AM – Financial Tools
10:30 AM – Conflict Management
12:00 PM – Lunch
12:45 PM – Couples and Social Networks
2:15 - Farewell