January 20, 2006 | By: Aimee Nielson

The famous Hatfield-McCoy feud lasted nearly 30 years in eastern Kentucky during the 1800s. Most agree those folks could have used some instruction in mediation and conflict resolution. It may be too late for them, but modern-day residents of Pike County and eastern Kentucky will soon have an opportunity to learn how to peacefully resolve conflict. 

Pike County Extension Agent for Community and Economic Development Tim Campbell is organizing a week-long institute to highlight the basics of mediation, negotiation, facilitation, and high-performance teamwork. Since the well-known feud took place mostly in Pike County, he named the workshop the Hatfield-McCoy Institute for Agreement Training.

“As the incidence of conflict grows worldwide so does the demand for dealing effectively and positively with conflict,” he said. “The supply of forums for addressing this need is not growing nearly as fast. What better place to add to this capacity than where one of the world’s most infamous feuds took place?” 

HMIAT begins Feb. 27 and lasts through March 3 at the Pike County Extension Office. Participants will learn largely by doing through group exercises and role plays. Hence, the institute is designed to be highly interactive with a minimum of lecture.

“Participants in the HMIAT will leave with an understanding of three separate components – agreement training, the mediation process and a process for applying both of these within an organization or community to form the basis for high-performance teamwork,” Campbell said.

Participants will apply their knowledge through role-playing activities designed by Pike County Extension Agent for Fine Arts Stephanie Richards, also a professional actress and director. Exercises will involve both interpersonal and public conflicts and will require participants to use the mediation process in developing a signed, written agreement with the disputants.

Others helping to facilitate the training are Ron Hustedde, Suellen Zornes and Deborah Potter-Smithers of the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service and Paula Raines, mediator, business coach and president of Collaborative Partners.

Campbell said a unique aspect of the institute is the concept of “intra-personal” conflict, which is described as a person’s ongoing struggle to make the best decisions regarding his lifestyle and body balance. The latter will involve a consideration of how the pH balance between acidity and alkalinity affects health, personality and interactions with others, he said.

Registration for the week-long event is $400, made payable to Pike County Extension District Board, and should be received by Feb. 15. A limited number of need-based scholarships are available on a first-come basis, with first preference given to Pike County residents and then to eastern Kentucky residents. Registration can be e-mailed, faxed or mailed to Tim Campbell, UK Cooperative Extension Service, 148 Trivette Drive, Pikeville, KY 41501 (606) 432-2534(Fax) or tcamp@uky.edu.

A detailed agenda is available athttp://ces.ca.uky.edu/pike/news/HMIAT.htm.



Tim Campbell  606-432-2534