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Today’s Objectives. Women In Agriculture Education Annie’s Project Background Curriculum Outcomes and Impacts Follow-up classes: Grain Marketing, Financial Management and Spreadsheets Benefits. *2007 Estimated. Source: USDA NASS Census of Agriculture. Women In Agriculture Education.

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Today s objectives
Today’s Objectives

  • Women In Agriculture Education

  • Annie’s Project

    • Background

    • Curriculum

    • Outcomes and Impacts

    • Follow-up classes: Grain Marketing, Financial Management and Spreadsheets

  • Benefits

Women in agriculture education

*2007 Estimated

Source: USDA NASS Census of Agriculture

Women In Agriculture Education

Women in agriculture education1
Women In Agriculture Education


  • Underserved Audience

  • Unique Learning Needs

  • Safe Learning Environment

  • Mentoring, Nurturing


  • Based on the life a of farm woman

  • Grew up in a small town

  • Goal - to marry a farmer

  • Spent a lifetime learning how to be an involved business partner

  • Together they did great things

  • Challenges

    • three generations living under one roof

    • Low profitability

    • Changing farm enterprises

    • Raising a family

Background cont
Background – cont.

  • Annie’s Project - founded out of need

  • Farm women have diverse backgrounds

  • Being married to a farmer or being a woman in a male dominated business has its challenges

  • Some women handle this responsibility very well

  • In Annie’s Project, farm women find answers, strength, and friendship

  • In Annie’s Project, farm women grow in confidence, business skills, and community prestige.

Background cont1
Background - cont.

  • Began in 2003

  • Women and men impassioned for the role of farm women have expanded the program to seven states

  • Describe Annie’s Project to farm women and watch their eyes light up.

  • Instructors as well as students seem to find a piece of Annie in his or her lives.

  • Annie’s Project is designed to fill an educational need for risk management

Background cont3
Background – cont.

  • February, 2003 – First Class held at Kaskaskia College, Centralia, IL

  • February, 2004 –Washington County, IA

  • April, 2004 –Mahaska County, IA

  • November 2004 to March 2005-Classes Held (size)

    • Iowa 11 (189) Missouri 3 (53)

    • Illinois 20 (264) Indiana 1 (18)

    • Nebraska 2 (26) Wisconsin 1 (5) Total 38 (555)

  • Scheduled Summer 2005 Classes

    • Iowa 5 Missouri 1 Nebraska 1 Indiana 1

      Illinois 4 Wisconsin 2 Ohio 2 Kansas 2

Mission statement
Mission Statement

  • To empower farm women to be better business partners through networks and by managing and organizing critical information

Annie s project objectives
Annie’s Project Objectives

  • Annie’s project is designed to empower farm women to manage information systems used in critical decision making processes and to build local networks throughout the state.

  • The target audience is farm women with a passion for business and involvement.


  • Objective

    • Fill the desire to become a better person

    • Understand the common needs and conditions

    • Easily adapted to local audience

    • Provide a network of support

    • Discover a yearning for learning

    • Legitimize learner’s role

    • Build skills, confidence, purpose and control

    • Interesting and rewarding

    • A clear purpose of farm management tools and skills

Curriculum cont
Curriculum – Cont.

  • Production Risk

    • Crop and Livestock Insurance

    • Enterprise Diversification

    • Natural Disasters

    • Grain Storage Loss

Curriculum cont1
Curriculum – cont.

  • Market Risk

    • General Marketing

    • Commodity Programs

    • Market Analysis and Pricing

    • Marketing Plans

    • Marketing Tools

    • Production Contracts

    • Value Added Ventures

Curriculum cont2
Curriculum – cont.

  • Financial Risk

    • Strategic Planning

    • FSA Documentation and Programs

    • Financing

    • Business Plans

    • Financial Management

    • Policy and Trade

    • Global Impacts

Curriculum cont3
Curriculum – cont.

  • Legal Risk

    • General Legal Risk

    • Environmental Liability

    • Contract Arrangements

    • Business Structure

    • Tax Liabilities and Law

Curriculum cont4
Curriculum – cont.

  • Human Resources Risk

    • Personnel Management

    • Health

    • Family Issues

    • Life, Health, and Long Term Care Insurance

    • Safety

Class structure
Class Structure

  • Six - 3 Hour Seminar Classes

  • 10 – 25 Participants

  • Classroom and Computer Lab

    • Community College, High School, Library

  • Participant and Instructor Team-Taught

  • Flexible Course Structure

  • Networking and Mentor Development

Class outline
Class Outline

  • Session One

    • Human Resources and Time Management

    • Course Introduction

    • Risk Assessment Survey

    • Colors

    • What is Management?

Class outline cont
Class Outline – cont.

  • Session Two

    • Women and Money

    • Business Plans

    • Mission Statements and Goals

    • History and Tradition of Your Farm

    • How Property is Titled: Who Else is in business with you?

    • Cash and Crop Share Leases

Class outline cont1
Class Outline – cont.

  • Session Three

    • Financial Documentation

    • Balance Sheet

    • Income Statement

    • Cash Flow

    • Retirement & Estate Planning

    • Using Spreadsheets

Class outline cont2
Class Outline – cont.

  • Session Four

    • Risk Management

    • Developing Marketing Plans

    • Developing a Risk Management Strategy

    • Ten Habits of Profitable Farmers

    • Types of Insurance - Life Insurance, Crop Insurance, Health & Disability

Class outline cont3
Class Outline – cont.

  • Session Five

    • Fast Tools

    • Financial Records and How to Interpret Information

    • Discussion on topics for the next meeting

Class outline cont4
Class Outline – cont.

  • Session Six

    • Your topics

    • End of class evaluation

  • Follow up evaluation

  • Newsletters

  • Web-site

  • Continuing activities

Expected outcomes
Expected Outcomes

  • Increased knowledge, skills and abilities

    • Risk management

    • Computers and the internet

    • Spreadsheets and databases

    • Financial software

    • Marketing and crop insurance

    • Human resource skills of communication, negotiation and interpersonal skills

End of class impacts
End of Class Impacts

  • Participants increased knowledge, skills and abilities

  • Importance of goal setting

  • Increased interpersonal skills

  • Increased organizational and time management skills

  • Increased skills working with professionals to meet individual and farm business skills

Documented long term impacts
Documented Long Term Impacts

  • Behavior changes in management techniques

  • Increased confidence in decision making skills

  • Implementation of whole farm risk management plans

  • Become better farm managers and business partners

What they say
What they Say

  • “Annie’s Project has opened my eyes to the complexity of farming, helping me to understand the importance of strategic and purposeful planning. The respect I have for all farmers as true businessmen has grown significantly.”Julie Birky, Parnell

What they say1
What they Say

  • I have completely enjoyed Annie’s Project. It made me realize that I am on task with some aspects of my record keeping and that I need to improve in others. These meetings have sparked a “drive” in me to challenge myself “to do better.”Jane Janecek, Washington

What they say2
What they Say

  • This project has opened up communication and information shared between my husband and myself. I work full time in town and I have learned so much from this project that will help me help my husband with our farm business.Luetta Greene, rawfordsville

What they say3
What they Say

  • This class has allowed me to meet other farm wives who have the same interests and goals that I do. We have formed a network of “farm wives” who can help to support each other. I have also been exposed to many new topics and feel like I have been able to carry on an intelligent conversation with my husband, and understand his worries and concerns. Mary Miller, Winfield

What they say4
What they Say

  • I’m very glad I came. Because I’ve only been into the farming situation for three to four years and am a city girl to start with, I had no idea of the depth of the farming process as a business. This class has really started me thinking about how little I truly know – it has also wetted the desire to learn more… Dianne Hayes, Lone Tree

What they say5
What they say

  • I was surprised by -

    • The number of farm women interested in this class and the wide age range

    • How much information we were taught

  • I never knew that -

    • I am like a lot of other farm women who take pride in their family farm

    • There were other farm women truly trying to understand

What they say6
What they say

  • I enjoyed trying to –

    • Figuring out what my personality traits are

    • Help my spouse market our grain

  • I changed my mind about -

    • There is a real need for a marketing plan

    • My role in farming, I learned more ways that I can be a very active part of the farm

What they say7
What they say

  • I wish I had known –

    • About so much of these topics – 25 years ago

    • How great this class was going to be – I would have convinced some other people to join

  • I appreciated –

    • The binder and all the handouts

    • That classmates helped each other understand different topics

What they say8
What they say

  • I now understand –

    • Grain marketing and crop insurance

    • Farming records can be kept easier with the use of a computer, and now I can help make decisions more confidently

  • I plan to –

    • Try and be a better partner

    • Get the books more organized


  • Iowa Classes – 189 Range

    • Average Age – 42.6 24 to 76

    • Average Years Farming – 17 0 to 42

    • Average Children – 2.32 0 to 6

    • Average Acres Owned – 396 40 to 973

    • Average Acres Crop Share – 363 163 to 576

    • Average Acres Cash Rented – 387 157 to 651

    • Average Acres Custom Farmed–132 0 to 436


189 Iowa Participants

Program funding
Program Funding

Participant Fees


Partnership Contributions


Grant Funds


From here
From Here

  • USDA-RMA/Annie’s Project Advisory Council

  • Seeking partnerships (public and private) to sustain and expand the program

  • AMES On-line Resources

  • Women Marketing Grain (coming winter ‘05)

  • Financial Management

  • Resources:



  • Provides an opportunity to be involved in educational opportunities for farm women

  • Is an essential piece in the overall educational opportunities for farm women

  • Provides farm women with the skills, confidence and ability to assume leadership roles in agriculture

  • Sustains the viability of agriculture

Thank you


Bob Wells

Field Specialist Agriculture Economics

Iowa State University Extension