Annie’s Project aims to help women in agriculture

Agriculture has always been an industry of risk management and living the dream of working with the land. These enterprises, particularly the family farm, have often been a husband-and-wife partnership, each one doing their part.
Women in agriculture has become more important. Many women are still in partnerships with their husbands, but they often are starting or running their own agricultural enterprises.
An Extension program called Annie’s Project has been developed to strengthen this growing role of women. It has matured from a local Extension activity to a national program.
Illinois Extension Educator Ruth Hambleton created and developed the first program in 2000. She chose the name in honor of her mother, Annette Fleck.
Annette grew up in a rural community with the lifelong goal of being involved in production agriculture. She spent her life learning the business side of agriculture as a farming partner with her husband.
Annie’s Project was established to take Annette Fleck’s experiences and share them with other women. They have been developed into a program to foster problem-solving, record-keeping, and decision-making skills required for a successful business.
Topics covered during the six-session workshop include:
• Understanding business and family communications.
• Financial management: records, statements and working with lenders.
• Business transitions and retirement issues.
• Risk management: liability issues, contracts, and leases.
• Business planning.
• Production risk management.
Annie’s Project is designed for the beginner to the veteran of many years. This includes women who are a primary operator, owner, or manager, or women involved with an enterprise on an informal or part-time basis.
Sessions are very interactive between the presenters and the participants. Information is tailored to meet the needs of participants, to encourage discussion, and to develop an atmosphere of camaraderie.
Annie’s Project will be offered this fall in northwestern Ohio on Mondays from Sept. 22 through Oct. 27.
Each session will begin with a light meal at 5:30 p.m., followed by the program, which will end by 9 p.m. Programs will be at the Putnam County Extension office, 1206 E. Second St., Ottawa.
Attendance at all sessions is not required to participate.
Registration deadline is Sept. 15 and the fee is $35 per person, which includes the dinner and class materials for each session. Registration forms are available at http://putnam.osu.edu/.
Lentz is extension educator for agriculture and natural resources for The Ohio State University Extension Service in Hancock County. He can be reached at 419-422-3851 or via email at lentz.38@osu.edu.
Lentz can be heard with Vaun Wickerham on weekdays at 6:35 a.m. on WFIN, at 5:43 a.m. on WKXA-FM, and at 5:28 a.m. at 106.3 The Fox.

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