I’ve recently had the privilege to join 15 other farmwomen in attending Annie’s Project, a risk management educational course for women, hosted by the Webster County University of Missouri Extension office.
For those of you that may not know what Annie’s Project is, I’ll briefly discuss its background as described by the University of Missouri. Annette Fleck grew up in a small town in northern Illinois. She married a farmer and spent her lifetime learning how to be an involved partner on the farm. Through it all Annie kept records. She knew deadlines, reporting requirements and tax issues. She did the little management jobs that supported big management decisions. She kept the farm business running, she kept the family running, and she kept her marriage running. In 2009, Annie’s daughter, Ruth, started Annie’s Project to share Annie’s experiences with farmwomen living and working in a complex business. To date, Annie’s Project has been taught in 34 states.
The six-week course is designed for farmwomen who have a passion for business and who want to be involved on the farm. Some of the topics that will be covered include business plans, retirement and estate planning, insurance, risk management and much more.
I signed up for the course in hopes of learning some information I can share with our readers. In the future you may see some articles that cover the topics discussed during the 18-hour course.
At the time of writing this column I’ve only attended two classes but have been extremely impressed so far. I have to recognize Dr. Gordon Carriker, agricultural business specialist and Bob Schulteis, natural resource engineering specialist, for coordinating the class. These two gentlemen have dedicated a lot of time and put in a lot of effort into teaching this class and I am grateful to be able to learn from their expertise.
If you are a woman farm manager reading this column who is interested in attending Annie’s Project I highly recommend it. The easiest way to inquire about a class near you is to contact your local University Extension Center.