Course Helps Farm Women Manage for Today and Tomorrow

Creating a transition plan to make sure a farm continues as a productive agricultural business can be challenging. Farm women can learn how to plan a successful farm transition through a five-session course offered by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.  The “Managing for Today and Tomorrow” program, a new Annie’s Project course, is being offered in Jefferson on Thursday evenings, Feb. 21 – March 21.

Women will learn about business, estate, retirement and succession planning from ISU Extension and Outreach specialists and area professionals. Besides brief presentations, there will be discussions based on participant questions with follow-up activities for family members to complete at home.

“We’re happy to be a partner in bringing this valuable program to Greene County,” said Michael Cooley, county extension coordinator. “This farm transition course is an opportunity for farm women to meet with others who share similar issues and concerns. A small class size will make it comfortable for everyone to speak up and get questions answered.”

Annie’s Project, an agricultural risk management education program for women, has successfully reached more than 8,000 farmers and ranchers in 30 states. “This new program  emphasizes the role women play in helping transition farms from one generation to the next,” said Madeline Schultz, ISU Extension Value Added Agriculture Program specialist, and Annie’s Project National Co-Director. “Managing for Today and Tomorrow will empower women to take ownership of the future of their farms.” 

Managing for Today and Tomorrow

During five weekly, three-hour sessions, farm women will learn about succession, business, estate and retirement planning. "Understanding the concepts behind estate and succession planning is a critical first step in developing a plan to transition the family farm to the next generation,” said Erin Herbold-Swalwell, attorney and guest course presenter. Herbold will share how women can discuss these concepts with the entire family and begin the process of estate and succession planning.

Angie Loew, Farm Credit Services of America financial officer in Carroll, was a member of the curriculum development team and will be a guest presenter for the course. “Working with farm women for 25 years and being involved with Annie’s Project, I’ve seen the benefits of this curriculum first-hand,” Loew said. “Women want to strengthen their role in agriculture and learn the skills necessary for successful farm transitions.” Farm Credit Services of America is a statewide sponsor of Annie’s Project courses.

Managing for Today and Tomorrow meets from 6 to 9 p.m. on Thursdays, Feb. 21 and 28, and March 7, 14 and 21 at the Greene County Extension Office, 104 West Washington St., Jefferson, Iowa. Refreshments will be served prior to class start time.

The cost is $75 per person, which includes a 300-page workbook with fact sheets, hands-on activities and presentations. Course size is limited, and registration is due by February 14.

For more information contact Madeline Schultz at 515-294-0588 or, or Michael Cooley at 515-386-2138 or Farm women may also register online at

Managing for Today and Tomorrow is supported by the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA, Grant # 2011-49400-30584. More information can be found on the Annie’s Project website at