Specialized Annie’s Project Course Offered by ISU Extension and Outreach

AMES, Iowa -- Women involved in farm operations can learn more about risk management on the farm and value-added agriculture opportunities at one of two upcoming workshops in Boone and Fairfield sponsored by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

Beginning Oct. 15, a workshop will be held at the Des Moines Area Community College, Room 219 in Boone and beginning Oct. 30, a workshop will be held at the ISU Extension – Jefferson County Office in Fairfield. Boone classes will be Monday evenings from 6 to 9 p.m. through Nov. 19. Fairfield classes will be Tuesday evenings from 6 to 9 p.m. through Dec. 4.

“With the growth and emphasis on local foods, more people are interested in pursuing this segment of agricultural production,” said Marsha Laux, Annie’s Project state coordinator and value added agriculture program coordinator with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. “Like any venture into a new enterprise in agriculture, this requires careful planning and using the right tools and strategies.”

The Annie’s Project course takes place in six three-hour sessions. Course curriculum covers five areas of agricultural risk: financial, human resources, legal, marketing and production. Women will learn more about:

  • Financial ratios, balance sheets, budgeting, enterprise analysis and business planning
  • Human communication and management styles, and insurance needs
  • Legal issues, estate laws, property title, food safety, and employee requirements
  • Marketing plans and access to market information
  • Production tools, farmland leasing, USDA programs and soil maps

Additionally, these workshops will have a specific focus on value-added agriculture opportunities, including direct marketing, niche production areas and small-scale enterprise budgets.

“By bringing local professionals into the classroom,  women considering or involved in adding value to their on-farm production will develop new networks and be able to use new resources to grow their businesses,” said Madeline Schultz, Annie’s Project national co-director and value added agriculture program manager.

Pre-registration is required and class size is limited. Registration may be done online at https://www.ucs.iastate.edu/mnet/annie/quickregister.html. For more information on the Boone course, contact Schultz at 515-294-0588 or schultz@iastate.edu. For more information on the Fairfield course, contact Laux, at 319-796-4362 or mlaux@iastate.edu. General inquiries can be directed to Lani McKinney at 515-294-9483 or lanim@iastate.edu.