Fourteen Women in Ag Complete Managing for Today and Tomorrow in Elkader

Fourteen women from Clayton and surrounding counties recently wrapped up Managing for Today and Tomorrow, a five-week class that teaches women about the importance of planning successful farm transitions. The women learned about estate planning, transition planning and succession planning, and are empowered to set goals and engage in effective family discussions about their farm operations.
“One of the audiences we’ve been focusing on in the last several years is women in agriculture,” Holly Loan said. Loan is the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Clayton County Executive Coordinator. “Clayton County Extension hosted Annie’s Project and Boots in the Barn in 2018, and we were asked to continue to bring other multi-session courses to women in this area,” Loan said.
“Women that attended Managing for Today and Tomorrow are particularly interested in thinking about the future of their farm business,” said Melissa O’Rourke. O’Rourke is a farm and business management specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. "There’s a very high level of interest in estate planning, and transition and succession planning on the farm. If I were to name a number one area, that would be it,” O’Rourke added.
With this particular group of Managing for Today and Tomorrow participants, women are in all ages and all stages of life. “And in terms of stages, they are either transitioning into a farm business, or are transitioning to another generation and out of the farm business,” O’Rourke said.
The women in this class, like so many other women in agriculture, are faced with significant challenges when it comes to their farm businesses and Managing for Today and Tomorrow is a class that can provide resources and tools to help guide them as they make tough farm management decisions.
O’Rourke is pleased to see so many women in Iowa taking advantage of the opportunities to participate in ISU Extension and Outreach Women in Ag classes and encourages women in ag to continue learning. “The one most important message that I give to women who are involved in any level of the family farm, is if you are thinking about the future, don’t wait,” O’Rourke said. “Whatever age, whatever stage you are involved in the farm business, or whatever kind of ag business, get involved, start learning now, start making those plans now. Years from now, you’ll be glad you did.”
Managing for Today and Tomorrow in Clayton County featured local experts including Danielle Shea, Northwestern Mutual, Julie Doeppke, American Family Insurance, Emily Smith, Grau Funeral Home, and Kristi Ruprecht, Farm Credit Services of America. ISU Extension and Outreach Women in Ag programs empower women by offering a valuable set of multi-session classes.  The programs help participants learn ways to make better financial and risk management decisions. We want to thank our Clayton County Women in Ag Steering Committee for their input, as well as American Family Insurance, Central State Bank, Freedom Bank, and Luana Savings Bank for sponsoring the program.
ISU Extension and Outreach Women in Ag program offers other courses that cater to women such as Annie’s Project, Women Managing Cattle and Women Marketing Grain. For information about these and other ISU Extension and Outreach Women in Ag classes, go to
For information about this course and other programs being offered through Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Clayton County, contact Holly Loan at (563)-245-1451, or via email at

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