Registration now open for Annie’s Project women in ag program to be hosted in Milford

SPIRIT LAKE, Iowa – Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will host Annie’s Project: Farm Business Management for six Thursdays beginning Jan. 23 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Milford.

The six-session course is designed to guide women in making decisions for their farm or agribusiness, and empowers farm and ranch women who want to be more knowledgeable about their agricultural enterprises.

“One of the foundations of Annie’s Project is that women learn best with and from other women,” said Amy Forrette, Clay County Ag Program Coordinator, who is co-hosting the event. “Annie’s Project takes advantage of that fact by creating a comfortable and supportive learning environment focused on the best farm business management practices. Clay County and Dickinson County are excited to team up and bring this program to our local farm and agribusiness women.”

Course participants can expect to learn and discuss effective strategies for making good decisions in five key management areas, including financial, human resources, legal, marketing and production topics.

  • Managing Finances will cover financial ratios and balance sheets, working with lenders and the intersection of family and farm finances.
  • Managing Human Resources will discuss improving family and business communication, as well as choosing insurance for the farm family.
  • Managing legal issues relates to property titles and asset ownership, estate planning terms, concepts and tools, and liability protection.
  • Managing Marketing will focus on determining break-even price points, accessing market information and developing marketing plans.
  • Managing Production will be emphasized through hands-on work with the online Ag Decision Maker program, as well as discussions of USDA programs, purchasing crop or livestock insurance and farmland leases.

Farm Business Management Specialist Gary Wright, who coordinates the program in Northwest Iowa, shared that other topics may also be discussed dependent on the needs that arise in class.

“Whether women are the sole operator of their agricultural enterprise or they are working in partnership with a spouse or other business partners, Annie’s Project provides knowledge and resources that are needed in production agriculture and ag business management,” Wright said.

Each Annie’s Project session will begin with a meal starting at 5:30 p.m. followed by the program from 6:00 p.m. to approximately 9:00 p.m. Session dates include Jan. 23, Jan. 30, Feb. 6, Feb. 13, Feb. 20 and Feb. 27 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, which is located at 1305 Okoboji Ave. in Milford. Tentative snow dates are also available if weather causes a need for rescheduling certain nights.

Preregistration by Jan. 16 is required to adequately plan for meals and materials. Registration is $75 per person and includes all meals and course materials. Registration can be completed online at http://www.aep.iastate.edu/womeninag/2020/milford.html or by contacting Gary at 712-223-1574 or Amy at 712-262-2264.

Annie’s Project is sponsored statewide by Farm Credit Services of America and the United States Department of Agriculture. Local sponsorship is being provided by the Dickinson County Extension Council and Clay County Extension Council.

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