Annie's Project in Iowa

January 18, 2018

Annie's Project in Iowa

By Shana Hilgerson, ISU Women in Ag Student Assistant

Two women and two men in Fort Dodge, Iowa

Annie’s Project was founded by Ruth Hambleton in 2003.  Ruth’s passion for farm women stems from her experience growing up on an Illinois dairy farm where she watched her mother, Annie, fight for a successful farm business.  After the realization that many farm women were ill-equipped to be considered primary operators in their farm business, Ruth used the passion she was raised with and the knowledge she gained as an educator for the University of Illinois Extension to create the Annie’s Project approach. Ruth Hambleton currently serves as the President on the National Board of Directors for Annie’s Project.

Also serving on the National Board of Directors is our very own Kelvin Leibold.  Kelvin is an Area Farm Management Field Specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, and has been instrumental in the implementation and success of Annie’s Project in Iowa.  Kelvin will be instructing our 100th Annie’s Project course, Farm Business Management, in Fort Dodge beginning January 29, 2018. 

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Women in Ag program is offering four different courses this winter, designed to provide farm women the tools they need to become successful in their agricultural business, in any role they have.  Each course is unique in its material, but each share the same focus on farm women and a comfortable atmosphere to grow, share, and learn from each other.

  • The Annie’s Project: Farm Business Management course focuses on the different aspects of risk management in operating a business, and may be geared toward commodity, niche, or value-added markets. 
  • Managing for Today and Tomorrow: Farm Transition Planning will provide information on business, estate, retirement, and succession planning for agriculture operations. 
  • Heartbeat of the Farm: Human Resource Management focuses on employee supply, recruitment, and law, as well as family and business communication. 
  • Women Marketing Grain focuses on managing price risk with tools like forward contracts, futures and options contracts, and crop insurance with grain in mind.

Annie’s Project is being implemented in 33 states and has helped thousands of women improve their skills. In 2004, Iowa’s first Annie’s Project was held in Washington County.  Now, we will be hosting our 100th Annie’s Project in Fort Dodge.  The courses led by ISU Extension and Outreach have impacted the lives of program graduates.  See more on why women value Annie’s Project here.

Read AnniesStory.pdfAnnie's Project