Drollette Delivers Farm Business Management Courses for Women in Eastern Iowa
February 13, 2020 | Cora Carpenter, Women in Ag Student Assistant
Annie’s Project: Farm Business Management courses in Iowa provides women with an opportunity to learn more about their agricultural enterprises. The courses would not be possible without the direct involvement of the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach farm management specialists.
As the farm management specialist covering eastern Iowa, Ryan Drollette has taught three Annie’s Project courses from 2018 to 2019 reaching 50 women in Jones, Washington and Cedar counties. He also taught six other multi-session farm management courses for women from 2014 to 2019.
Drollette believes one of the most important things women get out of the Annie’s Project courses is that they know they are not alone. “They find a network of peers and professionals they can call on and ask questions of and these relationships are long lasting,” Drollette said. At a steering committee meeting for an upcoming Annie’s Project in Jackson County, Drollette was pleased to hear past program participants say they still pull out their course books and use the ISU Ag Decision Maker website on a regular basis.
One past participant that stands out to Drollette is Jenny Hemingway who attended Managing for Today and Tomorrow: Farm Transition Planning; Women Marketing Grain and Annie’s Project Farm Business Management courses. “Jenny stands out as an advocate for her peers,” said Drollette. “She is a driving force for the next women’s farm management program and she always brings her friends along, too.”
When farm women are empowered, they can contribute to a more sustainable agriculture by improving economic resiliency, conserving natural resources, and supporting each other’s influential roles in families and communities. Women across Iowa trust Iowa State University Extension and Outreach to provide research-based information and tools to help them make good risk management decisions. The Farm Management Team has an important role in providing effective and efficient education for women in Iowa. By improving agricultural sustainability, women in the industry are key stakeholders in the production of safe, plentiful and accessible food.