GUIDELINES Farm Management Courses for Women in Agriculture
These guidelines apply to the following list of farm management courses developed by the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach farm management team. The team has 15 years of experience reaching the audience of women in agriculture. During this time, the team led 177 small-group multi-session courses educating 2,844 women.
- Annie’s Project: Farm Business Management
- Heartbeat of the Farm: Human Resource Management
- Managing for Today and Tomorrow: Farm Transition Planning
- Women Managing Cattle
- Women Managing Farm Finances
- Women Marketing Grain
- Women Planning Ag Businesses
ISU Extension and Outreach Program Development Process
The farm management team implements the program development process for courses offered to women in agriculture. The team draws on models such as the transformational learning model, Annie’s Project key principles, and others to develop meaningful experiences for the audience. Collaboration and statewide processes allow the team to offer more and higher quality courses.
How to Get Started
- Contact the Farm Management Team:
- Counties that would like to offer Annie’s Project or other courses listed above can begin by contacting their local ISU Extension and Outreach farm management field specialist (www.extension.iastate.edu/ag/farm-management) or Madeline Schultz, ISU Extension and Outreach women in ag program manager (email@example.com, 515-294-0588.)
- The farm management field specialists lead these farm management courses in Iowa. They work together to plan and facilitate/teach about 20 courses each year.
- Schultz manages these specific courses for women on a statewide basis. She also serves as the Annie’s Project - Education for Farm Women state coordinator for Iowa.
- Identify a County Extension Professional to Co-Facilitate:
- The farm management team values the roles of county extension professionals and feels collaboration results in better programming. This is why the team asks counties to identify a professional who will serve as the course co-facilitator.
- Be Represented at the Statewide Planning Meeting:
- Each October, the farm management team hosts statewide women in ag planning meetings. The meetings are open to everyone. County professionals serving as course co-facilitators are strongly encouraged to attend.
- The purpose of the meeting is to offer opportunitiets for professional growth, improve program development processes, and support teamwork. The meetings offer an opportunity to learn more about the farm management courses for women in agriculture as well as to collaborate on other programs for this audience. Typically, the meeting encourages learning from extension colleagues or others by sharing experiences, curricula, and best practices.
- Begin Planning Early:
- Planning for Annie’s Project or other farm management courses for women typically begins four to twelve months ahead of the course.
- Usually, the farm management team begins planning for the following year in September and October. The team considers county requests and coverage throughout the state. Preference may be given to counties who send potential co-facilitators to the statewide planning meeting and previously un-served counties.
Roles of the Farm Management Team
A farm management field specialist takes the lead for facilitating and organizing Annie’s Project or other farm management courses for women. The specialist is responsible for leading the program development process and ensures delivery of a high quality educational program for the audience. The farm management specialist works closely with the county co-facilitator as well as the statewide women in ag program office. The roles of the farm management specialist include the following.
- Involve county co-facilitators throughout all program development processes from needs assessment to impact reporting.
- Organize a steering committee to ask for advice on course planning and identify possible speakers, sponsors, and attendees.
- Work with the county co-facilitator to choose the location, dates, and times; as well as identify any local sponsors. Then complete the online course submittal form at http://www.aep.iastate.edu/womeninag/submit.
- Work with the county co-facilitator and Lisa Scarbrough, women in ag program communications specialist (firstname.lastname@example.org) 515-294-4972) to brand and market the course.
- Vet, screen and visit potential speakers; direct, advise and monitor selected speakers.
- Take an active role in informing and recruiting potential course participants.
- Monitor the registration process and registrations. Class size between 10 and 25 participants is ideal.
- Monitor the course budget; assist with finding local sponsorship if needed.
- Facilitate course sessions:
- Manage the classroom and participants. Introduce guest speakers and guide wqtopics.
- Teach farm business and risk management concepts.
- Answer participant questions, guide discussion and hands-on activities.
- Send weekly email to participants.
- Conduct course evaluation:
- Introduce and administer pre- and post-course surveys.
- Send surveys to RISE and request a site report from Arlene de la Mora, email@example.com.
- Identify someone in the class for a potential success story.
- Be available to answer farm management questions from participants on a one-to-one basis, direct participants to other extension programs and/or make appropriate referrals.
- Stay in touch with the women in ag office:
- Provide updates on course progress.
- Pass along course agenda, speaker matrix, site budget, copies of educational materials (such as presentations and handouts), advertisements, class photos, news, and success stories. These are helpful for reporting to statewide funders and other stakeholders, as well as managing programs.
- Communicate issues or problems as they arise and seek resolution.
Roles of the County Extension Professionals
A county extension professional serves as the course co-facilitator for Annie’s Project or other farm management courses for women in agriculture. The co-facilitator is responsible for leading local efforts and building relationships with local stakeholders before, during and after courses. The co-facilitator works closely with the farm management specialist as well as the statewide women in ag program office. The roles of the county extension professional include the following.
- Involve the farm management field specialist throughout all program planning processes from needs assessment to impact reporting.
- Invite local stakeholders and assist in organizing a steering committee to ask for advice on course planning and identify possible speakers, sponsors, and attendees.
- Work with the farm management specialist to choose the location, dates, and times; as well as identify any local sponsors. Assist with the online course submittal form at http://www.aep.iastate.edu/womeninag/submit.
- Work with the farm management field specialist and Lisa Scarbrough, women in ag program communications specialist (firstname.lastname@example.org, 515-294-4972), to brand and market the course.
- Help identify potential local speakers. Welcome and assist speakers during courses.
- Promote the course locally and recruit participants.
- Receive local registrations as needed and make sure all participants are registered through ANR Services: www.aep.iastate.edu/womeninag/ .
- Assist with budgeting aspects of the course and communicate with your council or others. Track items paid for by the county. When the course is completed, send one detailed invoice for reimbursable expenses to the women in ag office. Track and make sure you receive 80% (for 2019) of registration fees back from ANR Services.
- Co-facilitate course sessions:
- Assist with classroom management and help guide participants. Take charge of contacting participants for weather re-scheduling or other purposes.
- Welcome participants to class each week and seek to build relationships.
- Collaborate with farm management specialist on course delivery.
- Coordinate meals, course workbooks, computers or other participant needs.
- Take pictures.
- Assist with program evaluation. Help identify women for potential success stories.
- Be available to answer participant questions and help direct them to additional extension programs or other resources as may be helpful.
- Stay in touch with the Women in Ag office:
- Provide updates on course progress.
- Gather materials and assist farm management specialist in passing along course agenda, speaker matrix, site budget, copies of educational materials (such as presentations and handouts), class photos, advertisements, news and success stories. These are helpful for reporting to statewide funders and other stakeholders, as well as managing programs.
- Communicate issues or problems as they arise and seek resolution.
Roles of the Statewide Women in Ag Program Office
The women in ag program office, staffed by Madeline Schultz, Lisa Scarbrough and students, provides statewide coordination. This office is responsible for managing the farm management courses for women in agriculture across the state. The staff works closely with the farm management field specialists and county professionals. Roles of the statewide staff include the following.
- Guide and support program development processes on a statewide level to enhance efficiency, increase consistency and improve program quality.
- Maintain Cybox with helpful information. Organize statewide planning meeting. Work with farm management team on curricula improvement and development.
- Offer guidance and support for local steering committee meetings.
- Receive and approve online course submittals. Approvals may be based on complete information, appropriate planning timelines, and statewide coverage.
- Develop marketing templates. Work with field specialists and county professionals to brand and market farm management courses for women locally and statewide.
- Gather speaker matrix for each course. Curate in shared Cybox for reference and use for reporting to stakeholders.
- Inform the audience of women in agriculture about available programs thorugh websites (www.extension.iastate.edu/womeninag ), event exhibits, distribution of promotional materials and other ways.
- Work with Brent Pringnitz, ANR Services (email@example.com, 515- 294-6429), to offer online course registration, monitor registrations and make any necessary updates.
- Secure statewide funding for courses. Maintain stakeholder relationships. Write, manage and report on grants and gifts. Prepare and monitor budgets. Work with county co-facilitators to reimburse budgeted expenses.
- Assist with course sessions:
- Distribute and/or advise on course materials.
- Attend local courses as speakers, photographers, or guest facilitators.
- Advise or contribute to course sessions as requested.
- Develop course evaluation:
- Develop evaluation processes and surveys.
- Secure funding for evaluation activities.
- Partner with RISE to provide third party evaluation and expertise.
- Develop statewide impact reports, posters, and ANR Success Stories.
- Be available to answer questions from potential or past participants, field specialists, county professionals and others.
- Stay in touch with farm management team and county professionals:
- Request updates on course progress.
- Gather and curate course agendas, speaker matrix, news stories and advertisements, presentations and handouts, class photos, and success stories. Use these to inform future programming as well as report to statewide funders or other stakeholders.
- Seek resolution of issues or problems as they arise; or report issues to administrators who can help.