COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Annie's Project, a risk management course for women in agriculture, will be offered again in Ohio this winter.
The Cooperative Extension Service program, popular across the Midwest, was held in Ohio for the first time last year in Wood and Delaware counties. This year, the program is expanding and will be offered in Ashland, Ashtabula, Auglaize, Defiance, Erie and Wood counties.
Annie's Project, launched in 2003 by University of Illinois Extension educator Ruth Hambleton, in honor of her mother, Annie, and her commitment to the family farm, is designed to empower farm women to be better business partners through networks and by managing and organizing critical information and increasing communication skills.
The number of women who own farms, or are otherwise financially involved in a farm operation, has doubled since 1978, according to the Ohio Department of Agriculture, and the number continues to grow.
"Annie's Project brings women together to learn the financial skills and critical information needed to manage the complicated business of running a farm," said Julia Nolan Woodruff, an Ohio State University Extension educator for Ashland County.
Specific topics include financial record keeping, understanding basic financial statements, financial management tools, goal setting and mission statement writing, commodity marketing basics, crop insurance, family communication, retirement planning, and learning about individual personality types and characteristics through the Real Colors program.
"Women play an important role in the family farm business and Annie's Project will help them improve their management and communication skills," said Woodruff. "It will also provide the opportunity for women to network with other women in similar situations and learn from one another."
Annie's Project is being offered this year as the result of a North Central Risk Management Education Center Grant. The class meets one evening a week for six consecutive weeks.
Annie's Project will be held at the following locations:
• Ashland County – Hospice of North Central Ohio Building, 1050 Dauch Drive, Ashland; Feb. 4, 11, 18 and 25, March 3 and 10; 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.; (419) 281-8242.
• Ashtabula County -- Ashtabula County office of OSU Extension, 39 Wall St., Jefferson; Jan. 10, 17, 24 and 31, and Feb. 7 and 14; 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.; (440) 576-9008.
• Auglaize County -- Auglaize County Administration Building, 2nd Floor Assembly Room, 209 S. Blackhoof St., Wapakoneta; Jan. 24 and 31, Feb. 7, 21 and 28, and March 6; 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.; (419) 738-2219.
• Defiance County -- Defiance County office of OSU Extension, Defiance; Feb. 7, 14, 21 and 28, and March 6 and 13; 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.; (419) 782-4771.
• Erie County – EHOVE Career Center, 316 W. Mason Road., Milan; Jan. 17, 24, and 31, Feb. 7, 21 and 28, and March 6; 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.; (419) 627-7631.
• Wood County – Wood County office of OSU Extension, 639 S. Dunbridge Road, Bowling Green; Feb. 7, 14, 21 and 28, and March 6 and 13; 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.; (419) 354-9050.
The registration fee is $60 and class space is limited. For registration information contact the host county or project coordinators: Doris Herringshaw at (419) 354-9050 and Julia Woodruff at (419) 281-8242, or log on to http://ohioagmanager.osu.edu and follow the link for the November newsletter.
Since 2003, over 2,000 farm women in nine states have completed the six-week course.