Nationally awarded education program for farm/ranch women comes to Georgetown

April and May workshops to focus on risk management and planning

Contact: Dr. Jason Johnson, 254-968-4144, jljohnson@tamu.edu

Fred Hall, 512-943-3300, fmhall@ag.tamu.edu

GEORGETOWN – Getting a grip on today’s agriculture business and becoming an effective farm partner and decision maker is the focus of Annie’s Project, a women’s workshop series, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service specialist.

The mission of Annie’s Project is to empower farm women to be better business partners through networks and by managing and organizing critical information, said Dr. Jason Johnson, AgriLife Extension economist in Stephenville and state coordinator for Annie’s Project.

“Often farm women do not feel comfortable in the coffee shop network that is so familiar to farm/ranch men,” Johnson said. “Annie’s project provides a place where farm women can learn both from the perspectives of local agricultural professionals as well as the experiences of other class members.”

Annie’s Project is an educational program dedicated to strengthening women’s roles in the modern farm enterprise. The series will be offered in six sessions, from 6-9 p.m. each Tuesday beginning April 15 through May 20, at the AgriLife Extension office in Williamson County, 3151 S.E.  Inner Loop, Suite A in Georgetown.

Cost of the program is $50 per person and class size is limited to 30, he said. Registration slots will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. The conference is sponsored by AgriLife Extension, with program support provided by Farm Credit Bank of Texas.

Interested participants with questions about the program can request a brochure and registration form by contacting Johnson at 254-968-4144 or the Williamson County A&M AgriLife Extension Office in Georgetown, at 512-943-3300. The registration form is available at http://bit.ly/12HTxJ4.

According to the 2007 Census of Agriculture, there has been a 30 percent increase in the number of farms principally operated by women since 2002. Women now manage 14 percent of the nation’s 2.2 million farms. Gaining confidence to understand the complex agricultural business surrounded by other farm women is the foundation of Annie’s Project, Johnson said.

“The program is based on the experiences of farm wives who spend their lifetime learning how to be an involved business partner with their farm husbands,” Johnson said. “The reality is that over 90 percent of farm women usually end up managing their personal and farm business finances at some point in their lives as a result of death, divorce or disability.”

Participants will receive training in critical decision-making and information areas addressing: production risk management, marketing risk management, financial risk management, estate planning resources, legal risk management and human resources risk management.

Additional information about the program and how other farm women nationally have benefitted is available at: www.extension.iastate.edu/annie .

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