A national award-winning workshop series is scheduled for July and August in Fairfield to help empower women farmers and ranchers through education and shared experiences.
The Annie’s Project workshop series will be presented by local professionals, practitioners and experts from the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture-Farm Service Agency and USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, along with other agencies.
The in-person workshop will be offered in six sessions, from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. each Tuesday, beginning July 11 at the Round Prairie Baptist Church Family Life Center, 932 Main St. Other classes will be on July 18, July 25, Aug. 1, Aug. 15 and Aug. 22.
Participants will receive training in critical decision making and information addressing the management of production risks, marketing risks, financial risks, personnel risks and estate planning.
The cost is $60 per person for the entire series. Class size is limited to 25 to facilitate discussion among participants, and registration slots will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Lunch and refreshments will be provided during each session.
Those interested in attending can request a brochure and registration form from Erin Davis, AgriLife Extension agent in Freestone County, at 903-389-3436, or from Richard Parrish, AgriLife Extension agent in Leon County, at 903-536-2531.
The registration form is also available at https://stephenville.tamu.edu/ by clicking on the Extension Programs tab and selecting the Annie’s Project link.
About Annie’s Project
According to the USDA’s most recent Census of Agriculture, approximately 56% of farms have a female producer. Female-operated farms account for 38% of U.S. agricultural sales and 43% of U.S. farmland.
“Annie’s Project is an educational program dedicated to building confidence and strengthening women’s roles in modern farm and ranch enterprises,” said Jason Johnson, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension economist, Stephenville, one of the workshop coordinators.
In its 20 years of operation, the Annie’s Project has produced more than 19,000 “graduates” from 38 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Johnson said AgriLife Extension is partnering with Annie’s Project because its mission to “empower women in agriculture to be successful through education, networks and resources” is compatible with the agency’s educational outreach goals as well as its support of agricultural, economic and community sustainability.
“The program is based on the experiences of farm women who spend their lifetime learning how to be an involved business manager or partner with other agricultural professionals and/or family members,” Johnson said. “The reality is that more than 90% of farm women ultimately wind up managing their personal and farm business finances at some point in their lives, including as a result of death, divorce or disability.”
Johnson said the program offers a more pleasant alternative for women than the “coffee shop network” familiar to many men involved in farming and ranching.
“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 workshop members, in a comfortable and low-pressure setting,” he said.
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Author: Paul Schattenberg