Annie’s Project provides agriculture business education to Iowa farm women

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Allamakee County will offer a networking program that empowers women in agriculture to become better business partners and owners.
Annie’s Project, a six-week course designed especially to help farm women develop their management and decision-making skills, is being offered by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Allamakee County. Online registration is available at or at the Allamakee County Extension office.
Classes will be held at Farmers & Merchants Savings Bank Community Room Thursdays from 9 a.m.-12 Noon beginning March 17 and continuing each Thursday through April 21. A light lunch will be provided from noon to 12:30 p.m. within the cost of the program.
Farm women participating in Annie’s Project courses become better business partners and owners by learning to manage and organize critical information for their own farms, while establishing networks with other farm women and agriculture business professionals.
According to ISU Extension and Outreach farm specialist Melissa O’Rourke, Annie’s Project covers five areas of agricultural risk management: financial, human resources, legal, marketing and production.
O’Rourke states, “Our goal is to provide a program that is of great interest and value. Each session includes presentations, discussions, hands-on activities and computer skills training. In addition, guest speakers share their personal experiences and knowledge to help women become better business partners and owners.”
According to a 2012 survey conducted by Iowa State Extension and Outreach, 47 percent of Iowa’s farmland is owned by women. Annie’s Project supports these women by providing an agricultural business education program that empowers farm women who want to be more knowledgeable about their agricultural enterprises.
“Offering a quality program such as Annie’s Project is of great benefit to our community and we are excited to be a partner in providing this service,” says Michelle Byrnes, Allamakee County Extension Council member.
“Annie’s Project empowers women by offering a valuable set of business-based workshops. The program helps participants learn ways to make better financial and risk management decisions,” according to Madeline Schultz, ISU Extension and Outreach Women in Agriculture Program Manager.
More than 33 states have implemented Annie’s Project sites since its inception in 2002. According to post-program surveys, participants have reported that the program encouraged learning and that the nurturing environment has facilitated ongoing conversation with local speakers. In addition, respondents were able to network with other professionals and stated that they felt comfortable interacting with others for additional information and assistance. Overall, participants remarked that the courses were beneficial in understanding the factors in farming that pertain to women, their families and the land.
For more information, contact Julie Christensen at 563-568-6345, or e-mail Register online at