Since Annie’s Project was launched in North Dakota in January 2006, over 400 women have completed the six week project and another 450 are expected to enroll in 2008. It was offered at five locations during the first year of the project. In 2008, it will be conducted at 23 sites. The primary reason this rapid growth has been possible because much of the curriculum is delivered via interactive television.
The state coordinator works closely with extension field staff who serve as facilitators, extension specialists who conduct parts of the sessions via interactive television and with the state’s Interactive Video Network administrators to plan, schedule and deliver parts of the sessions electronically. In addition, local experts are identified at all locations to conduct presentations that supplement/reinforce the specialist’s video conference presentations. All sessions focus on the major categories of agricultural risks.
Creating a website, www.ag.ndsu.edu/anniesproject, and developing a detailed facilitators training manual have been vital communication tools for implementing the project across North Dakota. This year new facilitators are also being provided a mentor who has facilitated the Annie’s Project in past years.
By charging a $100.00 registration fee and partnering with state wide and local sponsors, the program is now being delivered without grant funds. The video conference delivery method sharply reduces the costs of the program.
Evaluations reveal that nearly 90% of the participants plan to become more engaged in the business decisions of their farm/ranch operations as a result of completing this project. On a scale of 5 (highest) and 1 (lowest), the average ranking of this project across the state during that past two years has been 4.7.
|Conference||2008 National Women in Agriculture Educators Conference|