; Expanding and Compounding Your Programming Efforts | Conferences | AgRisk Library


Conference Name Expanding and Compounding Your Programming Efforts

Bob Wells


This session details steps taken to expand Annie’s Project from a single site to twenty-one states. In 2003, a single Annie’s Project reached 10 participants in Kankakee, Illinois. In 2007, Annie’s Projects were held in seventeen states, with sixty-six sites, and 1650 participants.

Occasionally, as educators, we find a program easily adaptable for similar audiences. These programs have common features: 1) encourages and empowers participants to become better persons, 2) are adaptable to local needs, and 3) provide a continuing network for future education. These programs legitimize the learner’s role and enhance their life by building skills, boosting confidence, purpose and control in business and family environments.

Annie’s Project is such a program. Farm and ranch women have long had educational needs not met by traditional extension programming. Annie’s Project was designed to meet women learner’s needs by utilizing a mix of educators and practitioners with empathy for farm women audiences. Instructors are trained to develop class dynamics and build mentoring relationships within groups. Employing adaptable curriculum, meeting participants educational needs, and strong networks for future educational programs, Annie’s Project has become quite popular.

This session focuses on: 1) formation of a project team, 2) support from peer educators, 3) results-based program success, 4) positive farm press, 5) peer recognition of a quality program, 6) participant and facilitator support programs, and 7) participant recommendations. The discussion also addresses: 1) challenges of financing a growing project, 2) programs developed from lessons learned, and 3) collaboration with other organizations and sponsors.