; Iowa Annie's Project: Sixteen Years, 2026 Participants, and Still Requested | Conferences | AgRisk Library


Conference Name Iowa Annie's Project: Sixteen Years, 2026 Participants, and Still Requested

Madeline Schultz, Ryan Drollette, Kelvin Leibold, Melissa O'Rourke, Lisa Scarbrough , and Gary Wright


Annie’s Project courses for women have found long-term success in Iowa. With more than 116 local, small-group courses reaching over 2026 women since 2004, the program continues to be requested by individual women and County Extension Councils. This session will cover two main themes: program impacts and program management. Annie’s Project (www.anniesproject.org) features a series of six weekly classes on a variety of agricultural business and risk management topics. The goal of the educational program is to empower farm and ranch women who want to be even more knowledgeable about their agricultural enterprises. Annie’s Project creates a comfortable and supportive learning environment focused on the best farm business management practices. This enables women to be even stronger business partners in their farming or ranching operation. During this session, we’ll share recent Annie’s Project participant impacts gathered through pre- and post-course assessments, interviews and a Ripple Effects Mapping focus group. Beginning farm women now make up more than 40 percent of Annie’s Project participants. Financial analysis, marketing and estate planning continue to be the most valuable topics. A common reason for participation in the program is ‘to be more knowledgeable about and involved in farm business decisions.’ Women complete substantial risk management practices during the course and share information with their farm family or other partners. During this session, we’ll also cover the key management aspects of delivering Annie’s Project courses in Iowa. Teamwork, annual statewide professional development meetings, county professional and field specialist collaborations, program development best practices, and statewide funding are a few of the key managerial elements that keep Annie’s Project strong in Iowa. When farm women are empowered, they can contribute to a more sustainable agriculture by improving economic resiliency, conserving natural resources, and supporting each other’s influential roles in families and communities. Women across Iowa trust Extension to provide research-based information and tools to help them make good risk management decisions. The Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Farm Management team has an important role in providing effective and efficient education for women in Iowa. By improving agricultural sustainability, women in the industry are key stakeholders in the production of safe, plentiful and accessible food.