; The Power of Networking: Annies Project in SW Iowa | Conferences | AgRisk Library


Conference Name The Power of Networking: Annies Project in SW Iowa

Timothy Christensen and Madeline Schultz


Women are an important audience for the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach farm management team. The 2017 Iowa Farm and Rural Life poll showed women participated in record keeping or financial management at higher rates than men.
Annie’s Project is an 18-hour agricultural business education program that empowers women in agriculture to be successful through education, networks, and resources. The course focuses on strategies to manage financial, human resources, legal, marketing, and production risk.
Tim Christensen facilitated three Annie’s Project courses from 2020 to 2023 with 49 participants – 46% were young producers.
Before the course, 20.8% of survey respondents ‘knew quite a bit’ or were ‘completely familiar’ with the knowledge of where to find research-based estimates for costs of production. After the course this increased to 79.5%.
Before the course, 25.0% of survey respondents have ‘completed/currently do this’ or were ‘in progress’ on the action of compare my/our farm/ranch financial ratios to benchmarks. After the course this increased to 64.6%.
For A.M., Annie’s Project allowed her to connect with others and think deeper. “It is a great way to interact with other women in agriculture,” she said.
English is A.W.’s second language. Christensen provided her with vocabulary ahead of class and the other participants were very helpful to her as well. “I loved it! I can’t wait to attend more!” she said.

When Extension extends knowledge and empowers women, all Iowans benefit through expanded agricultural businesses, conservation of natural resources, and support for the community of women in agriculture.