annie classroom

A classroom scene from an Annie’s Project training session.

Several North Dakota County Extension offices will be offering the six-week Annie’s Project during the next couple months, according to Alicia Harstad, Extension agent in Stutsman County and one of the counties offering the course in the near future.

Annie’s Project is a discussion-based workshop that bring women from the farm and ranch together to learn from experts in production, financial management, human resources, marketing and the legal field. These sessions are designed to empower farm women to be better business partners through networks and by managing and organizing critical information.

The six educational sessions the course contains include topics from five risk areas. As Annie’s Project has been localized to meet the needs of farm and ranch women across the country, topics or emphases may vary. Following is a brief summary of the items covered in each of the sessions:

Financial Risk – Women and money, basic financial documentation, interpreting financial statements, enterprise analysis, USDA programs and record keeping systems

Human Resource Risk – Communication and management styles, insurance needs and succession planning

Legal Risk – Estate planning, farmland leasing and employee management

Money Risk – Access to market information and grain or livestock marketing

Production Risk – Natural Resources Conservation Service, web soil survey  and crop insurance

Those who have taken the course in the past have said they find answers, strength and friendship – and also grow in confidence, business skills and community prestige through this program. Annie’s Project provides education and a support network to enhance business skills of women involved in all aspects of agriculture.

Through the program, participants will gain insight and knowledge in the following areas:

  • Your personality temperament and how it affects communication
  • The importance of organizational skills and goal setting
  • How to find resources and work with professionals to meet your goals

Pre-registration is required for this program, Harstad noted. Contact the NDSU Extension county office for the site you are interested in attending. Attendance at all six session is necessary. The enrollment fee is $125 and will be limited in order to facilitate discussion. Registrations will be accepted on a first-come basis.

Following is a list of the counties that will be offering Annie’s Project in the near future and dates the sessions will be offered and contact information and deadline for enrollment for each location.

Kidder County at Steele Community Center – Class Dates: Feb. 12, 19, 26 and March 5, 12 and 19 from 5:30 to 9 p.m. each night. Registration deadline is Feb. 6 and contact is Penny Nester at 701-475-2672.

Stutsman County at Farmers Union state office in Jamestown – Class Dates: Feb. 21, 28 and March 7, 14, 21 and 28 from 6 to 9 p.m. each night. Registration deadline is Feb. 8 and contact is Alicia Harstad at 701-252-9030.

Golden Valley County at Beach, N.D. – Class Dates: Tuesdays and Thursdays March 20 to April 5. Contact Ashley Ueckert at 701-872-4332 for more information.

Ward County at Minot, N.D. – Class Dates: Oct.-Nov. 2019. Contact Paige Brummond or Ellen Bjelland for more information.

Pierce County at Rugby, N.D. – Class Dates in late 2019. Contact Yolanda Schmidt for more information.

About Annie’s Project – Annie was a women who grew up in a small town in northern Illinois. She married a farmer and spent her life learning how to be an involved partner with her farm husband. This program was developed by Annie’s daughter, Ruth Fleck Hambleton, and is now a nationwide program taught in 33 states and designed to empower women in agriculture.