Annie’s Project Creates Networking, Learning Opportunity For Female Farmers

Women engage in a wide variety of jobs on farms in Western New York and across the country. In Chautauqua County, 228 women are primary farm operators according to the 2007 Census of Agriculture. Women farm owner/operators are on the rise, with a 3 percent increase from 2002 to 2007 in Chautauqua County. This is a trend occurring nationally, with more women owning farm businesses or becoming more highly involved in decision-making. Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County plans to engage farm women in discussions of farm business and risk management this winter through Annie’s Project.

During February and March, farm women across the region are encouraged to participate in Annie’s Project at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County’s office in Jamestown. Annie’s Project is a series of six weekly discussion/networking sessions. Each participant will receive a professional resource binder including local contacts, fact sheets, worksheets, computer based tools and more. This learning opportunity aims to help both experienced and newly engaged farm women gain confidence in their ability to access information, understand farm economics, evaluate their businesses and make decisions leading to greater farm success.

Annie’s Project, created in 2003 by Ruth Hambleton, University of Illinois Extension, is an agricultural risk management program dedicated to strengthening women’s roles in their family businesses. The curriculum is designed to empower women farmers in managing information systems used in critical decision making processes and to build local networks.

Those with questions or who are interested in registering should contact Virginia Carlberg, 664-9502 ext. 202, or vec22@cornell.edu or visit the website www.nyanniesproject.org. The course costs $60 per person with limited scholarships available to those who inquire. The deadline for registration is Jan. 10.

New York Annie’s Project has been made possible by Cornell Cooperative Extension with gracious funding from Farm Credit East, Workforce Development Institute, NYS Department of Agriculture & Markets, USDA Risk Management Agency, and the Northeast Center for Extension Risk Management Education. This material is based upon work supported by USDA National Institute of Food & Agriculture under award number 2012-49200-20031.