Area Women Complete Annie’s Project

Twenty-six area farm women recently attend the six week Annie’s Project: Farm Business Management program in Manchester.

“While farm women have always been an integral part of agriculture, their role in managing farm operations continues to grow.  That’s why Iowa State University Extension recently offered Annie’s Project to farm women in northeast Iowa,” says Melissa O’Rourke, ISU’s Farm and Agribusiness Management Specialist.

Annie’s Project is a farm management risk education program designed especially for women and facilitated by women agriculture professionals.  The goal of Annie’s Project is to educate and empower farm women to be better business partners by managing and organizing critical information, improving decision-making skills, and networking with other farm women.  Annie’s Project programs are taught in 33 states throughout the U.S.

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Delaware County hosted the local program on Tuesday evenings throughout January and February at GNB bank in Manchester.  Women traveled from six counties across northeast Iowa including: Benton, Black Hawk, Buchanan, Fayette, Delaware, and Dubuque.

Each session of Annie’s Project included brief presentations and extended discussions with women agriculture professionals on topics of importance to participants’ future in agribusiness.  A wide variety of topics were covered such as key financial documents and working with your ag lender, grain merchandising, USDA programs, crop and farm business insurance, tax tips for farm and ag businesses, farmland leasing, farm transition, estate planning, property ownership, understanding personality traits, and human resources legal issues.

The presenters for Annie’s Project included: Angie Treptow, Farm Credit Services of America; Kendra Crooks, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Lacey Carroll, Milestones Group; April Langel, Farm Credit Services of America; Alison Kass, GNB bank; Julie Smith, State Farm Insurance; Allison Ryan, River Valley Coop; Heidi Nickol, USDA-Farm Service Agency; Cathy Grief, USDA-Farm Service Agency, Julie Hoefler, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service; and Melissa O’Rourke, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

Program sponsors included Delaware County Economic Development, Delaware County Farm Bureau, Fidelity Bank and Trust, Farm Credit Services of America, GNB Bank, River Valley Coop, and United States Department of Agriculture.

ISU Extension and Outreach Delaware County hopes to offer Annie’s Project and similar women in ag programs within the county in the future.  The ISU Extension and Outreach Women in Ag program offers a wide variety of courses that cater to women such as Managing for Today and Tomorrow: Farm Transition Planning, Women Managing Cattle, and Women Marketing Grain. For information about these and other ISU Extension and Outreach Women in Ag programs, visit

For information about this course and other programs being offered through Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Delaware County, contact Jade Hargrafen at 563-927-4201, or email