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Annie’s Project comes to Langdon

Unless someone is a farmer, they will never know or understand the unique daily trials the agricultural business presents.

Posted on 10/12/17

By Lisa Nowatzki

Many more challenges arise for women who are married to farmers or who work in the male-dominated agricultural business.

Fortunately, Ruth Fleck Hambelton, Annie’s daughter, and founder of Annie’s Project, recognized the need for training in management and decision-making in the complex, dynamic world of agriculture. The project fosters problem solving, record keeping, and decision-making skills for farm women.

According to the project website, farm women in North Dakota are a diverse lot with rich backgrounds who are equipped and are able to handle the responsibilities of running a farm business. Other women, who marry into the agricultural business or who inherit family farms, are not as prepared for the business side of farm life.

Thankfully, Annie’s Project is available to those women who need extra help with the business side of farming. The project is designed to empower farm women to be better business partners through a series of education sessions covering the business of farming and ranching.

The program, presented by the NDSU Extension Service of Cavalier County, includes six educational sessions from five risk areas. Annie’s Project tailors the training to the needs of farm and ranch women in the local community. The general educational topics covered are comprehensive and will speak to the challenges Langdon area agricultural women face.

General topics include financial risk which covers subjects like women and money, basic financial documentation, interpreting financial statements, enterprise analysis, USDA programs, and record keeping systems. Human resource risks are also a part of the curriculum. Some of the subjects discussed are communication and management styles, insurance needs and succession planning, which ensures that the right personnel are hired for the right job around the farm. Developers also cover legal risks such as estate planning, farmland leasing, and employee management. Enrollees learn about market risks related to market information and grain and livestock marketing. Production risks are another area that is covered. Environmental concerns are discussed like Natural Resources Conservation Service, web soil survey, and crop insurance.

The topics specific for Langdon area women will include: Real Colors, Precision Farming, Understanding the Farm Service Agency, Crop Marketing and Cash Contracting, Managing Farm Family Finances, Understanding Financial Statements, Tax Management Succession and Retirement, Protecting and Planning for Your Future, Crop Insurance, Stress Management for Farm Couples, and Farming in Tough Times.

In the past, Annie’s Project workshops have garnered lots of praise from the participants. “Annie’s Project is an excellent opportunity for female farm partners to interact/learn together, women are an important part of every farm operation and should continue to educate themselves to become even more valuable, and I feel the most useful part of Annie’s Project is the idea that women can understand and be helpful partners in farming,” responded some past participants of the program.

The program will be held on Wednesdays and Thursdays, November 1, 2, 8, 9, 15 and 16. The series will be from 5:30 to 9:00 p.m. Each evening starts with a light meal at the Cavalier County Courthouse in Langdon. Local professionals present and discuss the topics.

Registration for the course is $125 and includes all class materials and meals. For more information and registration information, contact Macine Lukach or Anitha Chirumamilla at the NDSU Extension Service, Cavalier County office at 701-256-2560 or email macine.lukach@ndsu.edu or anitha.chirumamilla@ndsu.edu. Full payment must accompany registration. October 23 is the deadline for registration.

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