Last updated: August 27. 2014 7:19PM - 507 Views
By - lmihm@civitasmedia.com

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OTTAWA — The Putnam County Ohio State University Extension office will be offering a new program to agricultural farm women beginning Sept. 22 and extending through Oct. 27.

The program, called Annie’s Project, provides women with tools to improve their risk and farm management skills in the complex and dynamic world of agriculture. Annie’s Project mission is to empower farm women to be better business partners through networks and by managing and organizing critical information.

Annie’s Project, now in its 11th year nationwide, is a six-week course that teaches women about problem-solving, record-keeping, decision-making and property ownership issues. Ohio organizers expect the program to reach more than 200 women in 10 sessions statewide this year.

In a press release on the project, OSU Extension-Putnam County Maumee Valley EERA Office Assistant Ann Meyer said participants say they find answers, strength, and friendship.

“The program also helps women grow in confidence, business skills, and community prestige,” Meyer said. “Annie’s Project provides education and a support network to enhance business skills of women involved in all aspects of agriculture.

Annie’s Project was founded in 2000 by Ruth Hambleton, an Extension educator at the University of Illinois, based on the experiences of her mother, Annie, who worked with her father on the family farm. It was introduced in Ohio in 2007.

The original “Annie” was a woman who grew up in a small farming community with a goal of being a successful farm wife. Annie spent her life learning how to be a successful business partner on her family farm, working with her husband. More than 5,000 women in the USA have been trained with this program since the year 2000.

Classes begin Sept. 22 and educational programs are from 6 to 9 p.m. Mondays. The classes will be held at the Putnam County Extension office in Ottawa. Classes will include communications, farm business planning, retirement and transition, financial management, marketing and management and risk management.

Dr. Beth Schecklehoff with the Henry County OSU-Extension Office has organized this series of meetings and will be assisted by Jim Hoorman with the Putnam County OSU Extension. Any woman interested in attending can call the Putnam County Extension office at 419-523-6294 for information or contact Schecklehoff at 419-592-0806 or scheckelhoff.11@osu.edu.

With donations from local agricultural business, the cost for this program has been lowered from $95 to $35 per person. Registration is limited to 24 women to allow adequate class discussion time and to allow for more individual help.

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