Annie’s Project is a risk management educational program for women farmers that began in the Midwest and spread throughout the country. It is based on a real woman farmer Annette Fleck, who spent her lifetime learning how to be an involved business partner with her farmer husband. Her daughter, Ruth Hambleton, who became a Cooperative Extension educator in Illinois, created Annie’s Project.
New Jersey's Farm Management Training for Women program evolved out of two focus group meetings with women farmers. Annie’s farm management experiences were shared with over 300 women farmers beginning in February 2011 through courses in Cape May, Warren, and Somerset County.
Annie’s Project New Jersey gives New Jersey women farmers the tools to help them succeed, and to become better risk takers and risk managers by focusing on five areas of farm risk:
Rutgers professors and farm professionals teach a wide spectrum of skills that make up Annie's Project Curriculum.
Curriculum, handouts and presentations are now accessable and available to public:
Education modules series was also recorded as a part of Annie's project.
The program fosters problem solving, record keeping, decision-making, action planning and leadership skills for women farmers.
In 2012, the second year of Annie's Project New Jersey, combination of in-person education and distance learning brought farm business management education to more women farmers across the Garden State.
The live sessions were broadcast and recorded each week, allowing women to watch a lecturer from over 100 miles away. A key component of the program was women networking in the workshop and sharing ideas. This unique opportunity brought together an equine professional from one end of the state and a hay grower from another end, a farm market owner and a market grower from neighboring counties.
Participants have used their business plans to add new enterprises, secure farm loans, and develop websites, Facebook pages, and point-of-purchase materials for their farms. They used social media tools to assist in networking during the sessions as well as after graduation. Graduates have continued to meet to continue learning about aspects important to women farmers, to network with each other and have farm tours.
Funding for Annie’s Project in New Jersey was provided by:
The Northeast Center for Risk Management Education
U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Farm Credit East and Rutgers Cooperative Extension
Cooperating agencies include:
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
USDA's Farm Service Agency
U.S. Department of Agriculture
New Jersey Department of Agriculture
New Jersey Farm Bureau
County Boards of Chosen Freeholders
For more information about Annie’s Project in New Jersey,
contact Robin Brumfield, Ph.D. or Jenny Carleo.