University of Maryland Extension

Women in Agriculture

Women in Agriculture

Full Report

The MidAtlantic Women in Agriculture program engages, educates and empowers women on common  issues in risk management. Farming is a unique business that has strong ties to family, values and land. These strong ties lead to the need for outreach and education on risk management topics such as financial planning, estate planning, marketing, communication, computer programs, budgeting, insurance and much more.  As profit margins slim and expenses rise the importance of mitigating these risks has increased.

Women in agriculture programs will:

  • increase knowledge
  • implement risk management
  • increase farm profitability

Results include writing an estate plan, compiling farm financial statements, creating a business plan, checking credit reports, marketing products and understanding regulatory information. This network reaches over 500 farmwomen in Maryland and Delaware as well as surrounding states.

MidAtlantic Women in Agriculture deliver risk and farm management training to women in the region through a variety of learning environments.  These include:

  1. Annie’s Project classes– An eight week course offered annually since 2008 has  been attended by 514 women held at 20 unique locations across Maryland, Delaware and Virginia.
    1. Managing for Today and Tomorrow – A six week course that began in 2013 attended by 29 women giving a more in-depth focus on financial and farm transition planning held at three locations across Maryland and Delaware
    2. Regional Women in Agriculture Conference -  Attended by approximately 175 participants annually across five states featuring keynote presenters and breakout sessions for participants to choose from.
    3. Social Media, Webinars and Outreach – Created to maintain network and education.  Social media outlets such as Pinterest, Facebook and twitter.  Also utilize quarterly newsletters, reunion meetings, farm tours and monthly webinars.
    For more information visit: http://extension.umd.edu/womeninag

Annie's Project

Full Report

Annie’s Project is a nationally recognized and accomplished farm management program for women.  It provides education, tools and resources for women in agriculture to gain more knowledge of farm business operations.  Annie’s project empowers participants with the knowledge to make educated decisions for their family and future.   In 2008, Annie’s Project began in Maryland at one site.  In 2010, the project expanded to 10 sites in Maryland and Delaware and in 2015 added a site in Virginia.  The program in total has reached 514 participants to date.

Evaluation data has been collected since the beginning of Annie’s Project.  This includes an end of class evaluation and an 18 month web based, follow up evaluation.  There are eight topic areas that participants learn in class and are encouraged to implement following the class to improve farm management.  The following chart shows the percentages of respondents who intended to take action and the 18 month follow up of those that implemented that action.

There is a 55% implementation rate of knowledge learned during Annie’s Project leading to 44% increasing farm profitability.  Respondents estimate their increased profitability from $2,387 to $3,995. 

For more information about this program visit: http://extension.umd.edu/annies-project

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