University of Maryland Extension

About Us

In 2008 two extension educators, Shannon Dill and Jenny Rhodes, joined together to bring a new

educational program to Maryland.  The classes being offered would focus on strengthening women's roles across all areas of agriculture.  It would foster problem solving, record keeping and decision making skills. 

It was known nationally as, ANNIES PROJECT

Since 2008 Annie's Project has expanded in the MidAtlantic Region to 14 sites in Maryland, Delaware and Virginia educating 514 women in agriculture. 


  • Annie’s project is designed to empower women in agriculture
  • Provide information in farm management and build local networks throughout the state. 
  • The target audience is women with a passion for business, agriculture and involvement in the farm operation.

 Key Principles:

  1. Teach all five areas of agricultural risk: financial, human resources, legal, marketing, & production.
  2. Invite local professionals to serve as guest instructors where possible.
  3. Allocate half of class time to discussion and hands-on activities.
  4. Provide un-biased, researched based information.
  5. Create a learning environment where mentoring is spontaneous. 

Core Values:

  1. Safe Harbor - all questions or situations are welcomed for sharing and open discussion.
  2. Connection - to each other and to professionals introduced to them in class.
  3. Discovery - the moment when something makes sense where before it did not.
  4. Guided Intelligence - at any one time there is a woman in the audience who knows more about the subject being presented than the instructor and is willing to share her experience.
 Various educational formats are now offered throughout the region:

* Annie's Project

This course is designed to empower women in agriculture to manage information systems used in critical decision making processes and to build local networks throughout the state. The target audience is women committed to agriculture with a passion for business and involvement. It is an eight week class that covers the five areas of Risk Management- Production, Marketing, Financial, Legal Risk and Human Resources.

* Managing for Today and Tomorrow

This second level Annie's Project course teaches business, estate, retirement and succession planning. Farm women will develop networks and skills key to making successful farm transitions.



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