Last month, 16 women successfully completed the first Annie's Project offered in southeast Colorado. Annie's Project is a six-week educational program designed to empower women in agriculture. Each week consisted of three hours of instruction and discussion covering the five areas of agricultural risk: financial, human resources, legal, marketing, and production. The program was sponsored by Farm Credit of Southern Colorado, Otero Junior College, and CSU Extension--Southeast Area. Facilitators were Shawnee Wait, former Farm Credit loan officer, and Debbie Chapman, CSU Extension--Southeast Area Family and Consumer Science agent.
The first presentation of the program was designed to help participants in understanding that personality styles--theirs and others'--can have a significant positive impact their ability to communicate with spouses, partners, and co-workers. Participants were led in a Real Colors communications assessment by Tracy Trumper, CSU Extension Family and Consumer Science Agent from Phillips County.
Otero Junior College instructors Becky Sporrer, Brooke Matthew, and Ryan Belew provided education in enterprise analysis, farm leasing, basic financial documents, and coaching in the use of QuickBooks. Lisa Reynolds, Farmers Insurance Agent from La Junta, provided education in the area of insurance for farm families. Crop insurance information was provided by Emily Decker of Sustainable Crop Insurance Services. Laura Craven, MLRA Soil Survey Leader, shared insights into web soil survey data. Caitlin Hansen, Farm Bill Technician, presented for NRCS. The interpretation of financial documents was presented by Shawnee Wait, former Farm Credit loan officer. Janae Rader of Farm Service Agency shared the resources available through FSA. CSU--Extension presenters (in addition to Tracy Trumper) included Gisele Jefferson (Washington County FCS and 4-H agent), Jeff Tranel (Agricultural and Business Management Economist) and Brent Young (Agricultural and Business Management Specialist) who provided education in the areas of women and money, estate planning and commodity marketing.
Another Annie's Project course is in the planning stages for next fall.