Annie’s Project Seeks to Provide the State’s Female Farmers the Skills to Succeed

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Aimed at teaching women farm management skills in a relaxed setting, Annie’s Project is coming back to South Carolina for an eighth year to empower women to be better business partners through networks and by managing and organizing critical information.

Clemson Cooperative Extension is offering the four-day program May 14-17 at the Hampton Inn and Suites in Hartsville. The registration fee of $100 per person includes all workshop materials and activities, lodging (double occupancy), meals and surprises. Single occupancy is also available at $200 per person.

Registration is now open at www.clemson.edu/scwagn.

Annie’s Project state coordinator and Clemson Extension agribusiness agent Jennifer Boyles said the goal of the program is to bring together women from all walks of life to build bonds through the common thread of agriculture.

“Many of our participants have been involved in farming for all of their lives and multiple generations of their family, while others are coming into farming after spending most of their lives in another walk of life,” Boyles said. “Having the opportunity to bring together such a diverse set of life experiences allows these women to build relationships by sharing those experiences with each other and allows them to create a whole new network of farming friends.”

Facilitated by professionals and experts in the field of business and agriculture, Annie’s Project takes a hands-on approach to delivering content, not just through lectures, but by using a unique method developed in South Carolina of providing a retreat-style program that takes place over the course of three-and-a-half days.

Annie’s Project was founded in Illinois a decade ago and named for a woman who spent a lifetime learning to be an involved business partner with her farmer husband. The share of U.S. farms operated by women has nearly tripled over the past three decades, from 5 percent in 1978 to 14 percent by 2007, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“As women take a larger and larger role in owning and operating farms around the state and nation, it’s important that we equip them with the skills to not only be successful in running their farms, but also give them the tools to turn their operations into a sustainable and profitable enterprise over the long haul,” Boyles said.

Topics covered during the program include risk assessments, business planning, financial statements, family and liability, insurance, farm programs, legal concerns, retirement and transition, and personal development.

In partnership with Clemson Extension, the program is supported by ArborOne, AgSouth, the S.C. Farm Bureau, USDA and the S.C. Women’s Agricultural Network, which supports women in agriculture by providing positive learning environments, networking and empowerment.

For more information, contact Boyles at [email protected].

Prepared by Steven Bradley, Clemson University Media Relations.