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New course helps farm women manage for today, tomorrow

By Staff | Feb 20, 2012

Creating a transition plan to make sure a farm continues as a productive, agricultural business can be challenging. Farm women can learn how to plan a successful farm transition through a four-session course offered by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and Farm Credit Services of America. “Managing for Today and Tomorrow,” is a new Annie’s Project course being piloted in Ames and Shenandoah. Both courses begin on Monday, Feb. 27 and continue through March 19.

Farm women will learn about business, estate, retirement and succession planning from ISU Extension and Outreach specialists and area professionals. Besides brief presentations, there will be discussions based on participant questions and follow-up activities for family members to complete at home.

“I know how hard it can be to talk about passing on the farm,” Said Tim Eggers, ISU Extension field agricultural economist. “Managing for Today and Tomorrow will teach women terminology and tools to start that conversation or be active participants in it.”

Annie’s Project, an agricultural risk management education program for women, has successfully reached more than 7,000 farmers and ranchers in 26 states. “This new curricula emphasizes the role women play in helping transition farms from one generation to the next,” said Madeline Schultz, ISU Extension Value Added Agriculture Program Coordinator.

During four weekly, three-hour sessions, farm women will learn about succession, business, estate and retirement planning. “Managing for Today and Tomorrow will empower women to take ownership of the future of their farms and ranches, particularly as it deals with the human resource and legal aspects of transitioning,” said Shultz.

Angie Loew, Farm Credit Services of America financial officer in Carroll, Iowa, is a member of the curriculum development team. “I’ve worked with farmers for 24 years, know their questions and have seen the need for transitioning information,” Loew said. “Offering a curriculum that involves local professional educators in the program delivery will better position families as they begin transitioning their operations.”

Managing for Today and Tomorrow meets from 6 to 9 p.m. on Feb. 27, March 5, March 12 and March 19. The two Iowa locations are 1) Iowa Western Community College Page/Fremont Center, 1001 W. Sheridan Ave, Shenandoah, and 2) Iowa State University campus, Iowa State University Campus, Ensminger Room, Kildee Hall, Ames

The cost is $50 per person, which includes a 260-page workbook of fact sheets, exercises and presentations. A light dinner will be served prior to class start time. Course size is limited, and pre-registration is due by Feb. 23.

For more information and to register, call Lani McKinney at the Value Added Agriculture Program on the Iowa State campus at 515-294-2136 or email her at lanim@iastate.edu. Or call the Page County Extension at 712-542-5171 or toll free at 877-596-7243 or email Heidi Carter at heidic@iastate.edu. The course is limited to 20 women per site. Farm women may also register online at www.ucs.iastate.edu/mnet/annie/quickregister.html

Managing for Today and Tomorrow is supported by the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA, Grant # 2011-49400-30584. More information can be found on the ANNIES website at www.extension.iastate.edu/annie.

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