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WVU Extension Service Offers Farm Risk Management Training for Women in Agriculture - 2/28/18
posted by: Jessica Nichols

A resource for women who are interested in building or improving a viable farm business will be offered for a third year in our area. Annie’s Project, a six-session training course, being offered by the West Virginia University Extension Service provides risk management training in business planning, record keeping, financial analysis, farm and food safety, and networking.

The program will be offered in six 3-hour sessions on Thursday evenings from 6-9 PM at the Roane - Jackson Technical Center in Leroy, WV beginning on Thursday, April 5, 2018. There is a $30.00 registration fee to cover course materials and meals. Limited scholarships may be available. Pre-registration is required and space is limited; so participants are requested to make a concerted effort to attend all six sessions. To pre-register or to find out more, you may contact the WVU - Roane County Extension Office and speak with Extension Agent Brandy Brabham at 304-927-0975 or email - brandy.brabham@mail.wvu.edu by Friday, March 9, 2018. For general information, please visit

“Risks are always going to be a part of farming, regardless of how smart you are,” according to Brabham, “and agricultural producers have to learn how to handle them in this business. What’s unique about Annie’s Project, is not the topics, but the delivery system,” Brandy ex-plains. “We’re providing women producers the opportunity to learn from local experts in an environment where they can relate to their peers without the pressure of a traditional farm meeting, where long-time male producers are pre-dominant in the audience.”

Annie’s Project, a nationally renowned curriculum adapted from Iowa, has an excellent track record in West Virginia, according to participant evaluation results from 2016. Locally, 21 female producers graduated from the program. These women were a small portion of the nearly 150 women who participated in the program in 2016 in West Virginia. Each graduate from Annie’s Project will have the opportunity to continue their education at each regional site as Annie’s Project II coincides with the six-session training course and one-on-one mentoring occurs throughout the year after the training.

The US Census of Agriculture revealed that from 2002 to 2007, female farm-owners or operators in the state increased 31 percent, which was about three times the national average. Those numbers are expected to grow when the 2012 Census of Agriculture data are released in February this year, making Annie’s Project more relevant than ever before.

Annie’ s Project is offered in partnership with the WVU Extension Small Farm Center, West Virginia Department of Agriculture, West Virginia Farm and Food Coalition, and Farm Credit of the Virginias. Grant funding is provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture through the Northeast Center for Risk Management Education.

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