Michigan Annie’s Project helping women excel on the farm
Annie’s Project for women in agriculture is a six-week educational program committed to strengthening women’s roles in the modern farm enterprise.
Michigan women play a significant role in the successful operation of many of Michigan’s farms. Regardless of whether a woman is employed in an off-farm job her role in the family farm is essential to the operation. In understanding that, Annie’s Project is conducted to provide women with the knowledge and tools to help them be more confident and effective in their farm roles.
Empowering women in agriculture is the mission of Annie’s Project, a program born in Illinois and currently taught in 33 states, including Michigan. Annie’s Project is a six-week educational program committed to strengthening women’s roles in the modern farm enterprise and is supported and conducted by Michigan State University Extension along with community partners. Annie’s Project teaches five areas of agricultural risk management including financial, human resources, legal, marketing, and production. Core values of Annie’s Project are providing a safe harbor learning environment, connection with other women and professionals, shared intelligence with each other and instructors, and discovering new understandings. The program is a great opportunity for women to come away with not only useful new skills and tools but also beneficial relationship networks that foster shared learning.
Annie’s Project provides a positive and engaging learning environment for participants to make most of the program and leave with implementable information for their farm. Women’s role in agriculture is a growing trend statewide and nationally. According to U.S. Department of Agriculture there are 24, 000 women farmers in Michigan with 7,409 of those women being the principal operators of farms. Women are an essential part of agriculture and Annie’s Project aims to ensure that women are provided the tools and information needed to mitigate risk on their farms.