Registration under way for female farmers program | The Press and Standard

by | April 20, 2018 10:12 am

Annie’s Project 2017 participants and staff pictured with
Clemson University President James Clements

Clemson University Cooperative Extension is offering a four-day educational retreat aimed at bringing women in agriculture from around South Carolina together to meet and learn.
With a mission to empower farmwomen to be better business partners through networks and by managing critical information, Annie’s Project is facilitated by professionals and experts in the field of business and agriculture.
A national program for women in agriculture with classes being taught in 33 states, this marks the seventh year of Clemson Extension’s involvement in bringing the program to residents of South Carolina, thanks to sponsorship by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, South Carolina New and Beginning Farmer Program, AgSouth, ArborOne and South Carolina Farm Bureau.
This year’s event is set for May 1-4 at the Fairfield Inn and Suites in Rock Hill. The registration fee is $150 per person, which includes all materials and activities, lodging (double occupancy), meals and other surprises. Single occupancy is available at $250/person.
Annie’s Project state coordinator and Extension agribusiness agent Jennifer Boyles said the program’s participants include women from all walks of life and all levels of agriculture expertise.
“We’ve had generational farmers — we’ve had mother, daughter and grandmother all come together — and we’ve also had a lot of women who are starting second careers, such as nurses or attorneys or teachers, who are deciding that this is what they want to get into in the second half of their career,” Boyles said. “It’s really exciting to me to watch the dynamic and watch the relationships grow. They tend to learn as much from each other as they do from the program, and they keep those relationships after they leave.”
Annie’s Project was founded in Illinois more than a decade ago and named for a woman who spent a lifetime learning to be an involved business partner with her husband, a farmer. Built on a hands-on approach, the program teaches women about farm management skills in a comfortable, relaxed setting.
“The ladies are really treated extremely special,” Boyles said. “When they leave, we want them to feel not only that they have learned a tremendous amount and they have started building relationships with other women across the state who have like ideas and are like-minded in the love of agriculture, but that they also have a good time, feel refreshed and ready to go back and dig in.”
Topics include risk assessments, business planning, financial statements, family and liability, insurance, farm programs, legal concerns, retirement and transition and personal development.
Registration is now open at www.clemson.edu/scwagn.
For more information, contact Boyles at jbyls@clemson.edu. Locally, contact Alta Mae Marvin, Colleton County Agribusiness Agent, by emailing amarvin@clemson.edu or calling 843-549-2595, Ext. 126.

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