Iowa farm business planning course for women begins soon

Iowa farm business planning course for women begins soon

Annie's Project, an Iowa Farm Business Planning Course especially for women, will begin Feb. 19.

Iowa State University Extension is offering a specialized Annie's Project course on value added agriculture farm business plan development. The course, specifically for women, will be held in Ames.

Annie's Project courses have been offered to Iowa women for over 10 years through Iowa State University Extension. More than 1,500 Iowa women have participated, taking steps toward building agricultural risk management skills and putting those skills to work on their own farms.

This month, ISU Extension is offering a specialized course on value added agriculture farm business plan development. The course, specifically for women, will be held in Ames.

ANNIE'S PROJECT: Mahaska County farmer Julie Van Waardhuizen, shown in this photo, is an Annie's Project graduate. She shares her story in an Annie's Project video which you can see and hear by clicking here.

Annie's Project: Farm Business Planning begins Feb. 19.
The course has six five-hour sessions and covers the five areas of agricultural risk:

Financial planning – Developing cash flow projections and estimating income

Human Resource planning – Identifying labor needs and assessing insurance coverage

Legal planning – Dealing with regulations and incorporating your business

Production planning – Gaining access to land and using online production planning tools

Documenting your goals and action steps – Writing and organizing a business plan.

"By bringing local professionals into the classroom, women considering or already involved in adding value to their on-farm production will develop new networks and have new resources to grow their businesses," says Margaret Smith, value added agriculture specialist with ISU Extension. Besides presentations, there will be class activities, question and answer discussions and homework. When they complete the course, participants will have a business plan ready for use in their agricultural operation.

"The Annie's Project: Farm Business Planning course offers women a unique opportunity to not only learn more about farm business management, but to come away with a written action plan," says Madeline Schultz, Iowa Annie's Project state coordinator with ISU Extension.

The course is organized to minimize travel time from all parts of the state. It will be held on Thursdays, noon to 5 p.m. and Fridays, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The six session dates are:

Feb. 19 and 20 – Iowa Cattlemen's Association, 2055 Ironwood Court, Ames

March 5 and 6 – Des Moines Area Community College – Hunziker Center, 1420 South Bell Avenue, Ames

March 19 and 20 – Iowa Cattlemen's Association, 2055 Ironwood Court, Ames

Course registration: Cost is $75 and includes lunches and course materials. For more info or to register online, go to www.aep.iastate.edu/annie/2015/v15ames. Or contact Lani McKinney, Value Added Agriculture, at 515-294-9483 or [email protected].

The Women Food and Ag Network "Harvesting Our Potential" program is partnering with ISU Extension and Outreach, Farm Credit Services of America and the USDA to offer this course. Funding is provided by the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA, Grant #2012-49400-19573. It is also part of the ISU Extension and Outreach USDA Risk Management Agency Community Partnership Grant #RMA-RPG05162.

TAGS: USDA
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