Women involved in farm operations can learn more about how to manage financial risk on the farm and also learn more about value-added agriculture opportunities by attending one of two upcoming workshops. They will be held at Boone in central Iowa and at Fairfield in southeast Iowa and are sponsored by Iowa State University Extension.
Beginning October 15, a workshop will be held at the Des Moines Area Community College campus in Boone, in Room 219. And beginning October 30, a workshop will be held at the ISU Extension office in Jefferson County in Fairfield. The Boone classes will be held Monday evenings from 6 to 9 p.m. through November 19. Fairfield classes will be Tuesday evenings from 6 to 9 p.m. through December 4.
"With the growth and emphasis on local foods, more people are interested in pursuing this segment of agricultural production," says Marsha Laux, Annie's Project state coordinator and value added agriculture program coordinator with Iowa State University Extension. "Like any venture into a new enterprise in agriculture, this requires careful planning and using the right tools and strategies."
Any venture into a new enterprise in agriculture takes careful planning
The Annie's Project course takes place in six three-hour sessions. Course curriculum covers five areas of agricultural risk: financial, human resources, legal, marketing and production. Women will learn more about:
* Financial ratios, balance sheets, budgeting, enterprise analysis and business planning
* Human communication and management styles, and insurance needs
* Legal issues, estate laws, property title, food safety and employee requirements
* Marketing plans and access to market information
* Production tools, farmland leasing, USDA programs and soil maps
Additionally, these workshops will have a specific focus on value-added agriculture opportunities, including direct marketing, niche production areas and small-scale enterprise budgets.
"By bringing local professionals into the classroom, women considering or involved in adding value to their on-farm production will develop new networks and be able to use new resources to grow their businesses," says Madeline Schultz, Annie's Project national co-director and value added ag program manager.
Preregistration is required and class size is limited. Registration may be done online at www.ucs.iastate.edu/mnet/annie/quickregister.html. For information on the Boone course, contact Schultz at 515-294-0588 or [email protected]. For the Fairfield course, contact Laux, at 319-796-4362 or [email protected]. General inquiries can be directed to Lani McKinney at 515-294-9483 or [email protected].