Women in agriculture who are interested in taking a more active role in farm operations may sign up for Annie's Project, a multi-part risk-management course offered by Ohio State University Extension.

OSU Extension is offering seven Annie's Project workshops across Ohio beginning in January, said Julia Woodruff, OSU Extension educator who is helping coordinate the effort.

"In most cases, the workshops are being sponsored by several county Extension offices," Woodruff said. "Anyone residing in nearby areas may sign up for the course."

Since OSU Extension began offering Annie's Project in 2007, 282 women have completed the program in 14 Ohio workshops. It has gotten wide support not only from participants, but agricultural lenders, agribusinesses, ag service providers and agricultural organizations, which have provided information, class instructors and sponsorship for the workshops.

Annie's Project is designed to strengthen women's role in modern farm enterprises, Woodruff said. The project's namesake was a woman who grew up in a small rural community and spent her adult life learning how to be an involved, successful business partner with her husband. Annie's daughter, Ruth Hambleton, became an Extension educator in Illinois and developed the program in 2000 in honor of her mother's life experience, and it's currently offered in 22 states. Annie's Project focuses on five broad aspects of risk management typical in the agricultural setting: human, financial, marketing, production and legal.

Cost for the workshop is $65 per person. Seating is limited, so early registration is encouraged.

To register or for more information, contact the local organizers listed below or one of Ohio's Annie's Project coordinators: Julia Woodruff at woodruff.94@osu.edu or 419-627-7631, or Doris Herringshaw at herringshaw.1@osu.edu or 419-354-9050.

Workshops are planned for:

* Wood County (Erie Basin Extension Education and Research Area). Mondays, 6-9 p.m., from Jan. 31 to Feb. 28. Contact Doris Herringshaw at herringshaw.1@osu.edu or 419-354-9050.

* Wyandot County (Erie Basin EERA). Wednesdays, 6-9 p.m., from Jan. 5 to Feb. 9. Contact Chris Bruynis at bruynis.1@osu.edu or 419-294-4931.

* Morgan/Washington counties (Buckeye Hills EERA). Thursdays, 6-9 p.m., from March 31 to May 5. Contact Chris Penrose at penrose.1@osu.edu or 740-962-4854 or Eric Barrett at barrett.90@osu.edu or 740-376-7431.

* Montgomery County (Miami Valley EERA). Saturdays, 9 a.m. to noon, from Feb. 5 to Feb. 19. Contact Suzanne Mills-Wasniak at mills-wasniak.1@osu.edu or 937-224-9654.

* Fulton County (Maumee Valley EERA). Dates to be announced. Contact Cheryl Spires at spires.53@osu.edu or 419-337-9210.

* Fayette County (Miami Valley EERA). Thursdays, 6-9 p.m., from Jan. 20 to Feb. 24. Contact John Yost at yost.77@osu.edu or 740-335-1150.

* Tuscarawas County (Crossroads EERA). Tuesdays, 6-9 p.m., from Feb. 8 to March 15. Contact Chris Kendle at kendle.4@osu.edu or 330-339-2337.

In addition, Woodruff said, OSU Extension will be offering financial risk management workshops for women in agriculture. The Farm Finance for Women workshops are designed as a "next step" for women who have participated in Annie's Project, but will be open to anyone. More information will be available on OSU Extension's Ohio Ag Manager website at http://ohioagmanager.osu.edu/ as it becomes available.

Source: AgAnswers, a partnership between the Ohio State University Extension & the Purdue Extension