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‘Annie’s Project’ farm course for women begins Dec. 8

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Annette Kohlhagen Fleck, whose daughter created Annie's Project to help women learn farm management.

Annette Kohlhagen Fleck, whose daughter created Annie’s Project to help women learn farm management.

MARSHFIELD, Mo. — Registrations are being taken now for an evening farm business course for farm women in Marshfield popularly known as Annie’s Project, which celebrated its 10th year in 2014 nationwide. According to the 2007 Census of Agriculture, 30 percent of the nation’s 3.3 million farm operators were women — that’s more than 1 million, and that’s not including the millions of women who play a key role in family farm operations.

The latest course begins Monday, Dec. 8 at the Webster County Extension Center on South Highway A (next to City Hall in Marshfield). The classes will be from 6-9 p.m. on the Monday evenings of Dec. 8, 15, and 22, 2014 and Jan. 5, 12, and 26, 2015. University of Missouri Extension and the Webster County Extension Council are sponsoring the classes. University of Missouri Extension specialists will teach the course.

Course topics include topics like understanding personality types, business plans, titling property, leases and legal issues, financial statements, risk management, insurance, computer software tools and more. The class size will be limited to 24 women to ensure sufficient group interaction. The course is being partially funded by a grant from the North Central Risk Management Center.

Program History
Annie’s Project began in Illinois. Annie was a farm wife who grew up in Northern Illinois. She married a farmer and spent her lifetime learning how to be an involved business partner with her husband. Together they did great things, but it was not easy.
This course is Annie’s Project – to take her experiences and share them with farm women living and working in a complex business.

“The goal is to empower farm women to be better business partners through networking and by managing and organizing critical information,” said Bob Schultheis, natural resource engineering specialist with University of Missouri Extension.
The course provides mentoring for farm women with varying levels of business skills. Farm women come from many different backgrounds, from rural to city life.

“This course can help women who are new to the farm business and may be overwhelmed and afraid to ask questions. It can also help those who are accustomed to the farm business and may understand agriculture, but struggle with new technologies,” said Schultheis.

For more information about the course, contact Dr. Gordon Carriker, agriculture business specialist, at 417-581-3558 or by email at or the Webster County Extension Center in Marshfield at 417-859-2044 or by email at

George Freeman is a veteran journalist and photographer. An award-winning writer, editor and columnist in Springfield, Mo., with more than 50 years experience. His preference is for positive and uplifting stories about people, places, traditions and trends that make the Ozarks one of the most livable regions anywhere. A member of the Garden Writers Association of America, he is a past-president of the Society of Professional Journalists of Southwest Missouri, the Kansas and Ohio AP societies; a board member of Friends of the Garden and a member of the Rotary Club of Springfield. In 1976, he traveled to India as a member of a Rotary Foundation Group Study Exchange Team.

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