- Education and Training: extension, farmer to farmer, networking, workshop
- Production Systems: holistic management
Mississippi State University partnered with the Annie’s National Network Initiative for Educational Success (ANNIES) housed at Iowa State University, as well as, Alcorn State University to build the capacity of Extension educators to provide risk management courses for farm and ranch women in Southern states. Two 2-day professional development programs (PDP) were held in Mississippi, reaching 63 Extension educators, in addition to selected community partners and farm and ranch women.
National Annie’s Project leadership team members, including Ruth Hambleton, the program founder, led both PDP sessions, training Extension educators to use best practices and tofacilitate the development of a strong networks of local women farmers and ranchers in their states or counties. Participants from 11 states representing 12 universities (including 3 Historically Black Colleges and Universities) received travel scholarships to encourage participation. Extension educators from 22 counties in Mississippi participated, 16 of whom implemented Annie’s Project Programs in their local areas as a result of this project.
Project objectives:div style="margin-left:1em;">
The overall goal of this SARE PDP was to support and expand an existing network of ANNIES educators; building their capacity to teach, mentor and empower local women farmers and ranchers to improve agricultural sustainability.
New and experienced ANNIES educators participating in 2 days of training will:
- Show awareness of sustainability issues and how they affect the target clientele of women in discussion groups with local women farmers during small group training.
- Demonstrate knowledge of how to plan and teach risk management skills in small-group role play session planning activities and worksheets.
- Participate in national network conference telephone calls, and attend face-to-face national meetings when possible.
- Deliver greater numbers of effective and efficient agricultural risk management courses and reach more women farmers and ranchers than prior to the regional PDP meetings.
- Serve diverse clientele and meet demands for small, start-up, value-added, organic and other business sectors identified by women farmer and rancher stakeholders.
- Show evidence of addressing sustainability issues in the farm community following training (follow-up reports/evaluation)
- Facilitate the creation of active local networks of empowered women farmers and ranchers who continue to learn together beyond their participation in Annie’s Project courses (end of program follow-up and beyond).
- Document changes in the social aspects of sustainability as a result of the women farmer’s and rancher’s participation in Annie’s Project.