Building the Capacity of Educators to Help Women Farmers and Ranchers in Southern States Improve Agricultural Sustainability Using ANNIES Methodologies

2012 Annual Report for ES12-113

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2012: $79,100.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2014
Region: Southern
State: Mississippi
Principal Investigator:
Dr. Bobbie Shaffett
Mississippi State University

Building the Capacity of Educators to Help Women Farmers and Ranchers in Southern States Improve Agricultural Sustainability Using ANNIES Methodologies


Year One Mississippi Annie’s Project Professional Development Workshops

Two professional development programs were held for Extension educators from Southern states in the first year of a two-year project led by Mississippi State University. Iowa State University which hosts national Annie’s Project Team and web resources, and Alcorn State University, project sub-grantees, also provided project leadership.

The first PDP session was held on the Gulf Coast in Biloxi, MS on August 22 and 23, 2012 (just before a small hurricane hit the area). The second session was held earlier in 2013, on May 7 and 8, in Jackson, MS (before the hurricane season began).

The national ANNIES leadership team traveled to Mississippi for both sessions, which were attended by Extension educators from Mississippi, as well as, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Arizona, and Arkansas, including both 1862 and 1890 Land Grant Universities. Interest was also shown in the program by educators from Tennessee, Kentucky, and Virginia.

Extension educators interacted with women farmers and non-Extension partners included in discussion and role play activities to practice writing agenda/plans for 18-hour Annie’s Project Programs. Instructional activities included multi-media presentations, hands-on activities, and a curriculum handbook.

Educators had an added opportunity to network with women farmers and community partners at a 10th Anniversary Celebration of Annie’s Project and Reunion of Mississippi Annie’s Graduates held on the evening of May 7, 2013. Mississippi Women for Agriculture sponsored the event which showcased local products and commodity groups.

Objectives/Performance Targets

Objectives for Extension Educators and Women Farmers Served

1. Extension Educators from Southern states attending professional development workshops will:
a. Demonstrate knowledge of how to plan and teach Annie’s Project Programs for women farmers and ranchers by completing worksheets and program evaluation/assessments.
b. Participate in national ANNIES network calls and meetings for state coordinators.
c. Provide Annie’s Project programs for women farmers and ranchers in their local areas.
d. Involve new community partners in sustainable agriculture training for women farmers.
e. Provide information on value-added, organic, or other business sectors identified by local women farmers and ranchers.

2. Women farmers and ranchers served by Extension educators providing Annie’s Project Programs will:
a. Gain knowledge about risk management and how it applies to them.
b. Increase confidence in decision-making for their operation.
c. Participate in local networks of women farmers.
d. Show awareness of sustainability issues.


Dates Milestones Completed from Timetable
  • Spring 2012, Mississippi Extension Educator began joining national Annie’s Network for monthly telephone collaboration by phone.

    Spring 2012, needs of Mississippi Extension Educators assessed.

    Summer 2012, Professional Development Program planned for Gulf Coast session.

    Summer 2012, Gulf Coast PDP held August 22-23.

    Spring 2013, PDP held in Jackson, MS, May 7-8.

Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes

As a result of this professional development program grant:
  1. New State Coordinators joined the national Annie’s Project network, and were invited to participate in monthly calls and receive technical support. Coordinator/educators were added to the national network from these Southern states: Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Texas.

    Annie’s Project Programs for women farmers and ranchers planned by Extension Educators trained in PDP sessions were completed in local areas, including: Brookhaven, MS; Yazoo City, MS; Raymond, MS; and South Carolina.

    Several additional local Annie’s Project series are being planned in Natchez, MS; Port Allen, LA; Alabama, and Texas.

    A local network of women farmers led by PDP participants was convened in Louisiana.

    Farm and ranch women and Annie’s Project received recognition in national and local media, including: a national farm television segment, the Starkville Daily and other Mississippi newspapers, and MS Talk Radio.


Dr. Bobbie Shaffett
Extension Professor
Mississippi State University
Box 9745
Mississippi State, MS 39762
Office Phone: 6623253080