Annie's Project is a national program that can be found in 34 states including South Dakota. Annie's Project was started in South Dakota in 2007 with two sites and has grown to 24 sites. Over that time we have received funding from USDA Farm Service Agency and three grants from the North Central Risk Management Education Center to support Annie's Project Level 1 and 2. Most recently, Farm Credit Services of America has become a regional sponsor by donating $1500 per site in South Dakota.
The mission statement of Annie's Project: “To empower farm women to be better business partners through networks and by managing and organizing critical information.” Managing risk is vital to the success of farming/ranching in South Dakota and for the next generation to have the opportunity to continue in production agriculture. Additionally, agriculture is fast paced, technology driven, acronym using, global world that does not slow down for someone to jump in. Women are holding more roles than ever before but still want to be productive partners.
Annie's Project provides an environment for women to learn and network with other women involved in agriculture. It is a series of 6 hands on workshops focused on the 5 areas of risk management: financial, marketing, production, legal and human. A level II Annie's Project called Managing for Today and Tomorrow has been added to the national curriculum. This 5 part program dives deeper into creating a transition plan to make sure a farm continues as a productive agricultural business.
During 2014, SDSU Extension will be hosting 4 Annie's Project and 1 Managing for Today and Tomorrow. The proposed sites include Eagle Butte , Hot Springs , Clark, and Beresford area. Managing for Today and Tomorrow is currently being held in Kadoka. In addition, there will be further development of learning communities at past sites including: Faith, White River, Winner, Philip and Herreid.
To help expand the efforts or women's programming in South Dakota, additional funds have been secured and additional site facilitators have joined the Annie’s Project team.