03-07-19 CSU SEA Extension: First Southeast Area Annie’s Project Successful

CSU SEA Extension: First Southeast Area Annie’s Project Successful

March 7, 2019 – Annie’s Project participants back (left to right): Darla Miller, Hillary Merwin, Stacy Crouch, Sammie George, Elissa Hall, Vicki Harris, Shelby Matthew, Mary Beth Tucker. Front (left to right): Danielle Smith, Linda Fellhauer, Jessica Mills, Diane Graham, Barb Leininger, Jenise Trotter. Not pictured: Kimberly Juul, Kelsey Barbee.

Sixteen women successfully completed the first Annie’s Project offered in the Southeast area on Wednesday, February 20, 2019. Annie’s Project is a six-week educational program designed to empower women in agriculture. Each week consisted of three hours of instruction and discussion covering the five areas of agricultural risk: financial, human resources, legal, marketing, and production. The program was sponsored by Farm Credit of Southern Colorado, Otero Junior College, and CSU Extension—Southeast Area. Facilitators were Shawnee Wait, former Farm Credit loan officer, and Debbie Chapman, CSU Extension—Southeast Area Family & Consumer Science agent.

The first presentation of the program was designed to help participants in understanding that personality styles—theirs and others’—can have a significant positive impact their ability to communicate with spouses, partners, and co-workers. Participants were led in a Real Colors communications assessment by Tracy Trumper, CSU Extension Family & Consumer Science Agent from Phillips County.

Otero Junior College instructors, Becky Sporrer, Brooke Matthew, and Ryan Belew, provided education in enterprise analysis, farm leasing, basic financial documents, and coaching in the use of QuickBooks. Lisa Reynolds, Farmer’s Insurance Agent from La Junta, provided education in the area of insurance for farm families. Crop insurance information was provided by Emily Decker of Sustainable Crop Insurance Services. Laura Craven, MLRA Soil Survey Leader, shared insights into web soil survey data. Caitlin Hansen, Farm Bill Technician, presented for NRCS. The interpretation of financial documents was presented by Shawnee Wait, former Farm Credit loan officer. Janae Rader of Farm Service Agency shared the resources available through FSA. CSU—Extension presenters (in addition to Tracy Trumper) included Gisele Jefferson (Washington County FCS & 4-H agent), Jeff Tranel (Agricultural & Business Management Economist) and Brent Young (Agricultural & Business Management Specialist) who provided education in the areas of women and money, estate planning and commodity marketing.

When asked to identify the most important action step taken during the Annie’s Project course, some responses included:

  • “Becoming more aware of my communication style and being aware of others’ as well.”
  • “I’ve become more organized and back on track for imputing records.”
  • “Wording on automating financial statements.”
  • “Deciding what direction we need to go with our operation.”
  • “Discussing estate planning.”
  • “Completing some of the financial reports and currently working on others.”
  • “Started a better record keeping system.”
  • “Reviewing our financial situation more closely and considering options (insurance, loans, etc.).”
  • “Updating QuickBooks.”
  • “Updating leases, understanding soil types.”
  • “Process of taking over our farm’s QuickBooks.”
  • “Proactively engaged in management.”

Other comments included:

  • “Enjoyed—learned a lot—wish I had it years ago.”
  • “I loved the program!”
  • “It was a GREAT course!”
  • “It was well facilitated.”

Another Annie’s Project course is in the planning stages for next fall.

For more information, contact your local Extension Office:  Baca County 719-523-6971, Bent County 719-456-0764, Cheyenne County 719-767-5716, Crowley County 719-267-5243, Kiowa County 719-438-5321, Otero County 719-254-7608, Prowers County 719-336-7734.  Find us on the web at:  http://sea.extension.colostate.edu/ . CSU Extension offers up-to-date, unbiased, research-based information to families in Southeast Colorado.  CSU Extension programs are available to all without discrimination.

Written and submitted to The BARN by:

Debbie Chapman

CSU Extension Agent/Southeast Area

Family & Consumer Science

Otero office: 719-254-7608

Crowley office: 719-267-5243

Email: debbie.chapman@colostate.edu