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Annie’s Project Celebrates 20 Years of Empowering Women in Agriculture

WHITELAWN, Ill. (AgPR) | Annie’s Project, a national non-profit to educate and empower women in agriculture, is celebrating 20 years since its founding. Today, the program has over 19,000 graduates across 38 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Annie’s Project uses a methodology that builds confidence, develops networks and creates lifelong learners among women farmers, ranchers, growers, landowners, and agriculturalists. The inaugural class of 10 women met in February 2003 in Centralia, Ill., and several members of the group will gather again for a virtual meeting via Zoom to share memories of those early meetings and the impact Annie’s Project has had on their farms and lives. The virtual event is set for Tuesday, Feb. 21, noon Central Standard Time. Registrants can sign up https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_gmpYG0dJSl-F2O-nFDffEw Annie’s Project Collaboration: Annie’s Project, an education program for women in agriculture, uses a methodology that builds confidence, develops networks and creates lifelong learners among women farmers, ranchers, growers, landowners, and agriculturalists


Additional events are being planned to celebrate the 20th anniversary, with updates provided at www.anniesproject.org or on Facebook, www.facebook.com/anniesproject. Sponsors can contact doris@anniesproject.org to learn ways to be part of the initiative and the celebration. Annie’s Project is based on the life of a farm woman, Annie Fleck, who spent her lifetime learning how to be an involved business partner with her husband. She died in 1997 and was the inspiration for her daughter, Ruth Fleck Hambleton, to create Annie’s Project in 2003. Hambleton was a Farm Business Management and Marketing Educator for University of Illinois Extension at the time. “Watching Mom and everything she did gave me tremendous empathy for what women were going through on the farm operation,” says Hambleton. Hambleton will moderate the Zoom event. The Power of Annie’s Project In Annie’s Project classes, trained facilitators provide safe harbor, connection, discovery, and shared experiences. Vetted instructors and presenters deliver unbiased research-based information to small, dynamic groups of women. In Annie’s Project classes, trained facilitators provide safe harbor, connection, discovery, and shared experiences. Vetted instructors and presenters deliver unbiased research-based information to small, dynamic groups of women.


The core of Annie’s Project are two courses that address the five areas of risk identified by USDA. The “Managing for Today and Tomorrow” course addresses developing business plans, retirement, succession, transition and estate planning. “Know Your Numbers - Know Your Options” takes a deeper dive into financial literacy. “Inspired by Annie’s” courses have been added that focus on particular interests of an audience, conferences, or hands-on events. Annie’s Project leadership model of two women co-CEOs, Dr. Karisha Devlin and Doris Mold, underscores the program’s commitment to collaboration. “By spreading the methodology of Annie’s Project throughout the United States and, eventually, the world we can improve businesses and the lives of women in agriculture,” says Dr. Karisha Devlin. “Looking to the future, Annie’s Project will be introducing new curriculums, rolling out a leadership program, and creating more opportunities for alumni engagement,” says Doris Mold. About Annie’s Project Annie’s Project is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to providing educational programs designed to strengthen women’s roles in modern agricultural enterprises. Annie’s Project’s mission is to empower women in agriculture to be successful through education, networks and resources. For more information about Annie’s Project, visit www.anniesproject.org.

# # # Media Contacts: Doris Mold & Karisha Devlin Annie’s Project Co-CEOs doris@anniesproject.org, karisha@anniesproject.org

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