Annie's Project, a workshop designed to empower women in overall farm decision making, begins April 3.
After working a full-time job, Amanda Krumrine comes home to care for 19 head of beef cattle on her New Windsor farm. Krumrine is one of 6,137 women farmers in Maryland. She is also an Annie’s Project alum.
Annie’s Project focuses on the many aspects of farm management and is designed to empower women in overall farm decision making and to build local networks throughout the state. The target audience is women involved in agriculture with a passion for business, agriculture, and involvement in the farm operation. Topics for the sessions cover the five areas of risk management — production, marketing, financial, legal risk and human resources.
“It looked like something interesting and a way to get involved in the ag community,” Krumrine said of the workshop. “My undergrad degree is in ag economics so I was interested to see the ideas other people have, how they were marketing, and how they were dealing with their farms’ issues.”
The University of Maryland and Delaware Cooperative Extension will host an Annie’s Project workshop Tuesdays, April 3, through May 8 at the Carroll Community College. The six sessions will run from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Annie’s Project co-chair Shannon Dill said the classes start with a meal because “people like to talk around food.”
“Sometimes the more experienced mentor the less experienced,” Myers said. “Sometimes the more experienced learned things and make changes. They all share their own problems and solutions. We always encourage them to go home and share. Sometimes you end up making positive changes and saving money.”
Krumrine has raised beef cattle with her husband Jonathan for four years on their 52-acre farm. They sell directly to the consumer. While discussing the workshop, she said the mix of people who participated enhanced the experience.
“There were people who had farmed most of their lives, people who were just getting started and people like me who had been doing it for a couple of years but were looking for ideas for growth and improvement,” she explained.
Krumrine recommended the workshop because “it was a nice way to get a lot of information and it provided a good base on a variety of topics.”
“Personally, the most tangible benefit was walking through QuickBooks. It let me try out the software before we made the commitment to buy it,” she said. “The presentation from FSA was also helpful because they talked about a lot of programs I was previously unaware of. Really just the idea sharing and hearing other participants’ experiences was valuable.”