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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Turkey Thursday

Yeah, I know it’s supposed to be Turkey Tuesday, but we’ve been busy!

This week, I want to tell you about Annie’s Project.

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Annie’s Project is a 6 week class designed to “empower farm women.”  It focuses on problem solving, record keeping, and decision-making skills for farm women.  It is currently offered in 23 states.

imageAnnie was a woman who grew up in a small town in Northern Illinois. Her goal was to marry a farmer and she did. Annie spent her lifetime learning how to be an involved business partner with her farm husband. Together they did great things, but it wasn’t easy. This is Annie’s Project – to take her experiences and share it with farm women living and working in a complex business.

 

I call it my “Farm Wife Class” and it’s pretty awesome so far.  It costs $50, but you get a really nice leather binder (I’m a dork, I know) and snacks and drinks during class!  And it’s good for other reasons, too…

Week 1 was heavy on the “wife” part.  We talked about “Real Colors” (Personality Instrument) and how to communicate with our hubbies and other partners in the farm.  Totally interesting stuff.  (I’m green, by the way, and now everything I do seems to be a “green” thing.)

Week 2 focused on household finances, including life insurance, retirement, and DISABILITY.  Disability coverage is SOOO important for farmers, and we need more.  (Kate, let Lucas know, would you?  We have an appt. next week.)

Week 3 (last night) we talked about farm finance.  This is why I signed up for the course.  We learned how to a make a balance sheet, income statement, figure our “working capital,” and equity to asset percentage.  Now, these are all things I’ve heard of before, and our banker has helped us figure them out.  But you know when you’re sitting in the bank VP’s office for hours hammering out ag loans and you don’t want to ask too many stupid questions?  Oh, you’ve never been in that situation?  Lucky you!

 

The presenter last night is a farm wife who is also a former high school business teacher turned ag lender.  She was my computer teacher in high school.  And she yelled at me because I never took a business course.  Oops!

Then, another presenter talked to us about GPS in tractors, and all the soil mapping stuff that goes on now.  Amazing stuff!  But since I have NO grain, I facebooked during that time.  Until he said that there is a movement towards giving each animal an ID number, like a SSN, so that if a disease breaks out (think Mad Cow) we can find out where the animal came from.  Great idea.  UNLESS YOU HAVE 20,000 TURKEYS AT ONCE!  Sheesh!  Can you imagine?

And after last night, let me just say that I am SERIOUSLY glad I don’t have to market grain.  Sounds stressful.  It’s like playing the stock market, people.  With your entire livelihood at risk.  Yikes!

 

Okay, so if you’re not a farm wife, you may be bored to death.  If you are a farm wife, find out if you can take the class!  It will be so worth it!

7 comments:

  1. I'm not a farmer's wife, but my husband is an independent consultant, so I could relate to much of this!

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  2. I would really enjoy a class like this. Thanks for getting the word out!

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  3. Barbara-They do Annie's Project in Indiana. It is through Purdue and the Women in Ag. I can get you the info!

    Katie I am so glad you are enjoying this. BTW...I am an orange but only by one point. Second place goes to green. Green women are special from what i have heard:)

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  4. What a great class for you to take. Happy you have the opportunity.

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  5. Katie, I'm SOOO proud of you! Not just for taking the class, but for taking farm life so seriously, for spending the time to learn how to do it right, for challenging yourself to learn our industry and for sharing what you've learned. I have to admit, I'm a little jealous....that's what I always thought I would be doing (being a farm wife). Keep it up! Bart is a lucky man to have your support. I'll pass along the message to Lucas, and I know he will agree- disability coverage can literally save the farm! Way to go Farmer Katie!

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  6. Not being a farm wife, this doesn't ALL apply to me, but taking stock (ha! seriously, no pun intended) of organizing finances is definitely something we need to do.
    And I would love to find out more about these colors. Sounds like they aren't the standard blue, red, yellow, or white if you're a green. :)

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  7. Thanks for sharing this, Katie. BTW - just started looking @ info for a post for our Science is Growing blog next week on the turkey/dino relationship we talked about. :)

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