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.
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.
Annie 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!